NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks curbed the worst of their losses by mid-morning Wednesday, though markets remained in the red because of declining sales in March from Ford(F) - Get Report and General Motors(GM) - Get Report and a mix of weak economic data.
The S&P 500 declined 0.35%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.48%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.57%.
Ford shares fell 1.2% after the automaker saw U.S. sales in March drop 3.5% compared to an expected 4.3% decline. Retail sales added 1%, while fleet sales tanked 13%. General Motors dropped 1.5% as unit sales dropped 2.4%, compared to a forecast 0.1% increase.
The private sector in the U.S. added 189,000 jobs in March, according to the ADP Jobs report. Economists had expected 230,000 jobs to have been added over the month, increasing from 212,000 in February. The Labor Department's official jobs report will be released on Friday, though stock markets will be closed for the Good Friday holiday.
Construction spending declined 0.1% to $967.2 billion in February, missing estimates of a 0.2% increase as harsh winter weather took its toll. The March ISM Manufacturing Index fell short of its forecasts, recording a reading of 51.5, down from 52.9 a month earlier.
Manufacturing activity in the U.S. expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in March. A reading of 55.7 came in higher than a forecast 55.3, according to the latest PMI Manufacturing Index.
GoDaddy(GDDY) - Get Report began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, climbing 32.4% to $26.47 after first trading at $26.15. The Web hosting company's shares were priced at $20 each, raising approximately $460 million in the IPO. The float values the company at about $4.5 billion.
Crude oil prices were higher as Iran and six world powers extended negotiations by a day to try to agree on a preliminary nuclear deal. The negotiations have centered on Iran not building nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.The removal of such restrictions would see Iranian oil added to an already-oversupplied global market. West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 0.5% to $47.82 a barrel.
Online crafts store Etsy will shop its IPO around on Wednesday, offering 16.67 million shares in the hopes of raising around $267 million. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol 'ETSY'.
Sears (SHLD) jumped more than 6% after entering into a real estate joint venture with General Growth Properties (GGP) . Separately, Sears announced plans to sell some of its Sears and Kmart stores before leasing them back, a move that should raise $2.5 billion.
Agricultural company Monsanto (MON) added 3% despite missing second-quarter earnings and sales estimates. The company also lowered full-year profit forecasts as farmers sow less corn crop and the U.S. dollar undercuts foreign sales.
Amazon(AMZN) - Get Report shares were on watch after the company unveiled Wi-Fi-connected technology called a Dash Button that allows invited participants to purchase products from stores such as Huggies and Gillette instantaneously.
Apple(AAPL) - Get Report shares climbed after Citi reiterated a buy rating and added the stock to its U.S. Focus list. The firm said investors are underestimating demand for Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models.