On Wednesday Wall Street saw minimal changes as advances in financials and energy offset declines in consumer and healthcare stocks. Data reported the U.S. private sector gained 179,000 jobs in July, beating projections of 170,000. The ADP national employment report is viewed as a precursor to the more complete jobs data on Friday.
If the labor market can build on its recent momentum, it could make its case for the Fed to hike interest rates later in 2016.
“Over the last seven days, we’ve started to give back some of the gains we made post the UK referendum,” stated Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Equity Capital Markets.
“It’s not as if we are retracing that massive move, we are just drifting lower here and one of the key catalysts is oil prices. On balance, we’ve got a market that has more good news than bad news.”
During Wednesday morning’s trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 7.66 points, or 0.04%, at 18,321.43. The S&P 500 gained 0.38 points, or 0.02%, at 2,157.41. The Nasdaq Composite increased 3.50 points, or 0.07%, at 5,141.23.
Next, six of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors declined, with consumer staples 0.4% fall being the largest. Energy and financials increased more than 0.5%. Investors are also analyzing company earnings to measure the health of the U.S. economy. Of the 353 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 71% have beaten analysts’ forecasts.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,435 to 1,219. On the Nasdaq, 1,207 issues gained and 1,098 declined. The S&P 500 index showed 7 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 26 new highs and 21 new lows.