Wall Street shares edged up in a moderate start to September
Shares edged higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street on Wednesday as investors continue to monitor the latest economic data to get a better idea of the way forward for economic recovery.
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.3% at 1:55 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 12 points, or less than 0.1%, to 35,374 and the Nasdaq rose 0.8%.
Technology and communications stocks made strong gains that helped lift an otherwise turbulent market. The apple rose 1.5%.
Investors weighed in on a weak poll from the ADP payroll processor that showed U.S. companies were creating jobs at a much slower rate than economists had expected. The weak report follows a disappointing consumer confidence survey on Tuesday and precedes the Labor Department’s release of its August jobs report on Friday.
“Friday’s (employment) numbers will be looked at very carefully across the board,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.
The report is expected to provide more clues to the strength of the labor market and could give investors a clearer idea of whether the Federal Reserve will decide at its next September meeting on a timeframe to cut the $ 120 billion d ‘bond purchases she makes every month. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has indicated that the central bank will continue to keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future, even when it cuts bond buying.
Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, reported that growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector accelerated in August despite companies still struggling with supply chain issues. ‘supply. Supply chain issues, along with job improvements, are key factors in how investors assess the direction and potential impact of inflation, Martin said.
The broader market has been pushing higher year round, with the S&P 500 closing August with its seventh consecutive monthly gain, marking its longest winning streak since early 2018. Much of the momentum has been supported by low interest rates favoring investment in equities and a steady economic recovery, but investors are increasingly cautious.
The more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 has raised concerns that consumers will cut back on spending and that a much-needed recovery in the labor market will stop.
The focus on broader economic data comes as the market calms down after a strong corporate earnings season.
Elsewhere, oil prices fell 1%, putting some weight on energy stocks. Occidental Petroleum fell 2.2%. Copper prices fell 2.2% and pushed some copper mining companies down.
PVH, which owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, jumped 15% after raising its profit forecast for the year. Other big-gain stocks included video compression chip maker Ambarella, which gained 27% after posting strong second-quarter financial results.
Bond yields remained stable. The 10-year Treasury yield remained at 1.30% on Tuesday night.
The markets in Europe and Asia were mostly higher.