This morning payroll processor ADP reported an upward revision to its February payroll figures from 198,000 to 237,000. However, ADP also reported that private employers added only 158,000 jobs in March, which was well below the 200,000 most economists were expecting. The report has made market participants ever more anxious for Friday's jobs report from the Department of Labor and triggered investors to take profits this afternoon.
As of 12:45 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has lost 76 points, or 0.52%, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ are performing worse, losing 0.8% each. But not all of the Dow's losers today are a result of the ADP report.
The biggest Dow loser's today are unfortunately the banks. Shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) are both heading lower. B of A is down 3.3%, while JPMorgan has lost 2.2%. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that weak refinancing last week caused a 4% decline in home loan applications. While the financial crisis was essentially a result of a massive amount of bad mortgage debt that ultimately led to the collapse of a number of financial institutions large and small, for better or worse mortgage loans have once again become a large part of the industry's business. While this may be only a temporary slowdown in loan applications, investors should keep an eye on this data.
Shares of Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) are down by 1.2% after the company denied that it would be partnering with AT&T (NYSE: T ) to acquire Vodafone. Reports said Verizon and AT&T would purchase Vodafone for $245 billion and then split the company. Verizon would take Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, and AT&T would receive Vodafone's operations outside the U.S. While Verizon has denied these claims, the company said it would still consider buying Vodafone's stake in the Verizon Wireless venture. As of this writing, shares of AT&T are down 0.6%.
While few may remember, today is an important date in Verizon's history: Back in 2000 the company was officially born. To read the full story and learn how Vodafone played a role, click here.
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