Published: Oct 03, 2012 11:50 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 04, 2012 6:32 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are higher in midday trading on Wall Street after a measure of private sector hiring came in better than economists were expecting.

The Dow Jones was up 52 points at 13,534 just before noon Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose seven points to 1,453 while the Nasdaq composite index rose 17 points to 3,137.

A private survey of payrolls showed U.S. companies added more jobs than economists had forecast last month. The payment processor ADP said companies put 162,000 more workers on their payrolls.

Investors were also encouraged by faster growth in U.S. service companies.

The gains were held in check by a slump in energy stocks, which fell as the price of crude oil dropped sharply.