NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks were higher Wednesday after growth in the services sector climbed at a faster rate than expected and as private payrolls data missed estimates, prompting worries the job market recovery isn't as sure a thing as recent data might have suggested.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.09% after closing with a new record high on Tuesday. The S&P 500 added 0.24%, only points from a new intraday record, while the Nasdaq added 0.08%.
ISM non-manufacturing activity rose to 59.3 in November, climbing at the second-fastest rate since 2005. Economists had estimated a reading of 57.1. Business activity climbed to 64.4 from 60, while new orders slipped to 51.4 from 59.1.
The domestic private sector added 208,000 jobs in November, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Economists had hoped for private payrolls to increase 221,000. The measure remains strong, though, with private employers adding an average 186,000 jobs per month for the 57th consecutive month.
"Steady as she goes in the job market," Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said in a release. "At this pace the unemployment rate will drop by half a percentage point per annum. The tightening in the job market will soon prompt acceleration in wage growth."
Nonfarm productivity rose 2.3% during the third quarter, up from a previous 2% pace, the Labor Department said Wednesday. However, analysts had hoped for a rate as high as 2.4% to reflect stronger third-quarter GDP.