Check out the brief list below for an overview of the important developments on the markets on Wednesday.
- Productivity measures in the U.S. jumped during the second quarter, posting a 3.3% increase in productivity among American workers during Q2. The quarterly numbers were revised sharply upward after initially being reported around 1.3%.
- The ADP payrolls report reveals that the labor market added 190,000 jobs during August. This was below expectations of 201,000 and follows a downward revision of July's payrolls to just 177,000 new jobs. This is two consecutive months of sub-200,000 figures from the ADP, after the economy added more than 200,000 jobs in 9 of the previous 11 months.
- European stock indices were up modestly by Wednesday's closing bell, breaking a three-day losing streak for the region's major stock averages. Equities in the U.S. bounced back even stronger, nearly recovering all of Tuesday's losses (almost 3%).
- Antitrust regulators in the European Union clear the way for Royal Dutch Shell to complete a $70-billion merger with the energy company BG Group (U.K.) that was agreed upon in April.
- Even as major firms around the world (across nearly all industries) struggle to squeeze out profits amid the ongoing global economic slowdown, iconic toy-maker Lego stands out, enjoying rising sales so far in 2015.