NEW YORK, Oct 3 — US stocks treaded water today after losing three per cent in the past two sessions on data that pointed to the risk of a slide into recession, with investor attention now squarely on services data.
The ISM’s non-manufacturing activity index is likely to show a reading of 55 in September, down from 56.4 in August. Market participants will also focus on a pivotal jobs report tomorrow after dismal manufacturing and hiring data showed the US-China trade war was hurting the US economy.
“We are really counting on the consumer to kind of carry us through here amid the slow patch in manufacturing,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St Petersburg, Florida.
Brown said a rebound in the services sector in August from its weakest level in nearly three years was indicative of the health of the overall economy, but “markets are going to be pretty sensitive to any surprise on the downside.”
The gloomy economic data over the last couple of days has led to two straight days of a more than one per cent drop in the benchmark S&P 500 for the first time this year and set the Dow on course for its worst week in four months.
The benchmark index is now nearly five per cent below its all-time high hit in July even though it came within striking distance of that level two weeks ago.
PepsiCo Inc rose 2.1 per cent after the company beat quarterly expectations as higher advertising and new low-calorie versions of Gatorade boosted demand for its beverages in North America.
Its shares propped up the consumer staples sector by 0.3 per cent, which led gains among nine of the 11 major S&P sectors trading higher.
At 9.38am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.96 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 26,055.66, the S&P 500 was up 1.15 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 2,888.76. The Nasdaq Composite was up 6.95 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 7,792.19.
Leading the decliners on the S&P 500 was Corona maker Constellation Brands Inc, which fell about 4.2 per cent as it took a US$839 million (RM3.5 billion) write down in the value of its investment in pot firm Canopy Growth during the quarter. However, the company raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.
Tesla Inc shares dropped 5.3 per cent as the electric-car maker’s quarterly deliveries missed analysts’ estimates.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.29-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.03-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and 12 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded no new highs and 33 new lows. — Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online