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U.S. stocks fell, dragging the Dow Jones Industrial Average down from the highest level since 2007, as data showed companies added fewer jobs than economists projected and euro-region unemployment rose to a 15-year high.
Equities fell as American companies added 119,000 workers in April, the fewest in seven months, a private report based on payrolls showed today. A Labor Department report in two days is projected to show that private payrolls accelerated in April, while unemployment held at 8.2 percent. Orders to U.S. factories decreased in March.
Concern about Europe’s economy also helped drive stocks lower. The jobless rate in the 17-nation euro area increased to 10.9 percent in March from 10.8 percent in February. Separate reports showed euro-area manufacturing contracted more than initially estimated in April and unemployment in Germany, the region’s largest economy, unexpectedly increased.
Alcoa (AA), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, slipped 2.7 percent to $9.70. ConocoPhillips lost 2.9 percent to $54.88. Oil dropped from a five-week high after the U.S. Energy Department said stockpiles rose to the highest level in 21 years.
Chesapeake tumbled 13 percent to $17.04. The company slashed its full-year 2012 and 2013 operating cash flow estimates by as much as 48 percent, and increased the amount of assets it plans to sell. This year’s cash flow estimate was lowered to $2.7 billion to $3 billion, from a February forecast of $4.5 billion to $5.2 billion.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. climbed 12 percent to $20.09 after reporting preliminary first-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as the apparel chain was able to sell more merchandise at full price.
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