NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are falling Thursday morning as investors react to mounting evidence that hiring has slowed down based on a report from payroll processor ADP. Retailers are slipping after L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, reported weak sales in June. Technology companies and retailers are down, while high-dividend stocks are slipping in response to a jump in bond yields.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 15 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,417 as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 103 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,274. The Nasdaq composite sank 55 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,095. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 13 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,407.
JOBS: Private U.S. businesses added 158,000 jobs in June, according to payroll processor ADP. Hiring has slowed down in recent months as the number of unemployed people has stayed near historic lows. The government will give a report on public and private job growth on Friday. As investors wondered if economic growth will stay sluggish, consumer-focused companies and technology firms took sharp losses.
SECRET’S OUT: L Brands said its sales fell 6 percent in June as the company continues to struggle with the effects of ending its swimwear business. Sales at stores open at least a year dropped 9 percent. The stock gave up $5.73, or 10.6 percent, to $48.38, by far the largest loss of any S&P 500 company. Other retailers also dropped. Athletic apparel maker Under Armour fell 74 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $21.40 and Hanesbrands shed 51 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $22.67. Signet Jewelers lost $1.87, or 2.9 percent, to $62.66.
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