U.S. stocks are falling after stronger than expected jobs data stoked rate fears
By Liz Moyer
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks were falling after new employment data came in stronger than expected, stoking fears that the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates higher for longer.
At 10:32 ET (15:32 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 322 points, or 1%, while the S&P 500 was down 1% and the NASDAQ Composite was down 1.1%.
ADP ’s private payroll report said employers added 235,000 jobs in December, after rising by 127,000 jobs in November. Analysts had expected additions of 150,000. At the same time the number of people seeking new unemployment claims fell from the prior week.
Both data reports add to Wednesday’s disclosure that the number of job openings in the U.S. was higher than expected, further evidence of a still-tight labor market.
The Fed has been closely watching labor market data as it decides on the direction of interest rate increases to tame inflation. The Fed has already signaled rates would stay higher for a prolonged period, though it seems to be on a path of slowing the pace of its rate hikes. Its December decision raised rates by a half-percentage point, slower than the previous four meetings. Analysts expect it will raise rates again in February, but by a quarter of a percentage point.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is expected to speak later today. His appearance comes after Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Wednesday published an essay that said further tightening is needed.
Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN ) shares were down 1.6% after the e-commerce giant said it would cut 18,000 jobs from its corporate office. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA ) shares fell 6.4% after a quarterly loss tied to charges for opioid litigation.
Shares of home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ: BBBY ) sank 23% after it said it was considering options including a bankruptcy filing.
Oil rose. Crude Oil WTI Futures was up 0.5% to $73.25 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures was up 0.6% to $78.36 a barrel. Gold Futures fell 1.3% to $1,834.
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