Now this is what a weekday before Labor Day should be like. US stocks barely budge a day after a big selloff, parked between a gloomy take on jobs from ADP and a relatively upbeat assessment of the economy from the FOMC.
Stocks were little changed for most of the day, and at a near standstill in the afternoon, before a late slide takes the indexes into negative territory. DJIA loses 30 to 9281, S&P 500 slips 3 to 995, Nasdaq Comp eases 2 to 1967.
(And I am not kidding you, I said in the newsroom this morning, “I’m going to wait until 3:59 to decide where the market is.” Lo and behold, the market was flat at 3:50 p.m., and down at 3:59.)
Volume’s pretty heavy given the week, with composite volume on the NYSE of about 5.8B shares (and guess which five issues accounted for about a third of that? Yes, the curious quintet of Citi, BofA, Fannie, Freddie, AIG.)
The Dow’s now down four sessions in a row, and lost 3.1% in that time frame. Not exactly correction territory yet, not exactly panic territory, either; for now, just a hiccup.
ADP says August job losses were worse than the market expects. FOMC’s upbeat about prospect that economy’s hit bottom, but it worries about next year.