Dow Closes Lower as Jobs and Inflation Data Loom By Investing.com
By Peter Nurse and Liz Moyer
Investing.com — U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday, handing back some of the recent gains as investors digested key reports on jobs and economic output while monitoring developments in Ukraine.
At 4:45 PM ET, the fell 65 points, or 0.2%, while the was down 0.6% and the fell 1.2%.
The main Wall Street indices closed higher Tuesday, with the blue-chip ending 338 points, or 1% higher and the broad-based gaining 1.2%, both registering their fourth straight day of gains, while the climbed 1.8%.
Helping the tone Tuesday were signs of progress in the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in Turkey. However, optimism has quickly turned into skepticism, with a Pentagon spokesman saying Ukraine’s capital Kyiv remains under threat even after Russia promised to scale back military operations there.
“Nobody should be fooling ourselves by the Kremlin’s now-recent claim that it will suddenly just reduce military attacks near Kyiv or any reports that it is going to withdraw all its forces,” John Kirby said. It’s “a repositioning, not a real withdrawal” from positions around the Ukrainian capital.
Also catching the interest of investors are a series of important data releases given the Federal Reserve is in the process of weighing up how aggressively to hike interest rates at its May meeting.
Expectations of sharp interest rate increases saw the 2-year Treasury yield briefly climb above the 10-year for the first time since 2019, a move that is often seen as a warning of an upcoming recession.
March’s report showed employers added 455,000 jobs in March, slightly better than consensus forecasts looking for companies to have added 450,000 jobs, while for the fourth quarter showed a reading of 6.9%, which compared with expectations for 7.1%.
In the corporate sector, Micron Technology (NASDAQ:) traded higher after the company gave a robust forecast for the ongoing quarter, suggesting demand from data centers remains strong.
Lululemon (NASDAQ:) will also be in the spotlight after the athletic apparel maker beat quarterly estimates and announced a $1 billion stock buyback program.
Oil prices rose Wednesday, rebounding after a two-day retreat following a fresh reminder of the tight nature of the market as data showed stocks fell sharply last week.
Data from the industry body, the , showed U.S. crude inventories fell by 3 million barrels in the week ended March 25. The official data from the showed oil inventories declined by 3.4 million barrels, more than expected.
The oil market had dropped sharply this week on progress in the Ukraine/Russia peace talks as well as demand worries over fresh Covid-19 lockdowns in China, the world’s largest crude importer.
By 4:46 PM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 3.2% higher at $107.59 a barrel, while the contract rose 3% to $111.05.
Additionally, rose 1.1% to $1,933/oz.
This story originally ran at 7 AM ET and was updated.