Wednesday Afternoon Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories That Moved Markets

The U.S. equity markets closed down on Wednesday after a payroll report raised concerns about U.S. economic growth. At the close:

DJIA: -0.76% to 14,550.30 S&P 500: -1.06% to 1,553.68 NASDAQ: -1.11% to 3,218.60
Gold: -1.15% to $1,557.70 per ounce WTI Crude: -2.83% to $94.44 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: -0.050 points to 1.810%.

Here are three stories that helped shape the markets on Wednesday:

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1) Total non-farm private sector payrolls increased by 158,000 in March, according to the ADP National Employment Report. This compares against an upwardly-revised 237,000 additions in February and expectations for as much as 205,000 for March, which makes the report underwhelming, at best. ADP reports that an average of 191,000 new private sector payrolls were added per month in the first quarter. March’s payroll growth was more than 17 percent shy of the first-quarter average. The majority of new jobs were added by the service-providing sector… (Read more.)

Separately, the Institute for Supply Management reported that its index for non-manufacturing business activity posted growth for the 44th consecutive month, although the rate was slower than expected… (Read more.)

2) While U.S. oil imports fell last week, an increase in refinery outputs pushed crude stockpiles well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its weekly petroleum status report Wednesday morning that showed inventories jumped by 2.7 million barrels in the week ended March 29, bringing the total store to 388.6 million barrels.

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In the United States — where the struggling economy has somewhat limited the demand for fuel — the evidence of swelling stockpiles shown in the EIA’s data pushed Brent — the European benchmark for crude oil prices — down to $109.29 just after the report was released… (Read more.)

3) The housing recovery may be continuing its push forward as home prices around the country have gone up once again. Certain parts of the recovery may even be driving other areas of the recovery and the economy as a whole. Home prices did not increase in all parts of the United States, but they certainly did in most regions. Only 3 states failed to report increased home prices: Delaware, Alabama, and Illinois. In addition, of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., only 4 failed to report increases… (Read more.)

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