Market Snapshot: Dow down 300 points as stocks cut losses in afternoon trade after jobs data, hawkish Fed speaks hammer stocks

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Stock Market

U.S. stocks were lower Thursday, but coming off session lows in afternoon trade, as investors reacted to a fresh batch of labor-market data and more hawkish commentary from Federal Reserve officials. How are stocks trading
The S&P 500
SPX,
-0.90%
fell 31 points, or 0.8%, to 3,820.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.83%
shed 308 points, or 0.9%, to 32,961.

The Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-2.24%
declined 114 points, or 1.1%, to 10,344.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 133 points, or 0.4%, to 33,270, the S&P 500 increased 29 points, or 0.75%, to 3,853, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 72 points, or 0.69%, to 10,459. Wednesday’s gain cemented a meager Santa Claus rally for stocks, as MarketWatch reported.

The S&P 500 is on track to finish Friday with another weekly decline, what would be its fifth such loss in a row, the longest such streak since last spring. What’s driving markets Labor market data published Thursday suggested that employment is still healthy despite the Fed’s most aggressive interest-rate hikes in about four decades and despite news of mass layoffs at Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, Salesforce Inc. CRM, Genesis Global Trading Inc. and other technology companies. ADP private payrolls data showed 235,000 jobs were created in December, beating expectations for 153,000 new jobs, according to economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. The data also showed large increases in workers’ pay. Initial jobless benefit claims also declined last week to 204,000, the lowest level since September. Data on job openings released Wednesday showed more than 10 million job openings in the U.S., another sign that the labor market remains unperturbed despite the Fed’s rate hikes and layoffs by financial and technology firms. The reaction in stocks and bond yields was the latest example of the “good news is bad news” dynamic playing out in markets. “As long as we’re still in a rate-hiking cycle, good economic data is going to be bad news for markets,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B.Riley Wealth, in a phone interview with MarketWatch. On Friday, investors will receive the monthly non-farm payrolls report for December from the U.S. Labor Department. See: U.S. job growth seen slowing to 200,000 in December, but that’s still too much for the Fed “While we will get a better overall picture of the jobs market tomorrow, private payrolls beating expectations and jobless claims coming in below are indications that the labor market remains resilient,” said Mike Loewengart, head of model portfolio construction at Morgan Stanley Global Investment Office. Bill Adams, chief economist of Comerica Bank exp …

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