By Markus Heitkoetter
Stocks were slightly lower for the second day in a row.
Earlier this week the markets rallied with NO real explanation. After the last two sessions, it seems as though traders are now waiting for news to drive the market higher.
One report that could get things moving again is tomorrow’s Jobs Report.
The Fed keeps talking about the possibility of a rate hike in December. But until the December meeting it’s going to be all about data. Specifically, jobs data and inflation.
Right now, inflation is well below the 2% target. So what does this have to do with jobs? The expectation is that a strong labor market will eventually bring the inflation number closer to the Fed’s target.
Today Unemployment Claims came in higher than expected, but the more important report is tomorrow’s Jobs Report.
After a back and forth trading session, the S&P ended the day with a 0.1% loss. Down 2.5 points, the S&P finished the day just under the 2100 mark at 2099.93.
The DOW finished down 0.02%. Losing just 4 points, the DOW ended at 17863.43.
The NASDAQ was 0.3% lower. With a 15 point drop, the NASDAQ closed at 5127.74.
Two stocks that made headlines today were Ralph Lauren (RL) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX).
Raph Lauren (RL) took off after better than expected earnings. The stock finished 15% higher and ended the day at $130.50 a share.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) dropped another 14.4% today and closed at $78.77 a share, a 3-year low. VRX has lost 46% in less than a month due to claims over “Enron-like” business practices.
Crude Oil (CL) was down 2.3% today and finished at $45.26 a barrel. CL has lost 5.5% since yesterday’s inventory report showed an increase in inventories.
Tomorrow we have Average Hourly Earnings, Non-Farm Employment Change, and the Unemployment Rate (aka The Jobs Report) coming out at 8:30am ET.