U.S. stock-index benchmarks kicked off trade near break levels on Wednesday after a pair of upbeat economic reports, with a key employment report due Friday and the Labor Day holiday set to begin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
opened up 9 points, or less than 0.1%, at 21,870, the S&P 500 index
traded flat at 2,446, and the Nasdaq Composite Index
added 0.1% at 6,309. On the data front, the U.S. economy expanded at a 3% pace in the second quarter, a faster pace than had originally been reported, and the fastest rate in more than two years. Separately, ADP
said private-sector employers added 237,000 jobs in August, well above the 185,000 that had been expected. In corporate news, Vera Bradley Inc.
surged after it reported a first-quarter loss that was wider than expected. Sales also came in below forecasts, while shares of H&R Block Inc.
look set for a down day after falling late Tuesday as the tax preparer posted. Overall trading was slightly more subdued as geopolitical tensions around North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile eased and investors watched Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm, continue to wreak havoc in Texas and Louisiana. Looking ahead, the market awaits a speech from President Donald Trump on tax reform at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
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Stocks flat as geopolitical tension offsets strong economic data