Wall Street slips at open as monthly private payrolls disappoint

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(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were set to ease on Wednesday from record levels hit in the previous session as data showing fewer-than-expected private job additions in November added to concerns about the near-term pressure on the economy.

The ADP data is the latest sign that soaring new infections and business restrictions are hampering the labor market’s recovery. The more crucial employment report is expected on Friday.

Positive updates on coronavirus vaccine have helped investors raise bets on a swift economic rebound next year, powering the Wall Street’s main indexes to life-highs recently.

Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine got the green light for use in Britain, the first Western country to approve a shot for COVID-19. Pfizer rose 3.3% and BioNTech added 5%.

“It’s great news for Pfizer to be able to monetize it earlier (but) approval in one country would not really see a broader impact on markets,” said Ingo Schachel, head of equity research at Commerzbank (DE:CBKG), Germany.

“After a few days of strong equity market performance, it’s moderate profit taking.”

Meanwhile, U.S. officials on Monday unveiled details of their plan to distribute vaccines to millions of Americans starting later this month.

At 08:33 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis fell 121 points, or 0.41%, S&P 500 E-minis dropped 10.75 points, or 0.29%. Nasdaq 100 E-minis declined 51.25 points, or 0.41%.

Investors are keen on progress in stimulus talks after a bipartisan group of U.S. senators and House of Representative members proposed a $908 billion relief bill on Tuesday.

Getting a generous stimulus package through Congress is a top priority, Joe Biden said in an interview with the New York Times. The President-elect also said he would not immediately cancel the Phase 1 trade deal that President Donald Trump struck with China.

Among individual stocks, Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM) shed about 6% as it agreed to buy workplace messaging app Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) Inc in a $27.7 billion deal as it bets on an extended run for remote working.

Cloud data service provider NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP)’s shares jumped 7.5% after it provided current quarter profit above expectations after topping estimates in the second quarter.

Later in the day, investors will turn to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report, a glimpse of the economy based on conversations with business contacts.

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