January 4, 2018 / 4:42 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Dow tops 25,000 on strong private hiring, global growth hopes

* Private employers add 250,000 jobs in Dec vs est. 190,000

* Tesla down after announcing Model 3 production delay

* JC Penney, Macy’s fall after reporting holiday sales

* Indexes up: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.48 pct, Nasdaq 0.32 pct (Changes comment, updates prices, adds details)

By Sruthi Shankar

Jan 4 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke above the 25,000 level for the first time on Thursday and other major indexes scaled new highs after strong U.S. private jobs data added to upbeat sentiment following indications of robust growth globally.

The 30-member blue-chip index crossed five 1,000-point marks in 2017, driven partly by President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda and solid corporate earnings.

The momentum carried into 2018, with the benchmark S&P index closing above 2,700 for the first time on Wednesday and the Nasdaq settling above 7,000 a day earlier.

“Every 1,000-point increment in the Dow is becoming less of a percent move. It’s just another milestone,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

“The point that people need to take is that the macro indicators are telling investors that world economies are doing really well.”

World stocks also hit records, driven by strong manufacturing and services sector data in major economies.

U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in December and planned layoffs by American-based companies fell sharply, pointing to sustained labor market strength.

The ADP National Employment Report showed that U.S. private employers added 250,000 jobs in December, much above the 190,000 job additions forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

Investors’ focus now shifts to the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

At 10:58 a.m. ET (1558 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 150.34 points, or 0.6 percent, at 25,073.02 and the S&P 500 was up 12.98 points, or 0.48 percent, at 2,726.04. The Nasdaq Composite was up 22.58 points, or 0.32 percent, at 7,088.11.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by 1.4 percent gain in the financial index.

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan rose about 2 percent and Goldman Sachs 1.7 percent after the strong data raised the odds of a March rate hike.

Victoria’s Secret-owner L Brands slid 15 percent on disappointing quarterly earnings forecast.

J.C. Penney and Macy’s were down about 6 percent after reporting same-store sales for the key months of November and December.

Sprint fell about 5 percent after the wireless carrier appointed former Altice NV Chief Executive Michel Combes as chief financial officer.

Intel declined as much as 5 percent, adding to Wednesday’s losses that was triggered by a report that its chips were vulnerable to being hacked.

Rival Advanced Micro Devices rose 6.5 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,692 to 1,065. On the Nasdaq, 1,635 issues rose and 1,185 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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