Stock market today: Dow wobbles on mixed economic data ahead of jobs report

  • Stock Market News
Stock market today: Dow wobbles on mixed economic data ahead of jobs report
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim -- The Dow slipped Thursday following a Powell-fueled rally a day earlier as investors weighed up mixed economic data underscoring weak manufacturing activity and a still resilient consumer ahead of a key jobs report due Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.56%, or 154 points, the Nasdaq gained 0.13% and the  S&P 500 was down 0.1%.

Manufacturing activity  slipped into contraction in November, falling below a reading of 50 for the first time since May 2020.

Treasury yields fell sharply as fears mount that the economy could be set for a deeper recession next year, even as the consumer remains resilient.  

Personal spending was in line with forecasts in October, underpinned by lower fuel prices, while inflation unexpectedly slipped last month.  

Financials, meanwhile, were the biggest drag on the broader market, paced by a decline in banking stocks as falling Treasury yields tend to weigh on net interest margin -- the difference between the interest income generated by banks and the amount of interest paid out to depositors.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF ), SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ: SIVB ), and Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC ) slumped with the latter down more than 2%.

Tech stocks modestly added to gains from a surge a day earlier, with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) ending the day above the flatline despite ongoing worry about the impact of lower iPhone production.

Piper Sandler cut its forecast on fourth-quarter iPhone sales to 74 million units, down from a previous estimate of 83 million amid supply chain woes in China.

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX ), however, continued to rack up gains, rising about 4%.

Elsewhere in tech, Salesforce (NYSE: CRM ) plunged 8% after unexpectedly announcing the departure of co-chief executive Bret Taylor.

On the earnings front, Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST ) fell more than 6% after reporting weaker than expected sales for November, raising worries about consumer spending in the run-up to the key holiday quarter.

Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG ), meanwhile, cut its outlook on profit after reporting quarterly earnings that fell short of Wall Street estimates, sending its shares almost 8% lower.

Economic data will likely continue to garner the bulk of attention as monthly jobs data is expected to show the economy produced less jobs in November than the prior month.

“Nonfarm payroll employment growth likely slowed to 180,000 in November from 261,000 in October as evidence continues to build that increasing uncertainty is affecting hiring activity,” Nomura said in a note.

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