U.S. stocks fell Monday morning, on track for a second day of losses, after an unexpectedly strong jobs report at the end of last week renewed worries about how high the Federal Reserve will have to take interest rates.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 228 points, or 0.7%, to 33,698.
The S&P 500
was down 39 points, or 0.9%, at 4,098.
The Nasdaq Composite
shed 143 points, or 1.2%, to 11,864.
Stocks fell Friday, but the Nasdaq Composite advanced for a fifth straight week, while the S&P 500 saw back-to-back weekly gains. The Dow fell 0.2% last week.
What’s driving markets
There continued to be shock over the 517,000 surge in nonfarm payrolls reported by the Labor Department on Friday.
“On the one hand, a resilient labor market could buttress households’ willingness and ability to continue consuming and therefore support corporate earnings and equities over the near term,” said Rouyaka Ibrahim, an analyst at BCA Research. But longer-term implications are more dire — if a second wave of inflation is triggered, the Fed would have to act more forcefully, perhaps leading to a deep recession, she said.
“While there were some promising aspects of the jobs report — cooling wage growth and higher participation — it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the labor market remains red hot,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.
“Of course, no one will be surprised if we see huge revisions next month — we’ve seen some substantial ones recently after all — but for now, it’s hard to argue that the easier policy move for the Fed is to keep hiking in 25 basis point increments,” he wrote.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will have the opportunity to react on Tuesday when he delivers a speech to the Economic Club of Washington.
Traders also were reacting to the political rift between the U.S. and China after President Joe Biden ordered a balloon to be shot down. China has said the balloon was to monitor the weather, not for spying, and had been blown off course. The Hang Seng dropped 2%.
Companies in focus
Shares of Tesla Inc.
rose 0.7% Monday, after Wedbush raised its price target, saying China demand has swung to a “tailwind” from a “headwind.”
Dell Technologies Inc.
said Monday it plans to shed 5% of its workforce. The company disclosed the cuts in a note to employees, which was also filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday morning. Shares were down 4.3%.
Shares of Tyson Foods Inc.
fell 4.8% after the meat processor and parent to brands including Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm missed consensus estimates for its fiscal first quarter by a wide margin.
shares were down 1.7% after the engines and powertrains maker reported fourth-quarter sales that rose above expectations and provided an upbeat outlook.