Wall Street lifted by jobs report

By Masa Serdarevic in New York
Published: March 3 2010 15:38 | Last updated: March 3 2010 15:38

Investors were comforted by a report showing US companies cut the fewest jobs in two years in February and by slightly easing concerns on Greece’s sovereign debt, helping Wall Street rise for the third consecutive session on Wednesday morning.

The economy lost 20,000 jobs last month, said ADP Employer Services, a private monitoring company. Job losses during January were revised to 60,000 from an initial estimate of 22,000.

Less than an hour after the opening bell, the S&P 500 was up 0.4 per cent at 1,122.67, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained 0.4 per cent to 10,442.41 and the Nasdaq was 0.3 per cent higher at 2,287.02.

Pfizer inched down 0.6 per cent to $17.50 on reports that the pharma giant could make an offer for generic-drug maker Ratiopharm worth about $4.08bn.

The stock was also under pressure following reports that Dimebon, the Alzheimer’s disease drug it jointly developed with Medivation, did not meet targets in a late-stage trial.

Medivation shares fell 67.3 per cent to $13.18.

Shares in Merck were 1.1 per cent higher to $37.79 after the company reported positive results of a late-stage trial of its drug to treat grass pollen allergies in children.

Read more at FinancialTimes.com

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