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UPI NewsTrack Business

  |   May 2, 2012 at 2:00 PM
Markets mixed after ADP report

NEW YORK, May 2 (UPI) -- U.S. stocks were mixed Wednesday following a disappointing jobs report from payroll firm Automatic Data Processing Inc.

ADP said 119,000 jobs were added to the economy in March to April, far short of the 175,000 economists had expected. In addition, it was the first month out of the past five in which private employers added less than 200,000 jobs.

ADP said the number was consistent with the gross domestic product's growth rate, which was 2.2 percent on an annualized basis in the first quarter.

In early afternoon trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 34.74 points or 0.26 percent, to 13,244.58.

The Nasdaq composite index added 0.82 points, or 0.03 percent, to 3,051.26.

The Standard and Poor's 500 index gave up 5.81 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,400.01.

The 10-year treasury note rose 4/32 to yield 1.932 percent.

The euro fell to $1.3158 from Tuesday's $1.3237. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 80.16 yen from Tuesday's 80.09 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 224 index gained 0.31 percent, 29.30, to 9,380.25.

In London, the FTSE 100 index lost 0.93 percent, 54.12, to 5,758.11.


ADP says job gains have slowed down

ROSELAND, N.J., May 2 (UPI) -- Payroll firm Automatic Data Processing Inc. said the U.S. economy added 119,000 private sector jobs in March to April, far less than economists expected.

Economists had forecast an additional 175,000 jobs would be created in the month to follow the February to March report that has now been revised to show a gain of 201,000 jobs, a downward revision from 209,000.

ADP said businesses with fewer than 50 employees added 58,000 jobs in the month, while companies with 51 to 499 employees added 57,000 jobs.

After two months of modest gains, hiring at firms with 499 or more workers was all but stalled, as large firms added only 4,000 jobs in the month.

Large firms had put together two months with at least 20,000 jobs added to the economy before dropping back to expansion best described as paltry.

Overall, the report, which is issued two days before the monthly U.S. Labor Department report, will disappoint investors.

Coming on the heels of four months with at least 200,000 private-sector jobs gained, the recent report says goods-producing firms lost 4,000 jobs in the month, while service jobs added 123,000 jobs.

Manufacturing lost 5,000 jobs, ADP said.

The figures point to gains that were focused on seasonal, service-sector jobs, such as spring or summer landscaping, recreation and hospitality industry jobs, as opposed to higher-paying jobs in management or finance.


Walmart sanctioned for unpaid overtime

WASHINGTON, May 2 (UPI) -- Walmart shorted 4,500 employees on overtime pay by wrongly classifying them as exempt from wage and hour laws, the U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday.

The government ordered the company to pay $4.8 million in back pay and damages and a $464,000 fine, The Washington Post reported. The ruling affects vision center managers, who are owed an average of $2,300 each, and asset-protection coordinators -- or security supervisors -- who are owed an average of $290.

The violations occurred between 2004 and 2007, the Labor Department said. The employees were reclassified in 2007 and Walmart is negotiating for the period after that, the Post said.

"When the issues resolved today were initially raised, we took them seriously and fully cooperated with the Department of Labor to make sure they were corrected," Greg Rossiter, a company spokesman, said.

Walmart is under fire for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying bribes in Mexico.


Unemployment rate peaks in eurozone

BRUSSELS, May 2 (UPI) -- The unemployment rate in the 17-member eurozone rose to a record 10.9 percent in March, the European Union's data office said Wednesday.

The unemployment rate in the 17-countries that share the euro as currency rose for the second consecutive month, hitting the highest level since the eurozone was created in January 1999.

For the 27-member European Union, the unemployment rate, also up for two consecutive months, hit 10.2 in March, the statistics agency said.

Eurostat said 24.77 million men and women in the EU were without work, 17.36 million of whom live in the eurozone.

Compared to February, the number of unemployed has risen by 193,000 in the European Union and by 169,000 in the eurozone. Compared with March 2011, the number of unemployed is up by 2.12 million and 1.73 million, respectively.

The countries with the lowest unemployment rates in the region are Austria at 4 percent, the Netherlands at 5 percent, Luxembourg at 5.2 percent and Germany at 5.6 percent.

The highest unemployment rate in the EU is in Spain with a rate of 24.1 percent. In Greece, the rate rose in the month from 21 percent to 21.7 percent.

In eight European countries, the unemployment rate has dropped in the past 12 months. It increased in 19 states, Eurostat said.

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