US stocks pause near records after solid June hiring data

Wall Street stocks held steady near records early Wednesday following solid private-sector hiring data released ahead of the closely-watched government jobs report.

Private US firms added 692,000 jobs in June, according to payroll services firm ADP. The figures were a big drop from May, but well above economists' expectations.

The report comes ahead of Friday's official monthly employment report, expected to show a gain of 680,000 jobs for June.

Wednesday's trading session will be the last of a strong second quarter for equities, bolstered by signs of a recovering economy and reassurances from central bankers that accommodative policies will not be removed too quickly.

About 20 minutes into trading, the S&P 500 was essentially flat at 4,292.66. The broad-based index closed with another record Tuesday and is on track for an eight percent gain for the quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2 percent to 34,346.68, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.1 percent to 14,515.13.

Among individual companies, Bed Bath & Beyond rocketed 13.6 percent higher as the retailer raised its full-year forecasts following a sales jump in the first quarter.