U.S. stocks were modestly lower in a bumpy session, as investors appeared cautious ahead of a host of key economic data and events that could shape market movement. The U.S. and China are expected to resume trade talks, likely the main focus for the week, while some key reads on inflation, employment and sentiment are also due. Treasury yields were higher, showing little reaction to a rise in consumer credit, and the U.S. dollar gained modest ground, while crude oil was little changed and gold was lower. In equity news, General Motors said discussions with the United Auto Workers hit a snag and General Electric announced pension plan changes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 96 points (0.4%) to 26,478, the S&P 500 Index lost 13 points (0.5%) to 2,939 and the Nasdaq Composite decreased 26 points (0.3%) to 7,956. In light volume, 834 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.7 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil nudged $0.09 lower to $52.75 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $1.57 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price declined $11.75 to $1,492.91 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was up 0.2% at 98.97.
Consumer credit, released in the final hour of trading, showed consumer borrowing expanded by $17.9 billion during August, above the $15.0 billion forecast of economists polled by Bloomberg, while July’s figure was adjusted slightly downward to an increase of $23.0 billion from the originally reported $23.3 billion. Non-revolving debt, which includes student loans and loans for vehicles and mobile homes, rose $19.6 billion, a 7.8% increase year-over-year (y/y), while revolving debt, which includes credit cards, rose by $1.9 billion, a 2.2% decline from a year ago.
Treasuries were lower, as the yield on the 2-year note rose 7 basis points (bps) to 1.46%, while the yield on the 10-year note was up 4 bps to 1.55%, and the 30-year bond moved 3 bps higher to 2.05%. Volatility in the markets has ramped up after last week’s disappointing manufacturing and non-manufacturing data that exacerbated recession concerns and boosted expectations of further Fed rate cuts this year, but the uneasiness was countered somewhat by Friday’s mixed September nonfarm payroll report.
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