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Stock Market Today: Dow ends flat as investors on edge ahead of jobs report

Published 10/05/2023, 04:09 PM
© Reuters.
- -- The Dow closed roughly unchanged Thursday as investors remain on edge over higher for longer interest rates just ahead of the Friday jobs report that will play a role in shaping the Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to raise rates next month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.03%, 11 points, Nasdaq fell 0.1%, and the S&P 500 fell 0.1%.

Labor market continues to offer mixed signals ahead of Friday’s jobs report; Treasury remain near highs

Fewer than expected jobless claims in the week ended Sept. 23 added to mixed picture on the labor market including surprise uptick in labor demand and slowing private job growth seen so far this week.

The jobs report on Friday is set to offer further insight into the labor market that has remain resilient and proven a thrown in the Fed’s side to bring inflation under control.

The U.S. economy is expected to have created about 170,000 jobs last month, with wage growth likely to have ticked up by 0.1% for the month, but remain steady in the 12 months through September.

The recent strikes from UAW members at the big three U.S.  automakers isn't expected to be reflected in the September report. 

"We do not assume a drag from labor disputes, because the United Auto Workers strike started after the beginning of the survey week," Goldman Sachs said in a recent note. 

Treasury yields retreated again on Thursday, though remain at multi-year highs as investors wary of upside to resume as a stronger jobs report on Friday could signal that the Fed has more work to do restrict growth.

Clorox slumps on cutting outlook to pressure consumer staples

Clorox Co (NYSE:CLX) fell more than 5%. leading consumer staples lower, a day after the products maker said impact of the cyber attack in August was expected to hurt growth.

The company now sees net sales decreasing by 23% to 28% and a loss of 35 to 75 cents for the quarter ended Sept. 30. The cyber attack has impacted operations, inventory, and supply chains, weighing on production.

The softer guidance on growth fueled bearish commentary from Wall Street as some question whether the company will still be able raise prices to boost growth.

“Irrespective of the impact of this incident, we continue to believe the risk/reward for Clorox skews negative from here given our lack of conviction in the sustainability of CLX's +3-5% organic algorithm as pricing fades,” UBS said in a note.

Rivian tanks on $1.5B fundraising plans; Lamb Weston jumps on better-than-expected quarterly results

Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ:RIVN) tumbled 22% reported late-Wednesday after detailing plans to raise $1.5 billion in convertible notes. The plans to tap the market for funds – to support the upcoming launch of its R2 sports utility vehicle came earlier than some had expected.

The electric car maker also said it expected third-quarter sales of about $1.31 billion, just shy of analysts estimates for $1.32B.

Lamb Weston Holdings Inc (NYSE:LW), meanwhile, rose 10% after the French fry supplier reported quarterly that beat Wall Street esitmates on both the top and bottom lines as price hikes and solid demand bolstered performance.

Instacart slips loses steam as Bernstein flags rising competition as threat to growth

Instacart ( Maplebear Inc.) (NASDAQ:CART) fell 4% after Bernstein started coverage of the grocery delivery platform at market perform and flagged concerns about the impact rising competition will have on the company’s digital advertising unit.

Instacart, which generates about 30% of its revenue from adverting, will likely face challenges to grow market share and ad dollars “as the competitive intensity of the sector is increasing," Bernstein said in a note.

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