Wall Street finally avoided the worst, as despite a bearish start that foreshadowed further losses, two of the three main indexes returned to positive signs.
In particular, in the session on Thursday (1/9) the Dow Jones industrial index strengthened by 0.46% to 31,656.42 points, the broader S&P 500 recorded a rise of 0.36% to 3,969.07 points, while on the contrary the technological Nasdaq declined by 0.26% to 11,785.13 units.
In this way, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices “broke” the series of losses they had recorded in the previous 4 days. At the same time, the yield on the 2-year US Treasury note rose to 3.516%, the highest level since November 2007.
Investors are now focused on the monthly US labor market payrolls report due on Friday (9/2). A first “taste” was given today as new jobless claims fell to their lowest level since June last week, according to a key indicator of labor market conditions and unemployment. Specifically, new claims came in at 232,000, down 5,000 in the seven days ended Aug. 27 from a revised 237,000 (initially 242,000) the previous week.
Manufacturing activity in the US registered a significant slowdown in August. In particular, the manufacturing PMI fell to 51.5 points in August, slightly better than the initial reading of 51.3 points, but lower than the reading of 52.2 points in July, S&P Global announced today. This is the lowest reading since July 2020.
Oil is at a two-week low
September started in the worst possible way for oil prices, which closed at the lowest level of the last two weeks.
According to analysts, the “black gold” was most affected by the new lockdown measures imposed in China due to coronavirus. Specifically, Chinese authorities imposed a lockdown on Chengdu, a city of 21 million people, in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus, raising concerns about the country’s economic growth and demand for oil.
Based on the above, US WTI crude for October delivery fell $2.94 or 3.3% to $86.61 a barrel and Brent for November delivery lost $3.28 or 3.4% to $92.36 the barrel.
Gold is at a six-week low
Metal prices slipped today, with gold closing at a six-week low. Silver fared worse, closing at a more than two-year low.
Specifically, gold for December delivery lost $18.70, or 1.1%, to $1,707.50 an ounce, closing at its lowest level since July, according to FactSet data.
Silver for December delivery lost 31.2 cents, or 1.7%, to $17.57 an ounce, the lowest since June 2020. Finally, copper for December delivery fell 8.55 cents, or 2.4%, to 3.433 dollars a pound, the lowest level in nearly 18 months.