US STOCKS-Wall St opens lower after ADP; services data on tap

miércoles 4 de marzo de 2015 10:42 GYT

* ADP misses February expectations, January revised higher

* Markit, ISM services data on tap

* Indexes off: Dow 0.54 pct, S&P 0.56 pct, Nasdaq 0.48 pct (Updates to market open)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were lower on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P retreating further from recent records, after a softer-than-expected report on the labor market and ahead of data on the services sector.

The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added 212,000 jobs in February, short of the 220,000 forecast, although January's reading was revised upward to 250,000 from the initial 213,000.

Shortly after the opening bell, two readings on the services sector are expected with the final February reading of financial data firm Markit's Purchasing Managers Index at 9:45 a.m. (1445 GMT). The Institute for Supply Management's gauge on the services sector in February is scheduled for a 10 a.m. (1500 GMT) release.

Investors will deal with a flurry of economic data for the rest of the week, culminating with the Labor Department's February payrolls report, which will be used to help gauge the timing of an expected interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

"The U.S. economy is seeing varying degrees of improvement with employment, manufacturing, housing, sentiment all showing progress. Beyond today's report, the near-term focus is on Friday's employment report. That will be more telling," said Terry Sandven, senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.   Continuación...