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S&P 500 Struggles for Direction Ahead of Jobs Report

Stock Markets Aug 04, 2022 02:28PM ET
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© Reuters

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com -- The S&P 500 flirted between gains and losses Thursday, as investors digested data pointing to a slowdown in the labor market just a day ahead of a crucial monthly jobs report that will offer clues on the health of the economy.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 0.3%, or 87 points, and the Nasdaq was up 0.21%.

The Department of Labor reported Thursday that 260,000 people filed for unemployment insurance in the week ended July 30, up 6,000 from the prior week, but in line with economists’ forecasts.

The data come ahead of Friday’s jobs report that will offer clues on the health of the economy following recent data showing the U.S. economy declined for a second-straight quarter.

Economists expect that the economy generated about 250,000 jobs in July, compared with 372,000 jobs the prior month.

The jobs report will also serve as a readthrough on the Federal Reserve’s likely path of action on monetary policy as the central bank has highlighted the strength of the labor market as evidence that the economy remains robust and is able to withstand further rate hikes.

Energy was the biggest drag on the broader market, down more than 2% as U.S. oil prices fell below $90 for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY), APA Corporation (NASDAQ:APA) were among the biggest decliners in the sector, with the latter down more than 8%.

Technology, however, cut losses keeping downside in the broader market in check as big tech traded mostly higher.

Elsewhere in tech, Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) gained more than 5% after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results despite the lockdowns in China holding back growth.

Consumer discretionary stocks were supported by a jump in Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) as investors look ahead to the latter’s shareholder meeting today. At the meeting, shareholders are expected to back the electric vehicle maker’s 3-for-1 stock split.

MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM), meanwhile, jumped more than 3% after reporting quarterly earnings that missed estimates, but revenue topped expectations after more than doubling in the second quarter.

Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG), however, fell 2% after reporting mixed quarterly results as earnings beat, but revenue fell short of expectations, sending its share more than 2% lower.

Homebuilders were also in the ascendency, lifting consumer stocks, after data showing mortgage rates fell below 5% to their lowest level since April as investors price in a less hawkish Federal Reserve.

DR Horton (NYSE:DHI), Lennar (NYSE:LEN) and PulteGroup Inc (NYSE:PHM) were up more than 3%.

In other news, Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) jumped more than 17% after the cryptocurrency exchange inked a partnership with BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) to allow the latter’s institutional clients to invest in bitcoin.

S&P 500 Struggles for Direction Ahead of Jobs Report
 

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Comments (8)
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Aug 04, 2022 4:32PM ET
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Laughingstock of the investing world.
carlos guo
carlos guo Aug 04, 2022 4:26PM ET
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Brandon's approval has dropped more than any other president in modern history, even with 24/7 North Korea-style propaganda from MSM. They have even tried to change the definition of "recession" 1984-style to gaslight for him. That is why on this site you only have a handful of democrats left. Similar to ballot mules that democrats used to rig the 2020 election, there are really just a handful of noisy democrats here who represent that sum 30% approval rating that Brandon has and try to make you think that 81 million people voted for him.
carlos guo
carlos guo Aug 04, 2022 4:26PM ET
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*sub
Kerry Ditto
Kerry Ditto Aug 04, 2022 4:15PM ET
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Market is struggling with technical resistance, but good job numbers will allow the market to break through the resistance tomorrow.
Kerry Ditto
Kerry Ditto Aug 04, 2022 4:11PM ET
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Maybe actual NFP number to be +400K?
First Last
First Last Aug 04, 2022 4:08PM ET
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Market just need Russia to rein back its aggression and douchiness to be saved.
carlos guo
carlos guo Aug 04, 2022 4:03PM ET
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The only hope to save this market from dropping another 20% is for an ongoing flow of more poor economic data so that the Fed has an excuse to steal more money from the lower/middle class through inflation and shift it to the pockets of Wall Street and the government.
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Aug 04, 2022 3:30PM ET
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How about that, another miracle "in late trade."  Fraudulent, criminally manipulated JOKE.
First Last
First Last Aug 04, 2022 3:30PM ET
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Market was flat today and you're triggered.
soho electronics
soho electronics Aug 04, 2022 3:18PM ET
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well 1 thing you can count on....the nasdaq can NEVER loose!
 
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