June 16th, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street edges higher ahead of services sector data

By Yuri Kageyama And Matt Ott, The Associated Press on June 5, 2024.

The New York Stock Exchange, center, is shown on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. Shares in Europe and Asia were mostly lower on Tuesday after a report showed that U.S. manufacturing contracted in May. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are ticking higher ahead of the latest data that could show how much the economy is slowing. The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in early trading Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 42 points, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.7%. A report due out later in the morning will show how construction, finance and other businesses in the U.S. services sector are faring. Earlier, a report suggested hiring slowed last month by more than economists expected at employers outside the government. Treasury yields were holding relatively steady in the bond market.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Wall Street leaned toward gains before the open on Wednesday as a handful of companies posted strong quarterly results ahead of more updates on the labor market.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials ticked up 0.1% before the bell and futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.2%.

While markets digest the latest jobs data and wait for a report on the health of the service sector, investors are focused on corporate news and earnings reports.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise – the information technology company, not the PC and printer maker – rose 13.9% before the bell after it beat Wall Street’s forecast and raised its full-year profit guidance. Cybersecurity company Crowdstrike also beat analysts’ sales and profit targets and its shares rose 8.8%.

Stitch Fix, the online custom clothing company, climbed more than 17% in premarket after it posted a smaller loss than expected on strong third-quarter sales.

Dollar Tree got an early boost after it acknowledged that it was considering selling its Family Dollar stores, but it quickly reversed course and was down 2.6% before the bell.

Payroll company ADP said Wednesday private employers added 152,000 jobs in May, lower than expected, reflecting a “steep decline” in manufacturing jobs. The report can act as a preview for the government’s more comprehensive May jobs report due Friday. The labor market has held up better than most expected amid elevated interest rates, though there are signs it may be softening. On Tuesday, the government reported the fewest number of job openings – 8.1 million – since 2021.

The Federal Reserve jacked up interest rates beginning in March of 2022 in an effort to beat down the four-decade high inflation that took hold as the U.S. economy quickly rebounded from the pandemic recession. The economy is finally starting to show some signs of slowing, but recent data has been mixed. That has most analysts betting that the Fed will only make one rate cut this year.

Also later Wednesday is the ISM’s services report, which will shed light on the services sector, where the majority of Americans work.

In Europe at midday, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.8%, while Germany’s DAX surged 0.9%. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.3%.

In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.9% to finish at 38,490.17. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.4% to 7,769.00. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.0% to 2,689.50. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.1% to 18,424.96, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.8% to 3,065.40.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 28 cents to $73.53 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 30 cents to $77.82 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 156.18 Japanese yen from 154.84 yen. The euro cost $1.0862, down from $1.0883.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 ticked up by 0.2%, though more stocks within the index fell than rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% and the Nasdaq composite added 0.2%.

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