Updated from 9:43 a.m. EST
Stocks in New York were weighed down early Wednesday by earnings and unemployment warnings ahead of the president elect's first press conference of the new year.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 192 points at 8822, and the
fell 20 points to 914. The
was off by 42 points at 1609.
A report issued by ADP Employment Service forecast that private-sector employment fell by 693,000 in December, suggesting nonfarm payroll numbers released on Friday will have declined much more severely than expected.
The ADP has significantly underestimated the monthly job losses in recent months, in comparison to data from the bureau of labor statistics, but ADP said it has made methodological improvements.
Not helping employment numbers or investor sentiment,
said late Tuesday that it plans to slash more than 15,000 full-time and contractor positions and further cut output to better handle the economic downturn.
A slew of other company warnings helped to discourage the market early Wednesday as companies positioned investor expectations for upcoming earnings reports.
said Wednesday that it expects to report a net loss for 2008 on Feb. 4, after prior expectations for a gain. The company said legal and lease-restructuring charges, in addition to the challenging economic environment were to blame.
said it expects to miss its previous guidance with fourth-quarter revenue 23% below last year because of weak demand and inventory reductions.
Taking the reins at this difficult time, President-elect Barack Obama was slated to make his first press conference of the new year midmorning Wednesday.
Stocks, particularly in the tech sector, held up through a mass of mostly unpleasant economic indicators on Tuesday to close with modest gains.
, which has been granted a $13.5 billion bridge loan, has said it has sufficient capital to cover the worst-case scenario it described last month and won't need more if the economy stabilizes, according to a
report. The aid, in addition to the government's infusion of $5 billion into its financing arm GMAC, "meets our liquidity needs under the scenarios outlined in our December plan to Congress," a GM spokesman told
Taking a look at commodities, oil was down $1.03 at $47.55 a barrel, while gold gave up $12.50 to $853.50 an ounce.
Moving on to Treasuries, the 10-year note was giving up 9/32 to yield 2.5%, and the 30-year note was down 1 06/32, yielding 3.1%. The dollar was weaker against the euro, pound and yen.
Overseas, the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were both edging lower Wednesday. Stocks in Asia ended mixed -- with Japan's Nikkei ending higher and Hong Kong's Hang Seng losing ground.
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