Stocks Opened Sharply Lower Despite Upbeat Jobs Data

U.S. stocks opened with steep declines on Wednesday after another upbeat report on the American labor market failed to curb concern about the Federal Reserve signaled that it may be less willing to provide more stimulus to the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 105.65 points to 13,093.90. The S&P 500 declined 10.38 points to 1,403.00. The Nasdaq Composite shed 28.74 points to 3,084.83.

Private companies continued to add jobs in March, albeit at a slightly slower pace than the previous month. The private sector added 209,000 jobs last month, according to a report issued Wednesday by payroll-processing company ADP.

Applications for U.S. home mortgages gained last week after seven straight weeks of declines, helped by a jump in purchase demand as interest rates retreated, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 4.8 percent in the week ended March 30.

President Barack Obama is ready to sign legislation prohibiting members of Congress, the president and thousands of other federal workers from engaging in insider trading.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council, the country’s top financial regulatory body, moved closer on Tuesday to increasing its oversight of nonbank financial institutions, like hedge funds, private equity firms and insurers.

Yahoo Inc is laying off 2000 employees, it said on Wednesday, signaling a broad shakeup of the company. “Today’s actions are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo — smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require,” said Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson.

Burger King Worldwide Holdings Inc. (BKC), the fast-food chain taken private in 2010 by New York investment firm 3G Capital, is going to be a public company again after merging with a special purpose acquisition company owned by billionaire William Ackman.

Crude-oil futures added to losses Wednesday ahead of a weekly inventories report. Crude for May delivery declined $1.15, or 1.2%, to trade at $102.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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