Stocks Struggled After ADP Data

U.S. stocks struggled for direction at the open on Wednesday, following a report that showed private employers added less jobs than expected in March.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 14.13 points, or 0.16%, to 14,639.11. The S&P 500 index was off 3.54 point, or 0.23%, to 1,566.71. The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.67 points, or 0.05%, to 3,253.19.

The pace of hiring by private employers slowed last month. Only 158,000 jobs were added, according to a report issued Wednesday by payroll-processing firm ADP.

Applications for home mortgages fell last week, as a decline in refinancing activity offset higher demand for purchase loans, 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, fell 4 percent in the week ended Mach 29. It was the lowest level since March 15.

Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders have filed a 4 billion pound ($6 billion) lawsuit against the company, claiming they were misled into thinking the bank was healthy just before its collapse.

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