Stocks Opened Lower, Oil Tumbled Again

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday, as a fresh drop in oil prices weighed on the main benchmarks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 35.75 points, or 0.21%, to 16,829.33. The S&P 500 lost 2.28 points, or 0.12%, to 1,976.07. The Nasdaq Composite was down 3.06 points, or 0.07%, to 4,686.54.

U.S. private employers added 214,000 jobs in February, ADP reported Wednesday, above economists’ expectations. Private payroll gains in the month earlier were revised down to 193,000 from an originally reported 205,000 increase.

Oil edged further below $37 a barrel on Wednesday as an industry report showing a rise in U.S. crude stockpiles to a record countered support from producer efforts to tackle a supply glut. Global benchmark Brent crude was down 19 cents at $36.62 a barrel by 1419 GMT (09:19 a.m. EST).

Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, said on Wednesday its output would rise slowly through 2017 as it continues cutting costs. It said it is on track to start up 10 new oil and gas projects through the end of next year, adding 450,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to its production capacity.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reported its first same-store sales gain in more than three years as profit soared 33% in the most recent quarter. Total sales gained 2% to $1.11 billion for the three months ended Jan. 30. Profit increased to $58.9 million from $44.4 million a year ago.

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