Stocks slip in midday trade after weak job growth

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is slumping after a handful of economic reports suggested that the economy is growing at a sluggish pace.

Private employers added fewer jobs last month than economists had forecast. Orders to U.S. factories were also weaker than expected.

Stocks edged lower in early trading and fell steadily during the morning.

By midday Wednesday the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 13 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,618. The index is 3 percent below the high of the year it reached on May 21.

Materials companies and bank stocks fell the most.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 113 points, or 0.8 percent, at 15,061.

The Nasdaq composite fell 25 points to 3,419, a loss of 0.7 percent.

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