After a two day rally, the stock market is struggling on Wednesday with a slight decline in morning trading as mixed economic data is released.
With the exception of a few stocks that received upgrades, the services sector is struggling while the recently battered tech sector is showing some signs of recovery.
The S&P 500 Index is down 5.59 points, or 0.51 percent to 1097.73 at 10:27 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial average is down 0.36 percent to 10259.29.
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), after receiving an upgrade from Stifel Nicolaus, is up 0.54 percent. McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), after receiving an upgrade from Goldman Sachs, is up 2.26 percent. However, other retailers, restaurants, and communications firms in the sector are mostly flat or down.
Tech firms, after getting hammered in recent trading sessions, are recovering today. With the notable exception of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), the largest tech firms are mostly trading higher. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) lead, gaining 1.03 percent and 1.94 percent, respectively.
ADP released its National Employment Report today at 8:15 am. Non-farm private employment decreased by 22,000 in January, which was less than the projected 30,000 loss, according to a survey by Bloomberg. In December, the decrease was 61,000.
Goods-producing firms decreased payrolls by 60,000 and service-providing firms increased payrolls by 38,000. While small and large firms shed jobs, medium firms increased payrolls by 9,000.
The ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI, which measures activities in the services industry, was released at 10:00 am today showing a figure of 50.5, up from 49.8 in December.
Economists are expecting a reading of 51, according to Bloomberg. A reading above 50 indicates growth. The report showed contracting employment, inventories, and backlog of orders in the sector.
Two media giants which reported solid earnings this morning are trading down.
Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), the cable giant, reported earnings $0.33 per share, beating estimates and up from the $0.14 figure a year ago. Revenues also increased to $9.07 billion from $8.81 billion a year ago. It is trading down 1.78 percent.
Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) also beat expectations; its earnings rose to $0.55 per share from $0.19 a year ago and revenues of $7.32 billion rose 2.2 percent year-on-year. It is trading down 1.40 percent.
Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) shares plunged 8.63 percent today after it reported earnings. It reported an EPS of $1.10, beating expectations and up from $1.05 a year ago. However, revenues of $1.24 billion were slightly down from last year.
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