Stocks Higher After Hiring Report

Stocks Higher After Hiring Report

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are rising Thursday morning after a payroll survey showed that employers hired more workers in June after a slowdown in the months before. European stocks are also climbing. Energy companies are up with the price of oil, and investors are shifting out of some of the safe assets they've favored in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 51 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,969 as of 10:08 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 7 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,107. The Nasdaq composite gained 25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,883.

HIRING: Investors are looking at reports showing healthy hiring. A survey by payroll processor ADP said U.S. companies added 172,000 jobs in June, a sign hiring may have picked up again after it slowed down in April and May. ADP's estimate is based on private companies, and the U.S. government will release its own hiring report on Friday. The government said weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 16,000 to 254,000 last week, another sign employers continue to hire more workers.

PEP IN ITS STEP: PepsiCo's quarterly profit surpassed Wall Street forecasts. The company said customers are buying more of its new products, including drink options that are marketed as healthier or "craft." It also posted stronger sales of Frito-Lay snacks. Its stock rose $2.5, or 2.4 percent, to $108.47.

WHITEWAVE SWEPT UP: Organic food maker WhiteWave Foods jumped after French yogurt giant Danone agreed to buy the company for $56.25 a share, or about $10 billion. The deal would expand Danone's range of health foods and the U.S. market. WhiteWave gained $8.92, or 18.8 percent, to $56.35.

ENERGY: Oil prices rose further. Benchmark U.S. crude added 69 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $48.12 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 63 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $49.43 a barrel in London. That gave energy companies a lift. Anadarko Petroleum climbed $1.79, or 3.2 percent, to $56.98 and drilling rig operator Transocean jumped 61 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $12.51.

AVG LOCKED DOWN: Dutch anti-virus software company AVG Technologies surged after rival Avast Software agreed to buy it for $25 a share, or $1.3 billion. AVG stock advanced $5.87, or 31.2 percent, to $24.66.

WILD WEST: Hard drive maker Western Digital forecast stronger results for its fiscal fourth quarter after it acquired flash memory chip maker SanDisk in May. Western Digital stock rose $2.30, or 5.1 percent, to $47.76 and competitor Seagate Technology gained 53 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $24.05.

SAFE PICKS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbed to 1.41 percent from 1.37 percent. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond inched up to 2.15 from 2.14 percent. Both have been setting all-time lows over recent days. Investors are also selling some of the safest groups of stocks, including phone companies and utilities. Gold, which is trading at its highest price in more than two years, inched lower. Silver dropped 42 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $19.78 an ounce.

OVERSEAS: European shares posted strong gains. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.5 percent, France's CAC 40 climbed 1.4 percent and Germany's DAX increased 0.9 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.7 percent. South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 101.02 yen from 101.40 yen. The euro fell to $1.1097 from $1.1105. The British pound rose to $1.2992 from $1.2922. It's been trading at 30-year lows over the last few days.

(KA)