Stocks Opened Lower after Weak Economic Data

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday after a trio of disappointing economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately lost 33.65 points, or 0.20%, to 16,688.69. The S&P 500 was down 2.63 points, or 0.14%, to 1,921.61. The Nasdaq Composite shed 8.10 points, or 0.10%, to 4,225.98.

Private-sector hiring in May hit the slowest pace in four months as service providers decreased their rate of hiring, Private employers added 179,000 jobs to their payrolls in May, the ADP National Employment Report showed.

The Commerce Department said the trade gap increased 6.9 percent to $47.2 billion as imports hit a record high. It was the largest deficit since April 2012 and followed a $44.2 billion shortfall in March.

U.S. productivity declined even more rapidly than believed in the first quarter as extreme winter weather made businesses far less efficient. Productivity fell at an annual rate of 3.2% in the January-through-March period, more than the 1.7% initially estimated, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday.

Private-equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is acquiring the El Segundo-based parent of CarsDirect.com and ApartmentRatings.com in a deal reportedly worth $1.1 billion.

Coffee drinkers are getting a taste of higher prices. J.M. Smucker Co. on Tuesday became the first major U.S. roaster to lift coffee prices in about three years, announcing an average 9% increase in the cost of popular supermark brands such as Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts.

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