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Japan's market was closed for a holiday.
European stocks slid for a second day as companies from Holcim Ltd. (HOLN) to Vestas Wind Systems A/S reported earnings that missed estimates and a report showed U.S. service industries expanded at the slowest pace in eight months.
Holcim retreated 4.1 percent after the world’s second- biggest cement maker posted decreased profit.
Vestas tumbled 8 percent after the largest wind-turbine maker reported a first- quarter loss.
BP Plc (BP/) and Rio Tinto Group led gauges of basic- resource producers and energy companies to six-week lows as commodities plunged.
Fresnillo Plc (FRES), the world’s largest primary silver producer, slid 5.2 percent to 1,515 pence as the precious metal headed for the biggest three-day decline since 2008.
Wincor Nixdorf AG (WIN) plunged 13 percent to 47.53 euros, the biggest drop since July 2009. The German maker of banking machines and cash registers said second-quarter net income fell 8 percent to 24 million euros.
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI) sank 3.3 percent to 41.45 euros after the world’s biggest brewer reported first-quarter volume that missed estimates as high unemployment levels in the U.S. meant consumers drank less beer.
ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) dropped 7.3 percent to 558 pence after AppleInsider reported that rival Intel Corp. (INTC) may be interested in making chips for Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s mobile devices. ARM is the U.K. designer of chips that help power Apple’s iPhone.
Stocks remained in the red Wednesday afternoon, as disappointing reports on jobs and the services sector revived jitters about the economy.
General Electric (GE, Fortune 500) and Caterpillar (CAT, Fortune 500) were the biggest drags on the Dow. Shares of First Solar (FSLR) pressured both the Nasdaq and S&P 500, falling nearly 6%.
Before the opening bell, payroll processor ADP said the private sector created 179,000 jobs last month -- down from 207,000 in the previous month. That was less than the 200,000 economists had been expecting.
Economy: In addition to ADP's report on job creation, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas issued a report showing employers announced fewer planned job cuts in April -- even as government sector layoffs mounted.
Companies: Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) helped offset losses in the three major stock indexes, after the company announced it would manufacture microprocessor chips using new 3-D technology. Intel shares rose more than 2% following the news.
After the close, investors will get results from News Corp (NWS, Fortune 500)., Prudential Financial (PRU, Fortune 500), WholeFoods (WFMI, Fortune 500), MetLife (MET, Fortune 500), and video game publisher Electronic Arts (ERTS, Fortune 500).
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