Stocks slip on troubling jobs reports in U.S., Europe

When jobs fall, the stock market follows.

That was the message investors sent Wednesday, when they ignored a few flashes of positive news about the economy and instead homed in on troubling reports about jobs in the U.S. and Europe.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 87 points before ending the day down 10.75 points, at 13,268.57.

While the market’s day-to-day fluctuations may be difficult to predict, some investors say they’re certain that stocks will continue an overall climb for the rest of the year.

“The market has room to run,” said Karyn Cavanaugh, market strategist with ING Investment Management in New York. “It doesn’t always go up in a straight line.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 3.51 points to 1,402.31. The Nasdaq composite index was the outlier. It fell throughout the morning, then finished up 9.41 points at 3,059.85.

A monthly report on private sector hiring was weighing heavily on the minds of investors, who see jobs as the key ingredient to an economic recovery.

Payroll processor ADP said that U.S. businesses added 119,000 jobs in April, far fewer than the 201,000 added in March. However, investors will probably wait until Friday, when the government releases its own data on April jobs, before drawing any firm conclusions about the month.

Company wants to import, treat radioactive waste

A waste management company has applied to the federal government for a license to import up to 500 tons of radioactive waste from Mexico to south-central Washington, where the waste will be incinerated and the resulting ash returned to Mexico.

This isn’t the first application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to import foreign radioactive waste, but it’s among several recent proposals that have generated little opposition because the waste won’t be permanently stored in the U.S.

In 2009, a proposal to import thousands of tons of radioactive waste from Italy, treat it and ultimately store the remnants in Utah was abandoned following public outcry.

The latest application was filed April 3 by Atlanta-based Perma-Fix Environmental Solutions Inc. A public comment period on the application ends today.

Shell Alaska gets permits to work near whales, seals

A spokesman for Shell Alaska says the company is a step closer to exploratory drilling off Alaska’s northern shores.

Curtis Smith says the National Marine Fisheries Service on Wednesday issued the company harassment authorizations for whales and seals.

He says the permits give the company authorization to work near the animals as long as the impact is minimal.

Shell hopes to drill up to three exploratory wells this summer in the Chukchi Sea and two wells in the Beaufort Sea using two drill ships assisted by support vessels.

Exploratory drilling is strongly opposed by environmental groups and some Alaska Native groups that claim oil companies have not demonstrated that they can clean up a spill in ice-choked waters and that industrial drilling will harm species already stressed by climate warming.

– From news service reports