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Wall Street under pressure ahead of monthly jobs data

(Xinhua)

10:27, May 03, 2012

NEW YORK, May 2 (Xinhua) - Wall Street was under pressure on Wednesday as a weaker-than-expected private jobs report made investors cautious before Friday's key jobs number.

When the market closed, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 10.59 points, or 0.08 percent, at 13,268.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 was down 3.51 points, or 0.25 percent, to 1,402.31. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 9.41 points, or 0.31 percent, to 3,059.85.

Major indexes opened lower after a report from the private payroll processing company ADP showed the U.S. economy only added private 119,000 jobs in April, well below expectations for 175,000 new jobs and sharply lower than the revised 201,000 jobs added in March.

Investors turned cautious because the ADP report added to fears that hiring has slowed considerably in recent months, as the report is always seen as a preview to the closely watched government employment report due on Friday.

Meanwhile, another report showed new orders for U.S. factory goods dropped 1.5 percent in March, the biggest decline in three years, as demand for transportation equipment and a range of other goods slumped, according to the Commerce Department.

However, stocks cut losses even after the string of weaker-than- expected data and staged a comeback in late trading.

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