Strong private payroll report boosts U.S. stocks

New York • U.S. stocks are climbing Wednesday after a survey of private businesses showed that hiring was very strong last month. That was a relief to investors, who were worried about spending after a weak report on auto sales earlier this week. Energy and basic materials companies are making some of the biggest gains, and the Nasdaq composite is on track for another record close. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,369 as of 12:40 p.m. Mountai...

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