Weak Hiring Sends Stocks Lower

Weak Hiring Sends Stocks Lower

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. and global stock indexes were lower for a second day early Wednesday, following a dismal report on job creation that gave investors concern over the state of the economy. The data follows a round of economic news out of China and Europe a day earlier that also suggested sluggish growth.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 60 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,688 as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost eight points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,054 and the Nasdaq composite lost 17 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,745.

JOB WORRIES: A survey by payroll processor ADP showed U.S. companies hired workers at the slowest pace in three years last month. ADP said private companies hired 156,000 workers in April, down from 194,000 in March. The figure was significantly worse than expected. The weak reading bodes poorly for the broader job market survey due out Friday from the Labor Department, which is one of the most closely watched reports on the economic calendar. Economists expect the government to report that U.S. employers created 200,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate remained held steady at 5 percent.

GLOBAL OUTLOOK: Other economic indicators out of Europe were disappointing on Wednesday. Retail sales fell 0.5 percent during March from the previous month. Investors had expected a more modest decline of just 0.1 percent.

Financial information company Markit said its purchasing managers' index for the region, a gauge of business activity, slipped to 53 in April from 53.1 the previous month. Though still above the 50 threshold indicating expansion, the reading has fallen from the start of the year.

LONDON FOG: Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, jumped $19.27, or 8 percent, to $260.49 after the company announced it would not bid for the London StockExchange. The announcement came at the same time Intercontinental was reporting first quarter earnings, which were better than expected.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added $1.04 to $44.69 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 89 cents at $45.86 a barrel in London.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was unchanged from the day before at 1.80 percent. The dollar rose to 106.99 yen from 106.41 yen late Tuesday. The euro fell to $1.1479 from $1.1505.

(KA)