In a volatile session, stocks dropped sharply Wednesday morning following the release of data showing weak service-sector growth. The S&P 500 stock index hit a new 2011 low as the Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 150 points.
The Institute for Supply Management’s services index, released Wednesday, fell to 52.7 in July, down from 53.3 in June, indicating that the pace of expansion had slowed.
The tumble followed some good news for markets. Wall Street stock futures were up this morning before the opening bell on news that the three major credit ratings agencies—Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings—would not be downgrading the United States’ AAA bond rating in the near future.
In other bright news early Wednesday morning, markets enjoyed a short-lived boost after the release of the ADP National Employment Report, which said private payrolls had added 114,000 jobs in July.
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