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Slowing labor market recovery weighs on stocks

Published 11/25/2020, 12:18 PM
Updated 11/25/2020, 12:30 PM

The Dow fell back below 30,000 minutes after the market opened Wednesday, one day after the index breached the major milestone for the first time. The blue chip index and the S&P 500 got off to a negative start after an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims signaled the labor market recovery was stalling amid a rise in COVID-19 infections. Investors also brushed off the report showing a half-percent rise in consumer spending last month.

Tech was about the only bright spot, nudging the Nasdaq higher in early trading. But energy, financials and industrials dragged the Dow and S&P 500 lower.

Multivariate economist Max Wolff has been skeptical of the market’s recent surge.

“I think we’re partying for something that hasn’t quite arrived with a tough intermediate period. And I don’t think the market has the earnings or the earnings growth to justify this.”

The biggest decliner on the broader index: Gap. Shares plunged by nearly a fifth after the apparel retailer’s quarterly profit fell short of analysts estimates. A pivot to online sales drove up marketing and shipping costs.

But investors snapped up shares of HP (NYSE:HPQ), pushing the stock up for a third straight session. At least five brokerages hiked their price targets after the PC maker’s quarterly revenue beat expectations.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares fell the day after its valuation topped the half trillion-dollar mark. The electric auto maker is issuing two recalls covering about 9,500 vehicles for roof trim that may separate and bolts that may not have been properly tightened.

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