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Stocks rise slightly after Wednesday’s sell-off

Stocks rise slightly after Wednesday’s sell-off

05 Aug 2021

The major U.S. equity indexes were mildly higher Thursday morning as Wall Street looked to improve upon a mixed week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 130 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 added 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite was flat.

The moves in the stocks came after a mostly lower regular session on Wednesday. The Dow dropped more than 300 points, or 0.9%, and closed near its session low. The S&P 500 slipped about 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite ticked up 0.1%.

Weekly initial jobless claims came in at 385,000 on Thursday, in-line with expectations. Recent earnings and economic data have been strong overall, but some economists worry economic growth and employment gains will taper from here.

The jobless claims data was the last reading before the key July jobs report, which will be released on Friday morning. There is a wide range of estimates from economists and what the report will show, and some metrics for employment gains have disappointed despite a high level of reported job openings.

“Many factors are likely driving worker shortages; concerns about catching the virus, childcare responsibilities, skills mismatches, and generous unemployment insurance benefits,” PNC Senior Economist Abbey Omodunbi said in an email. In the second half of the year, “more competition for workers, particularly in the leisure and hospitality sector, will support acceleration in wage growth, boosting household incomes and consumer spending.”

The results of an ADP private payroll survey released Wednesday showed a gain of 330,000 jobs for July, well short of the consensus estimate of 653,000. The Labor Department’s official jobs report, which typically has more impact on investors, will be released on Friday. Economists expect the report will show the U.S. added 845,000 in non-farm payrolls in July, about even with the previous month, according to Dow Jones estimates.

The 10-year Treasury yield was trading down slightly near 1.17% on Thursday. The yield briefly dipping below 1.13% on Wednesday before bouncing back in late morning trading.

Shares of Roku and Uber dropped after each issued quarterly earnings results. Etsy fell 12% in premarket trading after the company gave guidance for the current quarter that indicated the pandemic-fueled commerce boom may be coming to an end. Uber was off by 3% in premarket trading.

However, earnings season has been strong overall. Goldman Sachs raised its year-end target for the S&P 500 to 4,700, representing 7% upside, in part due to an improving earnings outlook going.

During regular trading Wednesday, shares of Robinhood surged 50%, continuing a volatile jump after last week’s soft initial public offering. Semiconductor stocks were another bright spot, with Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices rising.