Stock Market News Today – Stocks See Little Change; Non-manufacturing PMI beat forecasts

Last updated: 11:05am EST

Equity markets are little changed so far in today’s trading session. As of 11:05 a.m. EST, the S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq 100 (NDX) are close to the flat line. Conversely, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) decreased by 0.2%.

On Wednesday, the Institute for Supply Management released its monthly report on the ISM non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, which measures the overall economic health of the non-manufacturing sector.

A number above 50 represents expansion, while anything below 50 signals contraction. The report was 51.9, better than the 51.8 expected and higher than last month’s reading of 51.2.

It is worth noting that this indicator has been in an overall downtrend since its peak in December 2021 when it peaked at 69.1. If this trend continues, it may not be long before the non-manufacturing sector enters a period of prolonged contraction.

Also, the ISM non-manufacturing employment report came in at 50.8, beating expectations of 52.6.

Last update: 9:30am EST

Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were up 0.16%, 0.17% and 0.05% respectively at 9:30am EST on May 3rd.

The latest round of economic data, the ADP Jobs report for the month of April, showed that hiring rose to a nine-month high of 296,000, above consensus estimates of 143,000 and more than adding 142,000 jobs in March.

However, annual wage growth slowed to 6.7% year-on-year in April, from 6.9% in March and from 7.2% in February.

First posted: 5:11 am EST

US futures are higher on Wednesday morning as all eyes are on the Fed’s interest rate decision to be announced tonight. Nasdaq 100 futures (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were up 0.11%, 0.19% and 0.18% respectively as of 4:00 AM EST on May 3rd.

Fed officials gave mixed signals about rate hike decisions in their briefings ahead of the Fed’s blackout period. Although traders are widely expecting a 25 basis point hike today, the direction of the market will largely depend on what Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s speech indicates about the future course of rate hikes. It remains to be seen whether the Federal Reserve will decide to take a pause and see how the series of rate hikes and the recent banking crisis have affected the economy so far, or whether it will decide that another rate hike is necessary as the labor market remains stable and corporate earnings come in higher than expected.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase’s takeover of First Republic Bank (NYSE: JPM) failed to contain the banking contagion. Shares of regional banks fell in yesterday’s trading session. At the same time, solid earnings from the companies failed to create enthusiasm for traders as investors are concerned about the ongoing turmoil in the banking space. Shares of automaker Ford (NYSE: F) was down in after-hours trading yesterday, despite beating estimates on earnings and sales. Similarly, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) shares fell on softer guidance despite higher earnings. Also shares of coffee giant Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) slipped despite beating the top and bottom lines.

A few notable companies reporting earnings today include the restaurant chain, Yum! Brands (NYSE: NONE), resort and hotel chain Hyatt Hotels (NYSE: H), and consumer packaged goods maker Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC), along with several REITs and oil and gas producers. apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) remains the most anticipated earnings story for this week, which is scheduled for May 4.

On the economic front, ADP national employment data for April will be released today, with expectations for an increase of 133,000 jobs. Other notable economic data to be released today include the S&P Global US Services PMI and the ISM non-manufacturing PMI data for April.

Elsewhere, most European indices traded in the green today as traders eagerly await the US Federal Reserve’s decision on monetary policy.

Asia-Pacific markets mostly ended mixed

Asia-Pacific indices ended the trading session mixed today as traders worried about the looming fallout from the US banking crisis and the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision. Markets in mainland China and Japan remained closed for trading today.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended the session down 1.18%.

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