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Stocks broke a five-session losing streak Wednesday, after a private survey showed businesses hired more people than expected in December and oil prices stemmed their recent slide. The Dow closed up more than 200 points, or 1.2 percent. The broader S&P 500 climbed above 2,000 after falling below that level for the first time in about four weeks.
Private-sector job creation popped in December, with companies adding a better-than-expected 241,000 workers, according to payroll processor ADP. The count topped economist estimates, according to Reuters, of 226,000 and helped continue a trend of solid aggregate job numbers. The figures come two days before the U.S. Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report, with economists surveyed by Reuters looking for employment growth of 240,000 last month and a jobless rate of 5.7 percent.
Oil prices, which had been dragging stocks lower for the past few sessions, steadied. After dipping to $46.83 a barrel, its lowest since April 2009, West Texas Intermediate rose 72 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $48.65 a barrel.
- Tuesday: Wall Street Chalks Up Fifth Straight Day of Losses
- Monday: Happy New Year? Dow Ends Down More than 300 Points
-- CNBC, NBC News staff and Reuters