Stocks pulled back on Wednesday after a report showed lower-than-expected private-sector hiring in March, which worried investors ahead of Friday’s jobs report. Concern over North Korea also weighed on markets after U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel said that there was a “real and clear” danger from the country. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that home loan applications dipped by 4% last week, worrying some that recent housing gains would not continue. Shares of embattled social gaming company Zynga (ZNGA) jumped 15% after it announced real-money online casino games would be made available in the U.K. Oil prices dropped by 3%, their largest one-day decline since November, as inventories in the U.S. soared.
Word on the Street
- Shares of ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) fell as the company reported that profit had plunged 57%, even though sales rose.
- Cyprus judges announced plans to look into crisis and president.
- An ex-Goldman Sachs (GS) trader pleaded guilty in a NY fraud probe.