Stock Market News Today, 8/30/23 – Stocks Higher as Investors Weigh Economic Data

Last Updated 11:20AM EST

Stocks are in the green so far in today’s trading session. On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors released its Pending Home Sales report, which measures the month-over-month change in the number of home sales that have yet to close but are contracted to be sold. This measure excludes homes that are newly constructed.

During July, Pending Home Sales increased by 0.9% compared to June, which was better than the expected -0.6% decrease. This is after a 0.4% increase in the previous report.

In addition, the Pending Home Sales Index came in at 77.6, which is lower than the 90.2 reading from the same time last year. This equates to an approximate decline of 16.2% on a year-over-year basis.

Last updated: 9:30AM EST

Stocks opened higher on Wednesday morning, with the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) and the S&P 500 (SPX) up by 0. 23% and 0.17%, respectively, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is up by 0.16% at 9:30 a.m., EST, August 30.

Meanwhile, the ADP jobs report indicated a cooling labor market with the addition of 177,000 jobs in August, below economists’ forecasts of 200,000 and lower than the addition of 371,000 jobs in July. Annual pay rose by 5.9%, at a slower pace than the increase of 6.2% in July.

Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, commented, “This month’s numbers are consistent with the pace of job creation before the pandemic. After two years of exceptional gains tied to the recovery, we’re moving toward more sustainable growth in pay and employment as the economic effects of the pandemic recede.”

In addition, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was revised downward to 2.1% on an annualized basis in the second quarter from the prior estimate of 2.4%. The downward revision in GDP was a result of lower business investment and inventory production. Additionally, the rise in consumer spending was revised to 1.7% in Q2 from an initial 1.6%.

The trade deficit data also came in on Wednesday, indicating that the trade deficit continued to widen to $91.2 billion in July, up by 2.6% and more than economists’ forecasts of a deficit of $90.8 billion. While exports of goods increased by $2.4 billion to $164.8 in July, imports grew by $4.7 billion to $256 billion.

First published: 5:24AM EST

U.S. Futures are jittery on Wednesday morning following a positive winning session yesterday. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) and the S&P 500 (SPX) are down by 0.10% and 0.04%, respectively, while those on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are up by 0.03% at 4:15 a.m., EST, August 30. In the meantime, WTI crude oil is trading higher, over $81.21, as of the last check. Also, Treasury yields declined as U.S. stocks rallied in trading momentum yesterday.

The three major averages finished in the green on August 29 after data showed that consumer sentiment is slowing and job openings (July reading) are declining. This is a sign that the Federal Reserve is achieving what it set out to do with consecutive interest rate hikes in the past. Plus, it raises hopes that the Fed may pause rate hikes at its FOMC meeting in September. The Fed has stated that the future course of monetary policy will be data-driven. However, Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium last week did carry a hawkish tone.

In the meantime, data from supply chain companies reveals that the usually busiest time of the year for shipping goods is seeing a rather weak season this year. A Wall Street Journal report stated that, habitually, when the U.S. heads into the Christmas and holiday season, cargo trucks and railways are loaded with shipments of clothing, electronics, and decorations. However, this year, logistics companies are witnessing a dull demand for shipment services. Retailers are trying to first offload the excess inventories from prior months and then re-order to optimize stock. Americans prefer to spend more on travel and leisure than goods this year. Plus, they are being cautious as both inflation and interest rates remain high.

Even so, traders will closely monitor the ADP jobs data due today, along with GDP estimates and pending home sales reports. Further, cybersecurity companies including Salesforce (CRM), CrowdStrike (CRWD), and Okta (OKTA) are scheduled to release their earnings reports today. Also, retailers such as Chewy (CHWY), Five Below (FIVE), and Victoria’s Secret (VSCO) will report their quarterly performances today.

Meanwhile, Nvidia’s (NVDA) stock continued its upward trajectory yesterday with the announcement of a partnership with Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google. Also, big U.S. banks, including Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), Wells Fargo (WFC), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), were fined by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) for record-keeping lapses. 

Elsewhere, European indices are trading higher on Wednesday morning following the optimism of their U.S. counterparts.

Asia-Pacific Markets End Higher on Wednesday

Asia-Pacific indices finished higher today following the rally in U.S. stocks.  

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed near the flatline, while China’s Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component indices ended higher by 0.04% and 0.26%, respectively.

Similarly, Japan’s Nikkei and Topix indices ended up by 0.33% and 0.43%, respectively.

Interested in more economic insights? Tune in to our LIVE webinar.


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