Indexes Mostly Hold Steady, but Stocks Fall Before Jobs Report

Market is 'waiting for clarity,' analyst says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 6, 2022 4:00 PM CDT
Indexes Mostly Hold Steady, but Stocks Fall Before Jobs Report
The New York Stock Exchange building is seen last month.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A choppy day of trading Thursday ended with stocks broadly lower on Wall Street, though indexes have managed to hold onto most of their sizeable gains from a big rally at the start of the week. The S&P 500 fell 1%, to 3,744.52, after having been up 0.4% in the early going. The benchmark index is up 4.4% for the week following its best two-day rally since the spring of 2020. The selling was widespread, with roughly 80% of the stocks in the S&P 500 ending in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1%, closing at 29,926.94, while the Nasdaq composite lost 0.7%, slipping to 11,073.31. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks closed 0.6% lower, the AP reports.

Treasury yields gained ground and put more pressure on stocks. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which helps set rates for mortgages and many other kinds of loans, rose to 3.81% from 3.75% late Wednesday. The yield on the two-year Treasury, which more closely tracks expectations for Federal Reserve action, rose to 4.22% from 4.14% late Monday. Investors were reviewing the latest data on jobs, which showed more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. Traders will be watching closely on Friday when the government releases its monthly job market data.

The labor market remains strong in the face of persistent inflation and a slowing overall U.S. economy. That's good for job hunters but could give the Federal Reserve more reason to keep raising interest rates in its bid to crush inflation. Wall Street is eager for definitive signs that inflation is on the wane and the central bank can finally ease back on its rate hikes. "We still have very, very hot inflation, and there's nothing slowing the Fed anytime soon," said Paul Kim, CEO of Simplify ETFs. "And the market's just waiting for clarity. And that's why you're seeing a little bit of choppiness, but no real clear direction."

(More stock market stories.)

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