U.S. private employers added more jobs than expected in October, and more were added in September than originally reported, while a separate report showed planned layoffs dropped sharply last month.
The ADP National Employment Report showed on Wednesday the economy's private sector added 110,000 jobs last month, topping economists' expectations for a gain of 101,000 jobs. ADP also increased September's job additions, to a gain of 116,000 from the previously reported 91,000.
The report is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.
"It is not a huge amount better, but the fact that it was better than expected and there was a revision in the last month's number is a pretty encouraging sign," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
U.S. stock index futures added to gains immediately after the report, while Treasurys widened losses and the dollar slightly extended losses against the euro.
The ADP figures come ahead of the government's much more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.
That report is expected to show a rise in overall nonfarm payrolls of 95,000 last month, based on a Reuters poll of analysts, and a rise in private payrolls of 120,000.
Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their expectations for the payrolls numbers, though it is not always accurate in predicting the outcome.
Fears the U.S. economy could be heading for another recession have ebbed in recent months as growth accelerated in the third quarter after a weak first-half performance.
The data came as the Federal Reserve was convening for the second day of its policy-setting meeting with a statement due later in the day.
The central bank is expected to take a breather from monetary stimulus measures, and will give an update on its economic forecast.
Earlier on Wednesday a separate report showed the number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms dropped in October after hitting a more than 2-year high the month before, while seasonal positions pushed hiring plans sharply higher.
Employers announced 42,759 planned job cuts last month, tumbling 63.1 percent from 115,730 the month before, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. It was the lowest level in four months.
Hiring plans surged to 159,177 jobs last month from 76,551 in September as companies announced seasonal positions. Retail jobs led the way with 133,940 openings.
In housing data, applications for U.S. home mortgages were little changed last week as purchase demand improved but refinancing activity stagnated, an industry group said.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted gauge of loan requests for home purchases rose 1.8 percent, while the index of refinancing applications was off 0.2 percent. The overall index of mortgage application activity edged up 0.2 percent.
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