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Wall St slides as investors process jobs data, Gazprom stops

Wall St slides as investors process jobs data, Gazprom stops

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, Aug. 22, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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  • US jobs rise more than expected in August
  • Wage growth shrinks, while unemployment rate rises
  • Indices down: Dow 0.59%, S&P 0.67%, Nasdaq 0.96%

Sept. 2 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indices fell in midday trading on Friday as investors processed mixed jobs data, as renewed concerns over Europe’s gas crisis prompted investors to sell stocks en route to a long weekend.

The three major indices opened sharply higher after jobs data showed stronger-than-expected hiring but a rise in the unemployment rate, allaying some fears about aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

“Investors are reconsidering the August jobs report and are likely leaning towards the lack of a clear end to rate hikes. Higher rates are fueling competition for equities,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments.

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Adding to the concerns, Russia scrapped a deadline on Saturday to resume gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, one of the main supply routes to Europe, after saying it discovered an error during maintenance. , compounding the difficulties for Europe to get fuel for the winter. read more

State-controlled Russian oil company Gazprom said it could not safely resume deliveries until it fixed an oil leak in a vital pipeline turbine. It gave no new term.

“I’ve seen the headlines from Gazprom and that’s obviously not good news,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

Analysts also pointed to meager trading volumes ahead of the extended holiday weekend, helping to exaggerate market moves.

“The volume is very low because it’s a Friday before a three-day weekend, which sometimes creates these liquidity vacuums,” Saluzzi added.

Due to Labor Day, the markets are closed on Monday.

The CBOE Volatility Index (.VIX), also known as the Wall Street fear meter, rose to 25.5 points after bottoming out a week earlier.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors fell. All sectors had risen earlier after the Labor Department report found that US employers employed more workers than expected last month.

However, the average hourly wage rose 0.3% compared to estimates of 0.4%, while the unemployment rate rose to 3.7% from a pre-pandemic low of 3.5%. . read more

Wage growth data is considered important for the Fed’s deliberations on raising interest rates, as the central bank aims to bring inflation, which has been high for four decades, back to its target of 2%.

The focus is now shifting to the August consumer price report, due mid-month, the latest key data available ahead of the Fed’s September 20-21 policy meeting.

Fears of aggressive policy tightening have gripped Wall Street of late, with the S&P 500 (.SPX) falling nearly 4.5% since Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s aggressive comments about rate hikes last week. His views were later shared by other policymakers.

All three main indices are set for a third consecutive week loss.

At 1:39 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 186.98 points or 0.59% to 31,469.44, the S&P 500 (.SPX) fell 26.50 points or 0.67% to 3,940, 35 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) fell 113.37 points, or 0.96%, to 11,671.75.

Energy stocks (.SPNY) were up 1.6% as oil prices rose nearly 2% ahead of an OPEC+ meeting to discuss possible production cuts.

On the NYSE, emerging issues outnumbered decliners by 1.08-to-1. The number of declining issuances outpaced the avant-garde by a 1.40 to 1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 41 new highs and 127 new lows.

Volume on US stock exchanges was 6.52 billion shares, compared to the full-session average of 10.31 billion over the past 20 trading days.

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Reporting by Devik Jain and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Maju Samuel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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