Wall Street surges into fresh territory on upbeat economic data

US markets pushed higher on Thursday after ADP's latest national employment report showed a 250k increase in private sector employment during December.

Jobless claims were little changed in the week ending 30 December, according to the Department of Labor.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted final Markit US Services Business Activity Index reading of 53.7 for December, while slightly down on November, indicated a solid increase in business activity within the services sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 135.67 points to 25,058.35, half an hour into trading.

The broader-based S&P 500 climbed 11.92 points to 2,724.98 and the tech-focused Nasdaq was up by 17.79 points at 7,083.32.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 was up 20.21 points at 7,691.32 midway through the afternoon session, the DAX was up 183.87 points at 13,162.08 and the CAC 40 was 82.38 points higher at 5,413.66.

COMMODITIES

At around 2:55pm (UK time), WTI was $61.73 per barrel (+0.16%) and Brent was $67.77 per barrel (-0.10%).

Gold was 0.07% weaker at $1,317.60 an ounce, silver was 0.16% lower and copper was up 0.45%.

ECONOMIC NEWS

US initial claims in the week ending 30 December were 250k, an increase of 3k from the previous week's revised level, the US Department of Labor said today.

US private-sector employment increased by 250k from November to December, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to ADP's latest national employment report.

The seasonally adjusted final Markit US Services Business Activity Index registered 53.7 in December, down from 54.5 in November.

Non-Manufacturing PMI data is due from the Institute for Supply Management later this afternoon.