Stock Market Today: Dow ends Q3 lower as rising rates, US shutdown fears bite

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Stock Market Today: Dow ends Q3 lower as rising rates, US shutdown fears bite
Credit: © Reuters. -- The Dow closed lower Friday, ending September and the third quarter with a loss as mounting fears about higher for longer Federal Reserve interest rates and a government shutdown rattled investor sentiment.       

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5%, 158 points, taking losses to about 2.7% for the third quarter. The  Nasdaq rose 0.1%, and the  S&P 500 fell 0.2%, but ended the quarter about 3.6% and 3.7% respectively. 

Government shutdown nears

The House of Representatives failed to pass a short-term spending measure Friday that would have kept the government open until Oct. 31, stoking fears that a government shutdown on Oct. 1 is increasing likely.

A government shutdown is now almost priced in, Morgan Stanley says, and could dent fourth-quarter economic growth.

“A government shutdown is near-consensus in DC, but the question is how long it will last. We “A government shutdown presents the risk that 4Q GDP growth could be negative. They continue to see the Fed on extended hold into 1Q24,” Morgan Stanley added.

Cooling Inflation helps push Treasury yields lower

The core personal consumption expenditures price index , the Fed's preferred inflation measure, slowed to 0.1% from 0.2%, stoking investor optimism that the tide is starting to turn in the Fed’s fight to bring down inflation.

The ongoing slowdown in “core inflation, the basis for guiding monetary policy, continues on a disinflationary trend, perpetuating the notion the Fed is at or near its terminal level,” Stifel said in a note.

The inflation data pressured Treasury yields, but they still remain supported by expectations that the Fed is set to keep rates higher for longer. The 10-year yield soaredabout 20% on the quarter after dropping below 4% in early July. 

Big tech trades mixed despite easing Treasury yields

Big tech, which has suffered a hit from rising Treasury yields in recent weeks, traded mixed, with Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) and Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META ) leading to the downside, despite the retreat in yields.  

Tech stocks ended the quarter nearly 6% lower. 

Big three US automakers slip as UAW expands strikes at GM, Ford, but spares Stellantis

The United Auto Workers, or UAW, union expected strikes against General Motors Company (NYSE: GM ) and Ford Motor (NYSE: F ) on Friday, but not at Stellantis NV (NYSE: STLA ), citing progress in recent talks.

“Stellantis is made significant progress on the 2009 cost of living allowance, the right not to cross a picket line, as well as the right to strike over product commitments and plant closures and outsourcing moratoriums,”  said UAW President Shawn Fain.

After averting a expanded strike at its plants last week, Ford are back “on the bad side of the UAW,” Wedbush says.

The expanded strikes will target Ford's Assembly plant in Illinois and GM's Lansing plant, adding “another 7,000 union workers to strike joining the current 18k UAW workers across the US,” it added.

Nike jumps after earnings blowout Q1 earnings

Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE ) reported blowout fiscal first-quarter earnings that offset a miss on revenue, stoking optimism among Wall Street and sending the athletic apparel giant more than 6% higher.

Nike also forecast fiscal Q2 revenue to be up slightly form the same period last year, which if it manages to achieve will positively shift investor sentiment on the stock.

Investors likely become less concerned around China macro, running category share loss, and elevated inventory levels in favor of getting excited about a stabilizing top-line trajectory with an accelerating rate of margin expansion,” UBS said if it becomes clear that Nike can achieve its Q2 revenue guidance.

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