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Stocks Down as Employment Data Weighs; Crude Futures Back Off Yesterday's Gains

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 6/1/2011 12:46:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: AZN;CS;GDX;GE;GLD

Stocks are firmly lower at the session's half as investor sentiment sinks following new employment data that showed weak private-sector job growth in May. The data reinforced the view that the economy is going through a soft patch in the recovery.

Before the market opened this morning, ADP said 38,000 private-sector jobs were added in May, well below the 175,000 that economists expected. Global stocks eased after recent gains, including a four-session win streak for the major domestic averages, which shed around 1% last month.

The Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday also said its gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity fell to 53.5 last month from 60.4 in April. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast the index to fall to 57.1. Also, April construction spending rose 0.4%, better than forecasts for a 0.3% decline, reports.

But April construction spending rose 0.4%, better than forecasts for a 0.3% decline, reports.

In company news:

Shares of Pfizer (PFE) are down after the company announced that the European Medicines Agency has accepted the company's filing for regulatory approval application of its kidney cancer drug, axitinib, for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma after failure from prior systemic treatment. Axitinib is an oral and selective inhibitor of certain receptors that can influence tumor growth, vascular angiogenesis and progression of cancer.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Credit Suisse ( CS ) are down after Bloomberg reported that the two purchased the most mortgage bonds sold by the US Treasury since the government began sales of the debt in March. In May, sales in the program have totaled $10 billion , the report said.

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) is down in after it filed a petition with federal regulators to block a merger between AT&T Inc. (T) and T-Mobil USA. At issue, according to the petition, filed with the Federal Communications Commission, is control over T-Mobil's U.S. spectrum licenses, over which phone signals are transmitted. The company said the merger would leave AT&T and Verizon Wireless with more than 80% control of the wireless market.

ADRs of AstraZeneca ( AZN ) are down even as Reuters reports Canadian regulators have approved the company's new heart drug Brilinta. The approval is a step forward for the drug, which faces an uncertain approval future in the US because American patients taking it in a pivotal clinical trial appeared to do better on a rival drug Plavix.

Yahoo Inc (YHOO) is down after it reportedly resolved a dispute with partner Alibaba Group. The dispute involved the Chinese company's transfer of its highly valued online payments unit to Chief Executive Jack Ma, according to two unnamed sources cited by the Associated Press.

GE ( GE ) today announced the opening of its GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Its newest energy technology center will provide advanced energy technology services and manufacturing to customers in Saudi Arabia, the wider Middle East region, Europe and Africa. GE shares are down at the session's half.

Commodities are mixed. August gold contracts are up 0.88%, to $1,550 an ounce while July crude oil contacts are down 0.77% to $101.91 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.96% to $40.11 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.59%, to $11.72.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD ) is up 0.91% at $151. Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ) is up 0.34% to $58.35. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.9% to $37.28.