NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were mixed in early trading Wednesday after a sell-off the day before sent the S&P 500 index to its lowest level of the year.
Investors are growing increasingly concerned about the economy. Before the market opened, payroll processor ADP said private companies added 114,000 jobs last month. The number was within Wall Street’s forecasts. ADP’s employment figures do not always predict the government’s broader employment report, which will be released Friday morning. Analysts predict that the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in July, unchanged from the month before.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,833 in early trading. The S&P 500 was down 2 points at 1,252. The Nasdaq composite fell 1 point to 2,668. All three indexes were moving between small gains and losses.
Several large U.S. companies reported earnings before the market opened. MasterCard rose nearly 7 percent after the company beat analysts’ estimates. CBS Corp. rose more than 1 percent after the company said a deal with Netflix Inc. to stream older television shows increased its profits. Clorox fell 1 percent after the company said higher commodity costs were eating into its income.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to a low for the year of 2.60 percent from 2.62 percent Tuesday as investors moved money into assets that hold up better during economic downturns. Gold, another traditional safe haven, rose nearly 2 percent to $1,671 an ounce.
Now that the U.S. has avoided a debt default with a compromise to raise the country’s borrowing limit, investors are turning their attention to the weak state of the U.S. economy.
A report that consumers cut their spending in June for the first time in nearly two years led to a broad sell-off on the stock market Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 33 points, or 2.6 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 266 points, or 2.2 percent.