Wall Street was lower on Wednesday as tepid U.S. economic data and lackluster corporate results added to concerns about the health of the global economy.
The ADP private sector employment report showed hiring in April fell to its lowest levels in three years. The report acts as a precursor to the more comprehensive government nonfarm payrolls data, which is expected on Friday.
According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls likely rose by 202,000 jobs in April after rising 215,000 in March. The unemployment rate is forecast holding steady at 5 percent.
In contrast, another set of data showed the vast U.S. services sector expanded in April as new orders and employment accelerated, helping assuage some of those fears.
The U.S. Federal Reserve, which held monetary policy steady last week, is keeping a keen eye on data, while leaving the door open for a rate hike in June.
A strengthening labor market is expected to influence the pace of future rate hikes, although traders are pricing in only one hike later this year.
World stocks added to losses after weak manufacturing data from across the world, including China, earlier this week triggered a selling spree.
"This week, the biggest drag on the market has been cross-currency effects. We've seen some data, which is a bit soft and there have been some underwhelming household earnings miss," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
"I don't think the soft data is really going to concern the Fed as long as we see the jobs number in and around 200,000."
At 12:35 p.m. ET (1635 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 83.42 points, or 0.47 percent, at 17,667.49, the S&P 500 was down 10.73 points, or 0.52 percent, at 2,052.64 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 31.86 points, or 0.67 percent, at 4,731.37.
Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the industrials index's 1.22 percent loss leading the decliners.
The CBOE Volatility index, often called Wall Street's fear index, rose 4.5 percent.
Shares of Priceline fell 9.5 percent to $1225.54 after the online travel services company's forecast fell short of expectations. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq.
Zillow jumped 15 percent to $29.56, a day after the online real estate listings provider raised its full-year revenue outlook.
Intercontinental Exchange jumped 7 percent to $257.99 after the U.S. exchange operator said it did not intend to make a rival offer for London Stock Exchange Group.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,830 to 1,092. On the Nasdaq, 1,813 issues fell and 863 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 16 new 52-week high and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 25 new highs and 46 new lows.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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Updated Date: May 05, 2016 00:15 AM