Stocks Wobbled after Soft ADP Report

U.S. stocks wobbled in the early trading on Wednesday after a report showing the private sector added fewer jobs than expected as severe winter weather continued to affect hiring. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately shed 15.34 points, or 0.09%, to 16,380.54. The S&P 500 was down 0.06 points at 1,873.97. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.66 points, or 0.02%, at 4,352.63.

Private-sector employment slightly picked up in February but remained slow after unusually poor weather, Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported Wednesday.Private-sector employers added 139,000 jobs last month, up from a revised 127,000 in January, but down from 205,000 in February 2013, according to ADPTarget Corp. Chief Information Officer Beth Jacob is resigning effective Wednesday as the retailer overhauls its information security and compliance division in the wake of a massive pre-Christmas data breach.

Google Inc. (GOOG)’s new investment arm is buying a minority stake in Auction.com LLC, the largest U.S. online real estate auction firm, for $50 million. The investment by Google Capital, which expects to spend about $300 million this year to back late-stage companies, is the first in a real estate venture for the unit of the Mountain View, California-based Internet search firm. The deal values Auction.com at $1.2 billion, the Irvine, California-based company said today in a statement.

The euro zone’s economy grew more rapidly than first estimated in February, expanding at the fastest pace since mid-2011. Data firm Markit Wednesday said its composite Purchasing Managers Index for the euro zone–a measure of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors–rose to 53.3 in February from 52.9 in January. That was above the preliminary estimate of 52.7 released last month, and the highest since June 2011.

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