U.S. stocks fell Wednesday after data showed the private sector added fewer jobs than economists expected in July, fueling concerns the rebound from the pandemic may be faltering.
The S&P 500 ticked down 0.3%, a tepid decline after Tuesday’s rally sent the broad-market index to a record close. The Nasdaq wavered between gains and losses, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.5%.
A report from ADP showed that 330,000 jobs were added by the private sector in July, almost half the number that economists were expecting. Bottlenecks in hiring continue to hold back the labor market, according to ADP. Federal Reserve policy makers have said the recovery of the labor market is a key factor in monetary policy decisions.
In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped to 1.134% from 1.174% on Tuesday. Yields move up when prices go down.
Stocks have ground higher this week amid strong earnings reports and signs that the economic rebound remains under way, albeit at a slower pace than in recent months. But the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 and a slowdown in the rate of vaccinations is prompting some concern that authorities may reimpose or tighten restrictions on social activity and travel.