US stocks drop after jobs, trade data

New York - Wall Street stocks Wednesday opened lower following data that showed slower US jobs growth and an unexpectedly wider trade deficit.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 16.31 points (0.10 percent) to 16,706.03.

The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet. Credit: REUTERS

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 3.06 (0.16 percent) to 1,9421.18, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 9.28 (0.22 percent) to 4,224.80.

Payrolls company ADP said the US private sector added 179,000 new jobs in May, a drop of 36,000 from April and the lowest number in four months.

The Commerce Department reported that the US trade deficit swelled 6.9 percent to $47.2 billion in April, much bigger than the 2.2 percent increase projected by analysts.

Investors are also looking ahead to the release at 2:00 pm (20:00 SA time) of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report on economic conditions across the country. - Sapa-AFP