U.S. equities finished mixed amid light economic and equity news. U.S. tax reform and global trade uncertainties continued to linger, as President Trump continued his tour of Asia. Treasuries were flat and the U.S. dollar continued its ascent, getting a boost from the weakness in European currencies, while crude oil inched lower and gold also lost ground.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 9 points to 23,548, the S&P 500 Index was nearly unchanged at 2,591, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 19 points (0.3%) to 6,768. In moderately heavy volume, 904 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.2 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil ticked $0.15 lower to $57.20 per barrel and wholesale gasoline lost $0.01 to $1.82 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price was $5.40 lower at $1,276.55 per ounce, and the Dollar Index, a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies, was 0.2% higher at 94.91.
The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), a measure of unmet demand for labor, came in at a level of 6.09 million jobs available to be filled in September, roughly matching August’s upwardly revised figure. The Bloomberg forecast called for a decline to 6.08 million. The hiring rate dipped to 3.6% from August’s 3.7% pace, and the separation rate remained at the prior month’s 3.6% rate.
Consumer credit saw its largest increase since November 2016, jumping 6.6% year-over-year (y/y) to $20.8 billion during September, above the $17.5 billion forecast of economists polled by Bloomberg, while August’s figure was unadjusted at $13.1 billion. Non-revolving debt, which includes student loans and loans for vehicles and mobile homes, rose $14.4 billion, a 6.3% increase y/y, while revolving debt, which includes credit cards, rose by $6.4 billion, a 7.7% y/y rise.
Treasuries were unchanged, as the yields on the 2-year and the 10-year notes, as well as the 30-year bond, were all flat at 1.63%, 2.31% and 2.77%, respectively.
The U.S. dollar continued its rebound and Treasury yields paused from yesterday’s declines, as the markets continue to grapple with a positive global economic backdrop, Fed leadership changes, and uncertainty regarding if the long road to tax reform will come to fruition.
Schwab Center for Financial Research – Market Analysis Group
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