NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks rose Wednesday as private-sector jobs increased in February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 78.18 points, or 0.61%, to 12,837.33. The S&P 500 increased 9.27 points to 1,352.63 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 25.37 points to 2,935.69. Breadth within the Dow was positive, with 23 of the 30 components posting gains. The biggest gainers in the index were Home Depot ( HD), Caterpillar ( CAT) and Bank of America ( BAC).
Shares of Bank of America increased 3.76% to $8. The bank may raise its dividend after the Federal Reserve stress tests are completed. Bank of America gets a C- grade and a hold rating. Caterpillar shares rose 2.23% to $108.29. TheStreet Ratings gives Caterpillar an A grade with a buy rating and a $133.29 price target. Shares of Home Depot increased 2.24% to $47.43. The home-related retailer gets an A+ grade from TheStreet Ratings with a buy rating and $62.29 price target. The biggest decliner in the index on Wednesday was Kraft Foods ( KFT). The stock dropped 1.12% to $37.84. Kraft Foods was downgraded by Jefferies analysts on Wednesday to hold from buy. "KFT's FY12 9% adj. EPS guidance (bottom end of the company's LT range) combined with SKU reductions and pension contributions point to a y-o-y slowdown for the company," Jefferies analysts wrote in the report Wednesday. "In our view, this would set up KFT for a strong performance post-separation in 2013. 2012, however, appears to be a year of investment and we expect limited upside for the next 2-3 quarters until the focus shifts to the post-separation outlook." TheStreet Ratings gives Kraft Foods an A+ grade with a buy rating and a $47.20 price target. -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Alexandra Zendrian.