* ADP jobs report a tick below expectations, Dec. revised
* Services sector grows at faster clip than forecast
* Gilead Sciences shares weigh the most on S&P 500
* Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P off 0.1 pct, Nasdaq down 0.3 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 5 U.S. stocks bounced off a
technical support level on Wednesday, after the S&P 500 hit its
lowest level since mid-October, although mixed data gave
investors few reasons to buy equities.
In a volatile trading session, the benchmark S&P index hit a
session low of 1,737.92, marking its lowest level since Oct. 18,
before rebounding to briefly climb into positive territory.
U.S. data is being closely watched after a weak reading in
the factory sector on Monday sent Wall Street into a tailspin
and triggered a global equity selloff. Wednesday's data left
investors with little clarity about the economic impact from the
harsh weather this winter.
Growth picked up in the dominant U.S. services sector in
January, with steady strength in private-sector hiring. The data
suggested that the U.S. economy was digging through the winter
weather that socked the country over the last several
"Clearly, we are getting that support off that 1,740 area,
which has held so far this week, at least," said Ryan Detrick,
senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research
"Today's (data) almost just added to the confusion, or added
to the indecision, as to what exactly should we believe - is it
weather-related or is it not - and that is the big question that
isn't answered yet and won't be answered for a little bit of
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.52 points
or 0.09 percent, to 15,458.76. The S&P 500 lost 1.44
points or 0.08 percent, to 1,753.76. The Nasdaq Composite
dropped 11.65 points or 0.29 percent, to 4,019.87.
The limp data earlier in the week added to concerns about
growth in China and the outlook for some emerging market
economies. A recent rout in emerging currencies spurred some
central banks to act, pressuring bond and stock holdings and
luring investors into assets perceived as relatively safe, like
the yen and U.S. and German government debt.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Wednesday morning,
of the 298 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings,
69.5 percent have topped Wall Street's expectations, above the
63 percent beat rate since 1994 and the 67 percent rate for the
past four quarters.
Gilead Sciences fell 3.1 percent to $79.49 and was
the heaviest weight on the S&P 500 a day after quarterly
Shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions fell 4.2
percent to $92.95. The IT services provider forecast
slower-than-expected revenue growth.
Tableau Software shares jumped 13.9 percent to
$90.43 after the data analysis software maker forecast
better-than-expected revenue for this quarter and results
handily beat analysts' estimates.
CVS Caremark Corp said it would stop selling tobacco
products at its 7,600 stores by October, becoming the first U.S.
drugstore chain to take cigarettes off the shelf. Its shares
declined 0.6 percent to $65.73.