Category: Economy / April 3, 2013 6:36 PM EDT
U.S. stocks fell Wednesday after a disappointing survey of private-sector jobs weighed on stocks.
The ADP National Employment report showed the pace of hiring by private employers missed expectations and slowed in March as only 158,000 jobs were added. The March ADP numbers were the smallest since October.
Separate data revealed that service sector activity in the U.S. hit a five-month low as activity grew at a slower rate than expected in March. The Institute for Supply Management's March services sector index showed the pace of growth was at the lowest level in seven months.
Initial jobless claims are reported Thursday morning and economists expect initial claims to come in at 347 Thousand for last week, which is down from 357,000 in the prior week.
Friday's closely watched jobs report is expected to show that employers added 200 Thousand jobs in March, while the unemployment rate is forecast to remain at 7.7 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 111.66 points, or 0.76 percent, at 14,550.35. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 16.56 points, or 1.05 percent, at 1,553.69, its biggest daily percentage decline since Feb. 25. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 36.26 points, or 1.11 percent, at 3,218.60.