U.S. stocks were lower on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P retreating further from recent records, after a softer-than-expected report on the labor market and ahead of data on the services sector. The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added 212,000 jobs in February, short of the 220,000 forecast, although January’s reading was revised upward to 250,000 from the initial 213,000. Shortly after the opening bell, two readings on the services sector are expected with the final February reading of financial data firm Markit’s Purchasing Managers Index at 9:45 a.m.. The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge on the services sector in February is scheduled for a 10 a.m. release. Beyond today’s report, the near-term focus is on Friday’s employment report.
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