U.S. stocks were mixed on weaker than expected U.S. economic data, as well as poor data from Europe. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% while the NASDAQ rose 0.3%.
- Payroll process firm ADP reported private employers added 119,000 jobs in April, well short of the 177,000 expected.
- The Commerce Department said that orders for factory goods fell 1.5%. That was the steepest decline since March 2009. Orders rose 1.1% in February. Excluding transportation goods, orders were unchanged. Demand for less durable items, such as food, chemicals and gasoline, rose 0.5%.
Gold fell $8.40 to finish at $1,654 an ounce and silver ended down 28.5 cents at $30.592 per ounce. Crude oil fell 94 cents to finish at $105.22 per barrel.
The British FTSE 100 index closed down 0.9% while Germany's DAX fell 0.8%. The CAC-40 in France showed a 0.4% rise.
- The 17 countries that use the euro reported that unemployment rose to 10.9% in March from 10.8% the previous month, the highest since the euro launched in 1999.
- The eurozone's monthly purchasing managers index — which tracks sales, employment, stock levels and prices — fell to 45.9 in April from 47.7 the previous month. Anything below 50 indicates a contraction in activity. Germany's index slumped to 46.2, its lowest level since the summer of 2009.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.8%.
- HSBC said that its manufacturing purchasing managers index for China rose to 49.1 in April from 48.3 in March. The index has remained below 50, the level indicating expansion, since October.