Wall Street Mixed Ahead of Expected Bad Employment News


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Wall Street closed mixed Wednesday with investors bracing themselves for what will likely be the worst job numbers in decades.

On Wednesday, ADP reported that U.S. companies cut 20.2 million jobs in April.

New unemployment compensation figures will be released Thursday, with the government set to disclose the state of the overall economy for April on Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 218 points, or 1%. The S&P 500 was also down 1%, while a boost in some tech stocks sent the Nasdaq Composite Index up a fraction.

European markets were also mixed, with London up slightly and major indexes in Frankfurt and Paris down 1%.

Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday. Hong Kong and Shanghai rose about 1% and Seoul was up 2%. Japan's Nikkei index was closed Wednesday for a national holiday.

Wednesday ended a three-day winning streak for the Dow. Analysts said U.S. investors were anticipating dreadful news on the jobs front. The coronavirus pandemic has led to millions of layoffs and has affected nearly every industry.

But even as some states allow stores and services to gradually reopen, experts said, the battered U.S. economy will take years to heal.