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The Dow Jones closed approximately 200 points lower in anticipation of Friday’s critical jobs report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dipped 194.76 points, or 0.56%, to close at 34,395.01 on Thursday ahead of today’s critical jobs report. This nearly 200-point fall was not the only setback recorded among the major indexes yesterday. The S&P 500 also closed lower by 0.09% to 4,076.57 during Thursday’s session. However, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite gained 0.13% to close at 11,482.45.
The Dow Jones has now given up some of its gains accrued in the previous session as investors await Friday’s jobs report. Observers and analysts widely believe that the incoming employment data could influence the Federal Reserve’s decision on future rate tightening. Aspiriant managing director of investment strategy and research, David Grecsek, commented on the mixed performances of the major stock indexes. He said, “It looks more technical and just looks like an exhale from yesterday’s big push.”
Salesforce & Costco Stock Performances
Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) shares slumped 8.3%, contributing to the broader Dow decline after the company announced a major shakeup. According to the cloud software company, its co-CEO Bret Taylor would step down on January 31st next year. Taylor’s departure leaves co-chief executive officer Marc Benioff alone to helm Salesforce. Reports stated that Taylor was departing from the company to establish a new venture. In a statement, the outgoing co-CEO expressed gratitude to Salesforce and Benioff while explaining the need to step away. Taylor’s statement read in part:
“I am grateful for six fantastic years at Salesforce. Marc was my mentor well before I joined Salesforce, and the opportunity to partner with him to lead the most important software company in the world is career-defining. After a lot of reflection, I’ve decided to return to my entrepreneurial roots.”
The outgoing co-chief executive also added:
“Salesforce has never been more relevant to customers, and with its best-in-class management team and the company executing on all cylinders, now is the right time for me to step away.”
Costco (NASDAQ: COST) stock also declined around 6.6% on a slowing pace in November sales. The wholesale retail company’s sales tapered to a 5.7% gain from the previous year, alongside a 10.1% drop in e-commerce sales.
Dow Jones, Broader Market on Edge as Incoming Jobs Report Could Make or Break Future Rate Hike Decision
As investors look to data on non-farm payrolls for insight into the US labor market, economists polled by the Dow expect an additional 200,000 jobs for November. Although this marks a decrease from the 261,000 gained in October, the US employment rate has remained relatively strong overall despite a contraction. Nonetheless, Oanda senior market analyst Edward Moya noted that investors were pulling back ahead of the report. According to Moya, nobody wants to be aggressively bullish heading into the NFP report.
Chief investing officer at Verdence Capital Advisors, Megan Horneman, also weighed in saying investors would be on the lookout for the “right, middle-ground data”. According to her, a high number will spook the markets further and the Fed would be unable to slow down the rate of hikes.