US stocks closed lower on Wednesday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index registering its third loss in four days, as a private report showing companies added fewer jobs than forecast overshadowed acceleration in service industries.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell five points or 0.03%, to end at 15,440. The S&P 500 dipped four points or 0.20%, to finish at 1,752. The Nasdaq Composite fell 20 points or 0.50%, to close at 4,012.
Companies added lower-than-estimated 175,000 payrolls last month as colder-than-normal weather limited progress in the US job market, a report from ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey showed yesterday.
However another report showed growth picked up in the US services sector in January, with steady strength in private-sector hiring, suggesting the harsh winter weather had a limited effect on the economy. Investors were also cautious with the US nonfarm payrolls report looming on Friday.
After the closing bell, Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N) reported a higher quarterly profit. Its stock surged 1.7% in extended-hours trading.
Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) shares slid 11.1% in extended-hours trading after the social media company reported its slowest pace of user growth during the fourth quarter.
In deal news, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR.O) shares surged nearly 40% after the close after Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) bought a 10% stake in the maker of the Keurig single-cup brewer for $1.25 billion as part of a 10-year partnership agreement.
In contrast, shares of SodaStream International Ltd (SODA.O), a manufacturer of home soda-making appliances, fell 8.9% after the bell.
Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O) fell 4.7% in regular trading a day after the company reported quarterly results.
Shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH.O) fell 4.3% after the IT services provider forecast slower-than-expected revenue growth.
Tableau Software (DATA.N) shares surged 12.8% after the data analysis software maker forecast better-than-expected revenue for this quarter and results handily beat analysts' estimates.
In Asia, shares gained on Thursday in late morning trade after investors weighed the data showing service-industries growth in US against the private jobs report that missed estimates.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.4% to 132 as of 10:34 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index gained 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.9% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.6%.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.8% as data showed retail sales rose 0.5% in December from a month earlier and the nation unexpectedly posted a trade surplus.
Markets in New Zealand and China are closed for holidays.