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Ahead of Friday’s Jobs Statistics, Stocks Decline as Investors Become Nervous

Stocks declined on Thursday as investors exercised caution ahead of crucial jobs data on Friday that may influence the direction interest rates will take.

S&P 500 prices dropped 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average both experienced losses of 0.2% and 0.3%.

For the week ending September 30, weekly first claims for unemployment insurance rose by just 2,000 to 207,000. A Dow Jones consensus estimate indicated that economists had predicted 210,000. Although the minor increase in unemployment claims was about in line with expectations on Wall Street, it dismayed some investors who had hoped the weekly data would begin to indicate a labour market breakdown and put a halt to the run up in rates that is harming stocks.

Following the news on unemployment claims, the 10-year Treasury yield increased little. The last yield was 4.714%.

According to experts surveyed by Dow Jones, non-farm payrolls for September are expected to climb by 170,000, which would be less than the 187,000 jobs added in August. Investors are not yearning for a recession, but rather some labour market weakness that would make the Federal Reserve reconsider hiking rates again and stop the rise in Treasury yields to 16-year highs.

Source (CNBC)

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