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US stocks slide as traders weigh mixed data on the US economy

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Wall Street stocks fell on Wednesday as investors analyzed a mixed mix of US economic data and Hawkish commentary from a leading US central banker.

The S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent in early trading after closing at a record high on Tuesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was flat.

The sultry trading session came as investors pondered a closely watched report from the Institute for Supply Management that showed that activity growth in America’s massive service sector has spiked over the past month, exceeding Wall Street expectations. The bullish data contrasted with a less bullish survey of factory executives earlier this week.

Traders also received a disappointing report on the US labor market on Wednesday. Private employers created 330,000 new jobs in July, mostly in the service sector, according to data released Wednesday by contract processor ADP. The number fell well short of Wall Street’s forecast of 695,000 and its lowest growth in five months as labor and material shortages weighed on employers.

Also on the economic front, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the Federal Reserve should position itself to hike rates in early 2023 as the economic recovery from the pandemic remains on track.

US Treasuries fell in response, with the 10-year benchmark yield rising as much as 0.03 percentage points to 1.2 percent after hitting lows of 1.14 percent at the start of the session.

In Europe, the nationwide Stoxx 600 index climbed 0.6 percent after hitting a new high in early trading, while the UK’s FTSE 100 also gained 0.3 percent. European stocks were led by technology, financial services, and travel and leisure stocks.

Markets in Asia had rallied despite the rapid spread of Covid-19, with stocks in the Hong Kong Hang Seng index rising more than 0.8 percent after hitting a two-week high at the start of the session while the CSI 300 stock index was listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen gained 0.9 percent.

The Hang Seng Tech Index, which includes Chinese internet giant Tencent, rose 2.4 percent and rebounded after criticism of the technology and games industry from Chinese authorities pushed down online gaming companies’ prices. Tencent, which cost nearly $ 60 billion in market cap 11 percent on Monday, rose 2.4 percent on Tuesday.

Brent crude fell 2.7 percent to $ 70.46 a barrel in another bumpy session.

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