US stocks extend losses on soft data

New York, May 5 (IANS) US stocks traded lower in the morning session on Wednesday as Wall Street assessed a batch of generally downbeat economic reports.

By midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 96.41 points, or 0.54 percent, to 17,654.50. The S&P 500 dipped 12.89 points, or 0.62 percent, to 2,050.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 34.99 points, or 0.73 percent, to 4,728.23, Xinhua reported.

US private sector employment increased 156,000 jobs in April from March, well below market consensus of 193,000, the April ADP National Employment Report said on Wednesday.

The ADP figure is watched closely as a pre-indicator for the highly-anticipated nonfarm payrolls report due out Friday.

“The lacklustre report likely lowered expectations for the jobs print on Friday, which carries far more weight with investors as a proxy for the labour market,” said Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial, in a note.

Meanwhile, US nonfarm business sector labour productivity decreased at a one percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2016, according to the Department of Labour.

–IANS

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