Stocks edge up; HP sinks on Whitman's outlook

Stocks close mostly higher after hiring and service industry reports come in above forecasts

Associated Press
Stocks edge up; H-P sinks on Whitman's outlook
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Traders John Panin, left, and Dan Tandy, right, work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012.Stocks are mostly higher in early trading on Wall Street Wednesday after a measure of private sector hiring came in better than economists were expecting. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing with meager gains on Wall Street following a pair of encouraging reports about U.S. private company hiring and the services industry.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 12 points to end at 13,495 Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose five to 1,451 and the Nasdaq rose 15 to 3,135.

Payroll provider ADP reported a better-than-expected amount of job additions and the Institute for Supply Management said its service industry index rose to the highest level since March.

Energy stocks fell following a sharp decline in the price of crude oil.

Hewlett-Packard dropped 13 percent after the company's CEO predicted weak earnings and sales.

Rising and falling stocks were evenly matched on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was about average at 3.3 billion shares.

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