Stocks rise as service sector, private hiring grow

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are edging higher in midday trading after a trade group reported that the U.S. service sector continued to grow in September. Private company hiring also increased.

The Institute of Supply Management said its gauge of the U.S. service sector rose in line with Wall Street's expectations. The index measures the strength of health care providers, banks, real estate, and other businesses.

Payroll processor ADP said private companies added 91,000 jobs last month, a slight gain from August. That was an encouraging sign for the battered jobs market.

Shortly before noon Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 32 points, or 0.3 percent, to 10,840. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 5, or 0.5 percent, to 1,129. The Nasdaq composite gained 28, or 1.2 percent, to 2,433.