NEW YORK – U.S. stocks fell broadly in early trading Wednesday after the release of weak U.S. economic reports. Oil prices rose, helping drillers and other energy companies move higher. Eight of the 10 industry sectors of the Standard and Poor's 500 index were lower, led by telecommunications companies.
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KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 fell nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,080 as of 10:17 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 101 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,827. The Nasdaq composite dropped 26 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,913.
HIRING SLOWS: U.S. payroll processor ADP said hiring slowed in April to its weakest pace in nearly a year and a half, as a strong dollar dragged down overseas sales and energy companies cut back on spending. A separate government report showed U.S. worker productivity declined in the first three months of the year as labor costs jumped, reflecting a slowdown in growth.
ENERGY RISING: Oil drillers and other energy-related companies led the market higher with an 0.4 percent gain. Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $1.44 to $61.84 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil climbed above $60 a barrel for the first time this year on Tuesday following reports that a Libyan oil terminal had closed.
DRUG BOOST: Shares of Synageva BioPharma soared 122 percent after Alexion Pharmaceuticals said it would pay a huge premium to buy the rare disease treatment maker in an $8.4 billion deal. Synageva has no products on the market and lost nearly $60 million in the first quarter. Its stock rose $111.36 to $207.39.
PROFIT SURGE: Video game maker Electronic arts rose 5 percent and LendingClub rose 6 percent after both companies reported results that beat analysts' expectations.
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GREECE: A standoff in talks between Greece and its lenders is keeping investors in Europe on edge. Top officials in the European Union said they are making progress on finding a way to keep the country afloat and in the 19-nation group of countries that use the euro. But a firm deal to give Greece more money is not expected by May 12, when Greece will have to make a payment to the International Monetary Fund.
EUROPEAN STOCKS: Britain's FTSE 100 was flat. Germany's DAX fell 0.7 percent. France's CAC 40 slipped 0.6 percent.
ASIA'S DAY: South Korea's Kospi fell 1.3 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 sank 2.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.4 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.6 percent. Japan was closed for a holiday.
BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.22 percent, its highest level in two months.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 119.36 yen from 119.93 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.1345 from $1.1184.
Lee contributed from Seoul, South Korea.