Trade mixed after job openings suggest a cooling economy

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo Commercial License Rights

  • Take-Two Interactive comes on ‘GTA VI’ trailer release
  • CVS Health rises after positive annual revenue outlook
  • Index: S&P 500 -0.12%, Nasdaq +0.12%, Dow -0.24%

Dec 5 (Reuters) – Wall Street was mixed on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq rising and the S&P 500 falling after fresh jobs data bolstered bets that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates as soon as March.

Data showed that the number of U.S. job openings fell in October to the lowest level since early 2021, indicating that the labor market was easing, while activity in the U.S. service sector increased in November.

“As interest rates rise and demand slows, companies are pulling back on job openings, which is essentially what the Fed wants,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.

“The Fed is probably done raising interest rates, and the only outstanding question is when they start cutting,” Stovall said.

US stock trading this week has been mixed after the S&P 500 rose nearly 9% in November. The index on Friday hit a four-month intra-day high.

Stock market investors generally expect the Fed to keep interest rates unchanged at next week’s meeting. Interest rate futures also suggest a 65% probability of a rate cut at the Fed’s March meeting, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

On Friday, the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report for November will provide more clarity on the state of the labor market.

Megacap stocks rose as Treasury yields fell to multi-month lows. Nvidia ( NVDA.O ), Amazon.com ( AMZN.O ), Tesla ( TSLA.O ) and Apple ( AAPL.O ) rose more than 1%.

Global markets will be affected by greater volatility in 2024 as the Fed cuts benchmark interest rates fewer times than futures markets are pricing in, strategists at the BlackRock Investment Institute predicted in a panel discussion. The S&P 500 fell 0.12% to 4,564.31 points.

The Nasdaq rose 0.12% to 14,202.26 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.24% to 36,117.78 points.

Of the 11 S&P 500 sector indexes, nine fell, led lower by materials (.SPLRCM), down 1.18%, followed by a 1.04% loss in energy (.SPNY).

The small-cap Russell 2000 index (.RUT) fell 1.2%, on course to end a four-day winning streak.

Take-Two Interactive Software ( TTWO.O ) fell 1.6% after a trailer for the latest installment of its best-selling “Grand Theft Auto” video game franchise was released.

CVS Health ( CVS.N ) jumped 4.3% after forecasting 2024 revenue above Wall Street estimates, as the insurer expects to benefit from its expansion into health services.

Declining stocks outnumbered advancing stocks within the S&P 500 (.AD.SPX) by a 4.4 to 1 ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new highs and no new lows; The Nasdaq recorded 72 new highs and 55 new lows.

Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar A in Bangalore and by Noel Randewich in Oakland, California; Editing by Pooja Desai and Aurora Ellis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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