Stocks fall on jobs concerns, fall in Merck profit

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is falling early after a survey showed U.S. companies added the fewest jobs in seven months and Merck reported a lower quarterly profit.

Shortly after the market opened, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 55 points to 14,784, a fall of 0.4 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped five points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,591. The Nasdaq composite index lost five points to 3,323, a decline of 0.2 percent.

Merck led the Dow lower after the drugmaker’s quarterly profit fell 8 percent and it cut its profit forecast for the year. Sales have been hurt by competition from generic drugs.

U.S. companies added just 119,000 jobs in April, the fewest in seven months, according to a survey by the payroll processor ADP.

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