US futures fall on weak jobs data in US, Europe

US stock market futures down after disappointing ADP jobs report, weak European economic data

Associated Press
Discouraging jobs news leaves stock prices mixed
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In an April 6, 2012 photo trader Christopher Morie works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street was poised for further modest gains Wednesday May 2, 2011, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average closed at its highest mark since 2007. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock market futures fell Wednesday after disappointing data on Europe's economy and a report showing slowing job growth at home.

A day after the Dow Jones industrial average closed at its highest point in four years, Dow index futures slipped 0.38 percent to 13,168. Standard & Poor's 500 futures fell 0.46 percent to 1,394, and Nasdaq 100 futures edged down 0.43 percent to 2,706.75.

Earlier, reports showed record unemployment in the 17 countries that use the euro, as nearly half of those nations are now officially in recession. Unemployment rose to 10.9 percent in March, reflecting the downturn in the eurozone economy amid tough austerity measures designed to deal with national debts. Unemployment even rose in Germany, which has pushed the austerity measures.

In the U.S., the payroll processor ADP showed that U.S. businesses sharply reduced their hiring pace in April, creating just 119,000 jobs last month, compared with 201,000 in March. The report covers only private sector hiring, and can be far different from official government figures, which are due out Friday.

After spending much of Wednesday's session riding the positive U.S. news on manufacturing that pushed U.S. markets higher on Tuesday, European markets lost ground following the ADP report. Germany's DAX fell 0.42 percent to 6,732. France's CAC 40 edged up 0.20 percent to 3,219, retreating from earlier gains of over 1 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.9 percent to 5,759.57.

U.S. stocks to watch Wednesday include Comcast Corp. The nation's largest cable company's shares fell 3.8 percent premarket despite reporting a 30 percent spike in first-quarter profit.

Shares of CVS Caremark Corp. gained about 2 percent in premarket trading after the drugstore chain and pharmacy benefits manager reported a 9 percent profit jump.

MasterCard Inc. was down about 2 percent ahead of the market opening despite posting a 21 percent higher profit for the January to March period.

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