Written by Gary
Closing Market Commentary For 12-04-2013
Gary is off today, and the closing market commentary comes from our syndication partner Investing.com.
U.S. stocks finished Wednesday largely lower after investors spent the day on the sidelines digesting hit-or-miss data while waiting for the release of the official November jobs report on Friday, which could provide clues as to when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its stimulus programs.
Stimulus tools such as the Fed's USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases drive down interest rates to spur recovery, boosting stock prices in the process, and talk of their dismantling can dampen stock prices by fanning uncertainty as to how equities will perform without a monetary crutch.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down 0.16%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.13%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.02%.
A mixed bag of data sent many investors jumping to the sidelines to await the release of the latest jobs report on Friday.
Payroll processing firm ADP reported earlier that non-farm private employment rose by a seasonally adjusted 215,000 in November, blowing past expectations for an increase of 173,000.
November's figure was revised up to a gain of 184,000 from a previously reported increase of 130,000.
Separately, the Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index declined to 53.9 in November from a 55.4 in October.
Analysts were expecting the index to ease down to 55.0 last month.
In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau said new home sales rose by 25.4% to a seasonally adjusted 444,000 units in November, beating expectations for an increase to 428,000 and hitting a four-month high
A separate report showed that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to a seasonally adjusted USD40.6 billion in October from a USD43.0 billion deficit in September, whose figure was revised from a previously reported deficit of USD41.8 billion.
Analysts had expected the U.S. trade deficit to narrow to USD40 billion in October.
Uncertainty as to when the Fed will begin tapering asset purchases and how stocks will react allowed for jittery trading on Wednesday.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Microsoft, up 1.74%, Intel, up 0.79%, and JPMorgan Chase, up 0.65%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Wal-Mart Stores, down 1.23%, Merck, down 0.94%, and United Technologies, down 0.71%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.66%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.57%, while Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.90%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 0.34%.
On Thursday, the U.S. is to publish a revised estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product, while the Labor Department is to release its weekly report on initial jobless claims. The U.S. is also to publish data on factory orders.
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