S&P 500 Slips, Led by Tech Wreck After November Job Gains Fall Short
By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The S&P 500 fell Friday, after data showed job gains fell well short of estimates in November at time when concerns about the impact of Omicron on economic growth continue to dominate investor sentiment.
The S&P 500 fell 1.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.76%, or 261 points, the Nasdaq fell 2.5%.
“It was a colossal miss,” Darren Schuringa, CEO of ASYMmetric ETFs said in an interview with Investing.com, referring to weaker-than-expected job gains in November. “When I look at these numbers now, it is concerning for me from an economic strength standpoint.”
Nonfarm payrolls increased 210,000 in November, well below economists’ expectations for 550,000 new jobs.
Still, a deeper dive into the monthly jobs report pointed to signs of the strength in the labor market. The unemployment rate fell more than expected to 4.2% as the labor force participation rate rose 0.2% to 61.8% last month.
While the weakness in hiring “could complicate the discussion at the Federal Reserve … [Fed] officials seem to be leaning toward faster monetary policy normalization in response to high inflation,” Desjardins said in a note.
Technology stocks were among the hardest hit, with Microsoft leading the selloff in big tech.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) fell nearly 3%, while Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ), and Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) were down 2%.
Chip stocks also exacerbated the selling in the broader tech as Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ) slipped more than 5% after the Federal Trade Commission sued to block its proposed $40 billion takeover of chipmaker ARM Holdings (LON: ARM ), citing competition concerns.
“[W]e see the FTC's decision to sue to block the deal as almost certainly ending the chances of any acquisition,” Wedbush said in a note.
DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU ), meanwhile, plunged 40% after its softer fourth-quarter guidance suggested the e-signature company is unlikely to sustain its pandemic-fueled growth.
In other news, Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ: PTON ) gave up earlier gains and followed the market lower despite Deustche Bank issuing a buy rating on the stock amid expectations that a hybrid approach to fitness – at home and at the gym – is a possibility.
“[W]e think the hybrid work model extends to fitness, too, and that PTON [Peloton] has plenty of momentum to regain operationally,” Deutsche Bank said in a note.
Financials, meanwhile, were pushed lower by a slump in banks as the Treasury yields fell sharply, with the 10-year yield falling below 1.4%.
SVB Financial (NASDAQ: SIVB ), First Republic (NYSE: FRC ), Citizens Financial (NYSE: CFG ) were among the hardest hit regional banks as falling yields tend to keep a lid on net interest income generated by banks.
The slumps in Treasury yields come as investors flag concerns about the outlook for the economy as the Fed appears ready to step up monetary policy tightening at a time when the new omicron variant could threaten growth.
Yet, if the new variant turns out to be less impactful than feared and supply chain woes continue to ease, the broader market could resume its trend higher.
"If the borders remain open, and supply chain [problems] continue to unravel, then that would support the markets moving higher from here," Schuringa said.
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