U.S. Stocks Mostly Lower Following Disappointing Jobs Data, GM Earnings
Stocks have moved mostly lower in morning trading on Wednesday, partly offsetting the upward move seen in the previous session. The Dow and the S&P 500 have moved to the downside, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has shown a lack of direction.
Currently, the Dow is down 197.94 points or 0.6 percent at 34,918.46 and the S&P 500 is down 13.11 points or 0.3 percent at 4,410.04. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq is slightly higher, up 4.26 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 14,765.56.
The weakness on Wall Street partly reflect renewed concerns about the pace of U.S. economic growth after payroll processor ADP released a report showing private sector employment increased by much less than expected in the month of July.
ADP said private sector employment rose by 330,000 jobs in July after surging by a downwardly revised 680,000 jobs in June.
Economists had expected private sector employment to spike by 695,000 jobs compared to the jump of 692,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly jobs report, which includes both public and private sector jobs.
Economists currently expect the report to show employment surged up by 880,000 jobs in July after spiking by 850,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent.
A steep drop by shares of General Motors (GM) is also weighing on Wall Street, with the auto giant plunging by 7.8 percent
The decline by GM comes after the company reported second quarter earnings missed analyst estimates, although the automaker still raised its full-year guidance.
The negative sentiment was partly offset by a report from the Institute for Supply management showing growth in U.S. service sector activity accelerated much more than expected in July.
The ISM said its services PMI jumped to an all-time high of 64.1 in July after pulling back to 60.1 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the sector. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 60.4.
Oil service stocks have moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 3.2 percent.
The sell-off by oil service stocks comes as the price of crude oil for September delivery is tumbling $1.48 to $69.08 a barrel following the release of a report showing an unexpected weekly increase in crude oil inventories.
The drop in crude oil prices is also weighing on oil producer stocks, with the NYSE Arca Oil Index falling by 1.8 percent.
Airline, networking and tobacco stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, while biotechnology stocks have shown a strong move to the upside.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Wednesday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and dipped by 0.2 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index both advanced by 0.9 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has jumped by 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both up by 0.3 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries saw initial strength but pulled back sharply following the upbeat service sector data. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3.8 basis points at 1.214 percent.
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