US stocks open slightly lower following economic data

NEW YORK, June 30 (Xinhua) - US stocks opened modestly lower on Wednesday as investors sifted through the latest economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 1.55 points to 34,290.74. The S&P 500 was down 1.15 points, or 0.03 percent, to 4,290.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 18.48 points, or 0.13 percent, to 14,509.85.

The New York Stock Exchange stands in lower Manhattan on April 15, 2021 in New York City. (File photo: CFP)

Both the 30-stock index and the S&P 500 average turned green shortly after the opening bell.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors decreased in morning trading, with health care down 0.3 percent, leading the laggards. Energy rose 0.7 percent, the best-performing group.

On the economic front, private companies in the United States added 692,000 jobs in June, payroll data company Automatic Data Processing (ADP) reported Wednesday, beating market expectations. However, the May total of jobs added was revised down from 978,000 to 886,000.

"While payrolls are still nearly 7 million short of pre-COVID-19 levels, job gains have totaled about 3 million since the beginning of 2021," said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP.

"Service providers, the hardest hit sector, continue to do the heavy lifting, with leisure and hospitality posting the strongest gain as businesses begin to reopen to full capacity across the country," Richardson said.

The more closely-watched monthly employment report released by the Department of Labor is slated for Friday, which will include employment data from both the private sector and the government.