Wall Street Ends Directionless Awaiting U.S. Jobs

Wall Street Ends Directionless Awaiting U.S. Jobs

The Dow Jones index lost 0.48% to 34,721.91 points and the S&P 500 lost 0.16% to 4,597.66 points, while the Nasdaq gained 0.11% to 14,034.97 points.

In a sparse trading session leading up to the Labor Day long weekend, the market processed another inflation gauge, tempered by expectations from Friday’s pivotal report on job creation for the month of August.

“We had a nice rally in the market last week, now the market is taking a break to process this increase, which is completely normal and healthy in light of the key employment report numbers,” Adam Sarhan told AFP of 50 Park Investments.

Analysts expect the number of new hires to slow to 173,000, while the unemployment rate will rise slightly to 3.6%.

Stock market gains from recent sessions helped limit losses from a difficult month for indices, which ended with a month-to-month decline of more than 1%.

On Thursday, the Department of Commerce released the state of household spending and income for July, showing a stronger-than-expected increase in spending (+0.8%).

The PCE inflation index, based on this consumer spending, was as expected over the month at +0.2%. In one year, however, price increases accelerated to 3.3%, up from 3% in June, according to this barometer the Federal Reserve (Fed) prefers to measure price movements.

According to Ben Ayers, an economist at Nationwide, the rise in prices, especially services, “challenges the idea that the slowdown is at work and could worry Fed officials as the committee meeting approaches. The central bank’s monetary policy in September”.

Oanda’s Craig Erlam said inflation numbers were “in line with expectations and good enough to allow the Fed to raise rates next month”. “It’s okay for now, but a lot of improvement is still needed in the coming months,” the analyst added.

Among other indicators of the day, the PMI index of activity in the Chicago industrial region improved in August (48.7 points from 42.8 the previous month), but was still in recession.

The number of weekly jobless claims fell by 4,000 to 228,000.

In the bond market, ten-year government bond yields fell to 4.09% from 4.11% the day before. Nevertheless, the dollar strengthened.

On the stock side, Salesforce, the software giant for customer relationships, posted stronger-than-expected earnings and revenues and raised its full-year revenue forecast to $34.8 billion, largely driven by its artificial intelligence development. The stock rose 2.99% to $221.46.

The title Shopify was highly sought after (+10.80% to $66.49), after the group of services dedicated to e-commerce signed an agreement with Amazon to use its logistics network.

Shares in discount chain Dollar General plunged 12.16% to $138.49 after the group, like many retailers, lowered its sales and earnings outlook for the year, again citing more cautious consumers and an increase in theft. Competitor Dollar Tree lost 1.71%.

Cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase fell 5.05% in the wake of a decline in bitcoin (-3.98% at 20:20 GMT) and following strong gains since Tuesday following a court decision that should authorize the grand dame of the stock market police officer, the SEC, the listing of bitcoin-based investment products (ETFs).

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