August 14, 2022

Markets Unsteady After Jobs Data

The Dow Jones industrial average shed 37.65 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,113.61. The S. P. 500 dropped 6.11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,294.05. And the Nasdaq composite index lost 2.79 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,729.99.

World markets were weak on Monday, with a leading European index down for a fourth straight session and the Nikkei average off 1.2 percent to an 11-week low. Tokyo Electric Power Company hit new lows and fanned bearish sentiment in the wake of soft data out of the United States on Friday.

The broad-based S. P. index has fallen 4.5 percent since a recent high at the start of May and is trading at six-week lows after falling through key technical support levels. Investors are eyeing the index’s low for April.

”The next two support levels, the important ones, are April 18 1,294.70, and then thereafter the March 16 1,249.05,” said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York. ”Whether the support levels hold or not, there is still no demand for stocks.”

A much weaker-than-expected jobs report on Friday was the latest disappointing economic news to hit sentiment. The S. P. 500 fell 2.3 percent for the week, its worst since August. The index ended Friday with its fifth straight week of losses.

Mr. Kaufman said the recent falls had made stock valuations their most attractive since November, which could be a catalyst to drive the market higher ahead of second-quarter earnings season in July.

In one potential bright spot for investors, Steven P. Jobs, the chief executive of Apple who has been on medical leave, was scheduled to take to the stage in San Francisco on Monday and could take the wraps off an Internet-based music streaming service. The shares rose 0.9 percent to $346.66 in early trading.

Brent crude fell 1 percent to $114.77 a barrel on concern about demand ahead of a crucial meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries later this week. Signs that high prices are eroding demand in the West are worrying a group of OPEC’s core members.

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