Stocks ended down Wednesday, as it seems new buyers are not ready to step in until more earnings begin rolling out next week, or at least until the jobs report is released on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 79.26 points (-0.56%), the S&P 500 fell 7.04 points (-0.46%), and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 17.68 points (-0.64%). Volume at the NYSE was nearly the same as yesterday's at 1.25 billion, with decliners beating advancers 5:3.
In the morning, Automated Data Processing announced results of its monthly employment survey. ADP's data showed the nonfarm private employment increased by 58,000 workers in September, as forecasted, while August's growth was revised lower by 11,000 to 27,000. Employment in the service sector was up by 97,000 jobs as well. The Institute for Supply Management said that its service sector index fell to 54.8 from 55.8 in August (full story). The number still showed expansion in the service sector, but the trend in recent numbers seems to point downward. The US 10-year Treasury price was up 4/32, pushing the yield to 4.51%.
The materials sector (-1.3%) was the biggest victim from today's profit taking, while the consumer discretionary sector (+0.3%) and the financial sector (+0.01%) had the best days. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Sector (-2.1%) index had a rough session, with Micron (-9.0%) dropping the most off disappointing quarterly results (full story). Deutsche Bank (+1.28%) followed the lead of other banks, and said that they would record a $3 billion charge related to the credit crunch (full story). Crude decreased by $0.11 to $79.94/ barrel, and the dollar index (+0.3%) was up for the third consecutive day.
Major economic data for Thursday includes Jobless Claims (8:30 AM) and Factory Order (10:00 AM). Though we have had a couple negative days in row, keep in mind at the start of Wednesday's session, the Russell 2000(+7.2%), Nasdaq(+6.4%), Dow(+4.8%), and S&P 500(+4.7%) have all had dramatic up moves since the Fed cut rates on September 17th..
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