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U.S. stocks slip on weak jobs, services sector data

U.S. stocks slip on weak jobs, services sector data

U.S. stocks ended lower Wednesday following weaker than expected data on employment and the services sector, underlining the uncertainty about prospective economic recovery from recession.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 39.22 points (0.42 percent) to 9,280.97, snapping a four-session rise.
The Nasdaq composite lost 18.26 points (0.91 percent) to 1,993.05, surrendering its elusive foothold atop the 2,000 level, while the broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 shed 2.93 points (0.29 percent) to 1,002.72.
Losses were trimmed in late trading as investors took a cue from commodities, led by oil, which were well-bid amid weakness in the U.S. dollar, analysts said.
The weak stock market sentiment stemmed from fresh economic data Wednesday.
"After posting strong returns in prior sessions, stocks are pausing to reflect on economic data that showed an unexpected decline in activity in the service sector and larger-than-expected losses of private-sector jobs," analysts at Charles Schwab & Co said in a note to clients.
The Labor Department is to publish July jobs data on Friday. Most analysts expect the unemployment rate climbed to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent in June, a 26-year high, amid a painful recession that began in December 2007. Adding to the bearish mood was a report by the Institute of Supply Management that the services sector contracted unexpectedly in July after moving closer to growth in the prior three months.
The institute's index of the nonmanufacturing sector fell to 46.4 percent in July from 47.0 percent in June, the 10th consecutive monthly decline.
"This was a disappointing release, as a large gain in the ISM manufacturing survey had raised hopes that we would see something similar in the nonmanufacturing index," said Aaron Smith, a senior economist for Moody's Economy.com. The manufacturing index had increased the most in almost four years in July.
Among losing stocks was consumer products giant Procter & Gamble, which fell 2.79 percent to 53.91 dollars after its fourth-quarter profit shrank 18 percent amid declining sales.
Video games giant Electronic Arts fell 6.81 percent to US$20.40 following its 10th consecutive quarterly financial loss.
Financial stocks however performed well. JPMorgan Chase gained 3.90 percent to US$41.78, Bank of America rose 6.52 percent to US$16.66 and Citigroup jumped 10.15 percent to US$3.58.


Updated : 2021-10-22 15:57 GMT+08:00