U.S. stocks were lower in trading Wednesday, as a busy day for data took shape for investors.
This morning, the ADP private payrolls report showed a gain of 212,000 jobs in February. Not only did this number fail to meet expectations, it was the lowest figure in six months. This report is viewed as a precursor to Friday’s labor market report. Experts had predicted a number around 215,000-220,000 jobs created in February—still well below the 257,000 jobs created in January.
Later in the day, investors considered ISM non-manufacturing data, which came in around expectations, and the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book on the economy. The Beige Book showed mixed reports from separate regions of the country.
Overseas, European investors continue to await word from a European Central Bank policy meeting. Many expect more details will be forthcoming on the launch of the Euro zone bond-buying program.
As of 3:45 p.m., these are the numbers from Wall Street:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 18,096.90 (-106.47)
NASDAQ: 4,967.14 (-12.76)
S&P 500: 2,098.53 (-9.25)