US markets move lower as jobs survey disappoints; European markets gain

Markets Associated Press

U.S. stocks moved lower in early trading Wednesday, extending losses from the day before. A report indicating that U.S. businesses slowed their pace of hiring last month weighed on the market. Oil prices rose.

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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 168 points, or 1 percent, to 17,607 as of 10:08 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 16 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,051. The Nasdaq composite shed 51 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,849.

HIRING SLOWS: Payroll processor ADP said that U.S. companies added a seasonally adjusted 189,000 jobs last month. That was below market expectations for an increase of around 250,000. Though ADP's survey doesn't always tally with official numbers, the figures may prompt some analysts to reduce forecasts for the government's next monthly jobs tally, due out Friday.

SECTOR MONITOR: Eight of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 fell, with health care costs leading the decline. The sector was down 1.8 percent. Energy and utilities stocks rose. Macerich notched the biggest drop among all stocks in the S&P 500, sliding $4.28, or 5.1 percent, to $80.08. Macerich slumped after rival Simon Property Group called off its hostile $16.8 billion takeover bid for the shopping mall operator.

EUROPEAN MARKETS: European shares rebounded from early losses as a monthly survey showed factory output at a 10-month high in March. Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent, while France's CAC-40 rose 0.7 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Markets in Asia were mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index slipped 0.9 percent, while South Korea's Kospi lost 0.6 percent. Australia's S&P ASX/200 fell 0.5 percent. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.7 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index added 1.7 percent on speculation authorities will do more to ease credit.

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ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 39 cents to $47.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.86 percent from 1.93 percent late Tuesday.