Wall St hit as job losses accelerate

US stocks fell yesterday as a report showing a surprising drop in private-sector employment stoked concerns about the health of the labor market two days before the government’s key jobs data.

ADP Employer Services data showed US private-sector employers unexpectedly cut jobs in March.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 50.79 points, or 0.47 per cent, to close at 10,856.63. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 3.84 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 1,169.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 12.73 points, or 0.53 per cent, to end at 2,397.96.

The session’s laggards included this quarter’s best performers such as Boeing, which fell 1.3 per cent to $72.61, and consumer discretionary stocks, with Home Depot off 1.04 per cent at $32.35, and Macy’s down 1.6 per cent at $21.77.