Stocks are slumping in early trading as Wall Street reacts to the August jobs report — the last reading on the employment picture before the Federal Reserve’s key mid-September meeting on interest rates — which produced less new jobs than expected but the lowest reading on the nation’s unemployment rate in more than seven years.
The initial kee-jerk reaction from traders is that while the report is mixed and doesn’t send a definitive signal as to what the data-dependent Fed’s next move will be, it could be strong enough for the Fed to hike rates in two weeks.
In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down about 280 points, or about 1.7%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index is off about 1.5%. The Nasdaq composite was down 1.2%.
Still, JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, says the market’s downside move this morning could be more related to investors not wanting to take too much risk over the long holiday weekend, noting that Chinese markets, which have been closed the past two days, will reopen Monday while Wall Street is closed for Labor Day.