By Markus Heitkoetter
Traders were cautious today ahead of tomorrow’s Jobs Report.
Things got a little exciting in early trading after the ISM Manufacturing Index report came in worse than expected. With a 49.4 reading, the index showed that industry contracted in August. This was a bit of a shock since the forecast was 52.0 (readings above 50.0 indicate industry expansion).
It was the first time U.S. manufacturing contracted in the last 6 months, and the drop from July to August was the biggest month to month decline since January 2014.
Stocks dropped after the report, and the indices were sitting on morning losses for the 3rd session in a row.
But this time an afternoon recovery erased the early decline, and the indices finished the day flat.
Here’s where the major indices ended the day:
- The S&P finished flat. The S&P ended at 2,171.
- The DOW ended 0.1% higher. Adding just 18 points, the DOW closed at 18,419.
- The NASDAQ was up 0.3%. With a 14 point loss, the NASDAQ finished at 5227.
The S&P has traded in a 1.5% range for the last 36 days. And according to Bloomberg, this is the tightest trading range for the index since 1964!
Crude Oil (CL) extended its losing streak to 4 days. With a 3.4% drop, CL finished at $43.17 a barrel.
In the last 4 sessions Crude Oil has lost over 9%!
Tomorrow brings us a big report as we head into the holiday weekend. The Jobs Report at 8:30am ET includes Average Hourly Earnings, Non-Farm Employment Change and the Unemployment Rate.With the Fed focused on jobs and inflation levels, traders are keeping a close eye on tomorrow’s report.