Stocks Opened Lower amid Mixed Jobs Data

U.S. stocks fell modestly at Wednesday’s start after mixed data on the U.S.labor market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 37.08 points to 10,771.63. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 5.28 points to 1,118.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 19.30 points to 2,385.52.

Private-sector employers added 91,000 jobs in September, above economists’ expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 75,000 jobs.

Angry and frustrated, Greek civil servants walked off the job Wednesday, paralyzing the government and public transport to protest ever-deeper austerity measures and seemingly ineffectual financial policies.

A big rescue operation looks imminent for Dexia SA after France’s finance minister indicated that a solution to save the Franco-Belgian bank could be announced as soon as Thursday.

Oil gained for the first day in four in New York after a surprise drop in U.S. crude stockpiles led investors to reduce bets that prices will decline. Crude for November delivery rose as much as $2.79 to $78.46 a barrel and was at $78.01 at 2:43 p.m. Singapore time.

Monsanto’s fourth-quarter results beat Wall Street expectations. It had a net loss of $112 million, or 21 cents per share, for the quarter ended Aug. 31. Monsanto Co. said that adjusted for one-time items, the loss was 22 cents per share. Revenue amounted to $2.25 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected an adjusted loss of 27 cents per share on revenue of $1.91 billion.

Costco Wholesale Corp.’s fiscal fourth-quarter net income climbed 11 percent as the wholesale club operator made more money on membership fees and saw its sales rise. Costco’s net income rose to $478 million, or $1.08 per share, for the period ended Aug. 28. That’s up from $432 million, or 97 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted earnings of $1.10 per share.

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