Stocks opened little changed on Wednesday as a 15-percent drop in shares of Freeport-McMoRan (FCX.N) following acquisition announcements offset optimism about a global economic recovery spurred by comments from China's new leader.
The ADP National Employment Report showed that private sector hiring took a hit in November because the impact of Hurricane Sandy hurt business activity in the north east.
A separate report on the U.S. services sector showed a similar dip in hiring during the month of November, but economic indicators pointed to faster growth as a rise in new orders and business activity helped offset a fall in employment and prices.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI added 16.20 points, or 0.13 percent, to 12,967.98. The S&P 500 .SPX edged up 0.50 points, or 0.04 percent, to 1,407.55. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dipped 3.95 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,992.73.