Stocks close lower as investors await September jobs report, Dow drops nearly 350 points
US stocks fell on Thursday as traders weighed the sharp swings in stocks and rates to start the month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 346.93 points, or 1.15%, to 29,926.94. The S&P 500 lost 1.02% to 3,744.52, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.68% to 11,073.31. All three stock indices opened the session lower. All major averages are poised to end the week up more than 4% for their best week since June 24.
Energy was the best performing sector with a gain of 1.8%. Utilities lagged, falling 3.3%.
The benchmark 10-year rate exceeded 3.8%. The 2-year rate, which is more sensitive to changes in monetary policy, exceeded 4.2%.
Investors are eagerly awaiting Friday’s jobs report, which will show how the labor market fared in September, giving the central bank another insight into its rate hike campaign. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the report to show payrolls rose by 275,000 and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%. An upside surprise could raise concerns that the Federal Reserve is taking a tougher line on inflation.
On Wednesday, ADP data showed the labor market remained strong among private businesses in September, when companies added 208,000 jobs, beating Wall Street estimates. But on Thursday, jobless claims were higher than expected, signaling that there may be some weakness in the labor market.
“Once again, investors are looking for bad news to be good news,” Wolfe Research’s Chris Senyek wrote in a Thursday note, adding that while September’s report came in below expectations, wage growth is still lagging. will likely hold and pivot from the Federal Reserve unlikely.
“While equities are currently subject to strong upside tears, we strongly believe that our medium-term bearish baseline scenario remains intact,” he added.
Wall Street started the week on a high, with the S&P 500 staging its biggest two-day rally since 2020. Stocks fought to maintain the winning streak on Wednesday, but ultimately failed. The Dow Jones closed down about 42 points, or 0.14%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.20% and 0.25% respectively.
Read the coverage of the mercado de hoy en español here.