(Corrects European stocks indicator reference to FTSEurofirst
300, vs FTSEEurofirst 200 in paragraph 14)
* Stocks down as ADP, home sales data counter services
* Dollar gives back early gains
* European shares fall, world shares down for third day
* Aussie dollar hits three-month low
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, Dec 4 U.S. stocks fell back on
Wednesday after a brief rebound while Treasury yields edged
higher as strong data on U.S. private-sector jobs growth and
home sales raised expectations that the Federal Reserve will
roll back its stimulus sooner than later.
The to-and-fro of when the Fed will begin to scale back its
monthly bond-buying of $85 billion has dominated market
headlines for months. This week's U.S. data run, ending in
Friday's non-farm payrolls for November, may tip the balance yet
Polls of analysts and traders still point firmly to the U.S.
central bank holding fire until March. But some stronger data
has reheated speculation the Fed could move earlier, and that
boosted U.S. Treasury yields, with the 10-year benchmark yield
rising to 2.85 percent on Wednesday, the highest since
Payroll processor ADP reported the U.S. private sector added
jobs in November at the fastest pace in a year. ADP reported
215,000 new hires were added last month, versus analysts'
expectations for 173,000.
"In the short term, the market is still worried about the
most inevitable thing in our lifetime and that is tapering" of
the Fed stimulus, said Mike Serio, regional chief investment
officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank in Denver, Colorado.
The figures also caused the spread, or yield differential,
between short- and long-dated bonds to widen. An increasing
difference is generally considered a sign of positive
expectations for economic growth.
"The market is pricing in a slightly higher probability of a
tapering in December or January," said Mike Cullinane, head of
Treasuries trading at D.A. Davidson in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The reaction in the stock market was mixed. Equities
initially declined, then rebounded after the ADP numbers before
turning lower again. A weaker-than-expected report on
service-sector growth tempered the market's concerns somewhat.
"The data continues to be mixed. The Fed is not tapering in
December the way everyone started to chatter the last couple of
days and the market now realizes that," said Ken Polcari,
Director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New
Investors are worried that a reduction in stimulus will
cause a sharp rise in interest rates, raising borrowing costs
for mortgages and other loans that will pinch economic demand.
Wall Street's Dow Jones industrial average was down
41.00 points, or 0.26 percent, at 15,873.62. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index was down 4.87 points, or 0.27 percent,
at 1,790.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 6.45
points, or 0.16 percent, at 4,030.75.
World stocks fell for a third straight day, with Europe
taking another tumble and Japan's Nikkei index recoiling from
Tuesday's surprising six-year highs.
In commodities, benchmark Brent crude oil edged lower after
a two-day rally and gold rebounded from five-month lows.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 and the MSCI
world share index both fell 0.6 percent. The
Nikkei lost 2.2 percent overnight.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was
down 19/32, its yield at 2.8443 percent.
U.S. bond prices trimmed losses after the Institute for
Supply Management said its services index fell to 53.9 last
month from 55.4 in October, supporting the view that the Fed
would hold any quick paring on its stimulus.
The dollar edged lower against the euro, trading at
$1.3577, after an initial 0.3 percent gain sparked by euro zone
service sector data that showed weaker November activity in
Italy and France and growth in Spain and Germany.
The Australian dollar saw its biggest fall since
July, hitting a three-month low of $0.8999 after data showed its
economy running more slowly than expected.
MSCI's emerging market index marked a third day in
the red, while the Indonesian rupiah weakened 0.9 percent to
11,975 rupiah per dollar after earlier falling to 12,000
to match a near five-year low touched last week.
In oil, benchmark Brent crude initially jumped to
above $113 a barrel ahead of this week's OPEC meeting before
falling to around $112 later. U.S. crude bucked the trend,
rising 1.2 percent after a sharp U.S. inventory drop.
Gold, which like stocks has benefited from the U.S.
stimulus because of inflation fears, rose 1.5 percent to above
$1,240 an ounce after Tuesday's five-month low of $1,215.60.
(Editing by Catherine Evans, Leslie Adler, Meredith Mazzilli
and Dan Grebler)