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Wall Street starts higher as job figures lift sentiment

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The main Wall Street indices shrugged off expectations of a negative start to push higher on Wednesday morning, seemingly boosted by a better than expected set of US jobs figures.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.69% at 27,642 while the S&P 500 climbed 0.5% to 3,352 and the Nasdaq rose 0.34% to 11,123.

While last night’s chaotic election debate had initially dulled the mood on Wall Street, the release of the ADP job figures for September, which showed the US private sector added 749,000 jobs from August to September, topping estimates of 649,000.

The better than expected number will lift market hopes for the non-farm payroll data on Friday, as well as provide more confidence in the overall state of the US economy as it continues to struggle with rising coronavirus cases.

Trade, transport, and utilities was the sector with the most growth, adding 186,000 jobs in the period, while natural resources and mining was the slowest with only 7,000 positions added.

7.51am: Wall Street expected lower

Wall Street is expected to open lower on Wednesday after the chaotic presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, while the market keeps anxiously waiting for a COVID-19 plan.

“These events are often overplayed for their importance and that’s particularly true in an election year when the undecided vote is so small,” said Craig Erlam at OANDA.

“It’s hard to pick a winner, I think we’re all losers as far as that debate is concerned, but Biden went into the debate clearly ahead in the polls and I’d be amazed if last night changed anything. I guess he technically wins by default.”

On schedule, we also have the ADP employment report for September, forecast to show 649k new entries.

However, the August reading fell short at 428k “and as such could do so again”, noted Michael Hewson at CMC Markets.

“Economic uncertainty has increased in the last few weeks despite a rise in US consumer confidence, and while today’s numbers could be a leading indicator for Friday’s payrolls report, there has been little correlation in recent months.”

The US second quarter GDP is expected to fall by 31.7% annualized, with personal consumption the main drag, tumbling 34.1%.

Five things to watch for on Wednesday:

  • The US ADP employment report, a precursor to the non-farm payrolls on Friday, will provide the first insight into how the American jobs market performed in September. The August figure of 428,000 jobs added massively undershot the estimate of 950,000, so the market will be hoping this month’s figure is less of a disappointment
  • Macro news will also see the final reading of the US second quarter GDP, which is not expected to change much from its initial reading of a 31.7% plunge in the period as the American economy was rocked by the pandemic and lockdown measures
  • Other macro data on the calendar includes the latest Chicago PMI reading and US pending home sales data
  • Possible political developments over a second round of US government coronavirus stimulus measures as Democrats in the House of Representatives continue to push for a vote on their proposed US$2 trillion+ package before Congress leaves at the end of the week until after the election
  • Share price reaction from casino operator Caesars Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ:CZR) as it confirmed its £2.9 billion (US$3.7 billion) takeover offer for UK bookmaker William Hill PLC (LON:WMH)

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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