Nasdaq Ends at Record, Dow Sinks as September Test Looms

The Nasdaq ended at a record high in mixed trading Tuesday as investors braced for what is typically the worst month of the year for stocks amid looming uncertainty over the pace of the global recovery and the path of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus withdraw.

© TheStreet Nasdaq Ends at Record, Dow Sinks as September Test Looms

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 269 points, or 0.76%, to 35,100, while the broader S&P 500 slipped 0.34%.

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The Nasdaq, which also hit a fresh intra-day record high, advanced 0.07%

The benchmark 10-year note yield rose to 1.37%.

Last week’s softer-than-expected employment report, which showed 235,000 new jobs were created last month, suggested a more muted pace of recovery over the final months of the year as the impact of government stimulus fades and Delta variant coronavirus infections continue to surge.

The modest gains, as well as forecasts of slower job gains in the coming months as employers hold back investments amid COVID-19 uncertainty, could delay the Fed’s plans to begin tapering the pace of its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases, a move that could also establish a new timeline for rate hikes that extends well into the middle of 2023.

Goldman Sachs, in fact, trimmed its 2021 GDP growth forecast by 30 basis points, to 5.7%, in the wake of both the August jobs report and a series of data releases that could suggest slower growth in the months ahead.

“The weak jobs report shocker left the market feeling a bit uncertain, despite setting new records on two of the first three days of the month,” said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading at E*trade Financial.

Given Friday’s flat initial response, Larkin said “it remains to be seen whether the market will interpret the latest jobs data negatively, as in, the economy is on shakier ground than previously thought, or positively — the economy is on shakier ground than previously thought, but that could delay tapering.”

Match Group shares gained after the Tinder dating app operator was tabbed to join the S&P 500 benchmark later this month.

Procter & Gamble shares ended slightly lower after analysts at Morgan Stanley picked the consumer brands company over Estee Lauder as its top bet in the household and personal care space.

Caesars Entertainment shares rose after British gaming group 888 Holdings said Tuesday that it’s in advanced discussions to buy the company’s non-U.S. operations of bookmaker William Hill.

Boeing finished lower after European discount carrier Ryanair ended talks on the planned purchase of 10 737 MAX aircraft.

In other markets, bitcoin prices slumped below the $50,000 mark Tuesday after El Salvador became the first country in the world to declare the cryptocurrency as legal tender.

El Salvador, a central American national that relies heavily on remittances from the United States to support its annual economic growth, became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.

Bitcoin was down as JPMorgan Managing Director Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou said bitcoin’s share of the market in particular looks “uncomfortably low” by historical standards—a likely reflection of “froth and retail investor mania,” as opposed to sustainable gains.

Oil prices slipped after a weekend price cut on Asia deliveries by Saudi Aramco raised demand concerns that offset an 8% year-on-year gain in China crude imports imbedded in the country’s August trade data.

WTI contracts for October delivery were down 1.4% to $68.34 per barrel while Brent contracts for November were off nearly 1% at $71.58 per barrel.

This article was originally published by TheStreet.

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