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Stocks sink on worries about economic recovery

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The job market's already slow recovery looks to be losing momentum, and so is the manufacturing industry. New doubts about the economic recovery's strength on Wednesday knocked the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 100 points.

Private employers added just 38,000 jobs in May, down from 177,000 in April, according to payroll processor ADP. It's the weakest result since September. The report may offer a preview of Friday's more comprehensive job report from the Labor Department, which includes hiring by both private employers and the government.

"As far as we can tell, employers have hugely over-reacted to the surge in oil prices, which has slowed but not killed consumption," said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics. The weak ADP results pushed him to cut his forecast for overall job growth in May to 75,000. He earlier had forecast Fridays' report to show growth of 175,000 jobs.

The ADP report has been wrong before as an indicator for the Labor Department's job report. Last month, it underestimated growth. The private sector added 268,000 jobs in April, according to the government.


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