NEW YORK - Stocks opened little changed Wednesday after a survey showed that U.S. companies added slightly more jobs in February than in the previous month. The Standard & Poor's 500 surged to an all-time high a day earlier with its biggest gain since October.
The S&P 500 was unchanged at 1,874 as of 10:59 a.m. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 23 points to 16,374. The Nasdaq composite rose two points to 4,354.
Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 139,000 jobs last month, up from 127,000 in January, however January's figure was revised sharply lower from an original estimate of 175,000. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often differ from the government's more comprehensive survey of the U.S. employment market. The Department of Labor releases its monthly report Friday. Economists believe the U.S. will report that employers generated 145,000 jobs in February.
Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniel's Whiskey and other alcoholic drinks, rose $2.60, or 3.1 percent, to $86.68 after the company reported earnings that beat analyst's expectations and raised its full-year earnings forecast.
The stock market fluctuated wildly in the first two days of this week as investors followed the developments in Ukraine. Stocks slumped on Monday as tensions rose after Russia sent troops into the Crimea region of Ukraine. The market rebounded on Tuesday, climbing to a record high after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops participating in military exercises near Ukraine to return to their bases.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 2.70 percent from Tuesday. The price of oil fell 58 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $102.76 a barrel. Gold fell 70 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $1,337.20 an ounce.