The US stock market opened lower Wednesday, despite private payrolls showing a strong increase in September.

The Dow Jones fell 124 points, or 0.36%, to 34,189 at 9.36 p.m. EDT, while the S&P 500 was down 19, or 0.44%, to 4,326.

The Nasdaq was off 77, or 0.54%, to 14,356 as pharmaceutical firms Moderna and Novavax lost 3.7% and 1.8%, respectively.

The decline in markets came despite US private payrolls increasing 568,000 in September, beating market expectations, according to ADP Research Institute’s national employment report.

Analysts expected a rise of 428,000, while the figure for August was revised down from 374,000 to 340,000.

But the strong jobs report indicates that the Federal Reserve will soon begin tapering — the process of scaling back its $120 billion monthly bond purchases. And it may increase interest rates sooner than market estimates.

With those worries, the VIX volatility index, known as the fear index, rose 5.4% to 22.45.

The yield on 10-year US Treasury notes was down 0.9% to 1.517%, while the dollar index rose 0.34% to 94.30.

Crude prices reversed course and were in retreat from their three-year highs with more than a 1.6% decline. Brent crude was trading at $81.22 per barrel and the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $77.55.

Precious metals were mixed with gold falling 0.14% to $1,757 per ounce, but silver added 0.7% to $22.47.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, continued its rally by soaring 8.2% to $54,400.

The total value of the digital coin market stood at $2.29 trillion with Bitcoin dominating with a 44.7% share, according to data by digital asset price-tracking website CoinMarketCap.

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