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US stocks falling broadly after weak jobs data, rise in bond yields; price of oil rises again

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NEW YORK — U.S. stocks fell broadly in afternoon trading Wednesday after the release of weak U.S. economic reports and mixed corporate earnings results. Yields on U.S government bond yields rose to their highest level in two months and oil prices continued to climb. Eight of the 10 industry sectors of the Standard and Poor's 500 index were lower, led by telecommunications companies.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 fell 10 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,079 as of 1:20 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 104 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,824. The Nasdaq composite slipped 23 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,915.

HIRING SLOWS: U.S. payroll processor ADP said hiring slowed in April to its weakest pace in nearly a year and a half, as a strong dollar dragged down overseas sales and energy companies cut back on spending. A separate government report showed U.S. worker productivity declined in the first three months of the year as labor costs jumped, reflecting a slowdown in growth.

ENERGY RISING: Oil drillers and other energy-related companies inched up 0.2 percent as benchmark U.S. crude rose 76 cents to $61.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude climbed above $60 a barrel for the first time this year on Tuesday following reports that a Libyan oil terminal had closed.

DRUG BOOST: Shares of Synageva BioPharma soared 115 percent after Alexion Pharmaceuticals said it would pay a huge premium to buy the maker of rare disease treatments in an $8.4 billion deal. Synageva has no products on the market and lost nearly $60 million in the first quarter. Its stock rose $110.43 to $206.30.

PROFIT SURGE: Video game maker Electronic Arts and LendingClub rose about 3 percent each after reporting results that beat analysts' expectations.

PHOTO: FILE - This May 11, 2007, file photo shows a Wall Street sign near the flag-draped facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Stronger earnings from several U.S. companies are sending stock prices higher in early trading Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
FILE - This May 11, 2007, file photo shows a Wall Street sign near the flag-draped facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Stronger earnings from several U.S. companies are sending stock prices higher in early trading Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

PROFIT DROP: News Corp., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, fell 6 percent after its results missed analysts' forecasts. Noodles & Co. plunged 18 percent after also reporting disappointing results.

YELLEN COMMENTS: Stocks briefly tumbled to deeper losses early in the morning after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said stock market valuations were "quite high" in response to a question about risks to financial stability at a conference in Washington. Stocks climbed back soon after.

RATTLE BY RATES? Despite the weak jobs number, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose again on Wednesday to 2.24 percent, its highest level since early March. "Interest rates were not a problem as recently as 1 ½ weeks ago, but have suddenly become one," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist for Janney Montgomery Scott. "People are worried that (the Fed) could be left flat-footed" in fighting inflation, he said.

GREECE: A standoff in talks between Greece and its lenders is keeping investors in Europe on edge. Greece scraped together a 200 million-euro ($226 million) repayment to the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday. But the indebted country needs to make a much larger 777 million euro payment to the IMF on Tuesday and it's not clear it will be able to do that. A Greek debt default could set off a chain reaction and jeopardize its membership in Europe's joint currency.

EUROPEAN STOCKS: Britain's FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent, Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent and France's CAC 40 climbed 0.2 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: South Korea's Kospi fell 1.3 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 sank 2.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.4 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.6 percent. Japan was closed for a holiday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 119.61 yen from 119.93 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.1331 from $1.1184.


Youkyung Lee contributed to this report from Seoul, South Korea.

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