Wall Street markets higher on jobs data

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Closed): Markets on Wall Street closed slightly higher on Wednesday, after several strong earnings reports and positive jobs data were released.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 41.23 points to 18,355.

The wider S&P 500 climbed 6.76 points to 2,163, while the tech-rich Nasdaq gained 22 points to 5,159.

Private companies in the US added 179,000 jobs in July according to payroll firm ADP. The number was slightly better than expected.

That news lifted Goldman Sachs shares, which rose 1.5% and JP Morgan, which was up 1.6%.

Strong earnings from media company Time Warner and the announcement that it was taking a 10% stake in streaming site Hulu led its shares up 2.7%.

Shares in insurer AIG shot up by almost 7.3%, after reporting better-than-expected profits.

But luxury retailer Kate Spade plunged over 18% after it cut its full-year earnings forecast.

Oil prices rose sharply after several days of declines. US crude was up 4% to $41.09 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 3.7% to $43.36.

The move sent ExxonMobil shares up 0.5% and Chevron up 1%.