Market Wrap for Wednesday, May 1: Stocks Fall as Employment Data Weakens in April
The U.S. stock market was hit hard on Wednesday as investors reacted to a report which showed slowing employment conditions for the month of April.
The losses were also likely amplified by profit taking as the Dow and S&P have been hovering near record highs in recent days. Overall, all three of the major averages recorded losses of just under 1 percent on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 139 points, or 0.94 percent, to 14,701.
The S&P 500 lost 15 points, or 0.93 percent, to 1,583.
The Nasdaq Composite shed 30 points, or 0.89 percent, to close at 3,299.
The ISM Manufacturing fell 50.7 for the month of April compared to 51.3 in March. This compared to consensus expectations of a decline to 51.0.
ADP Employment Change
The ADP Employment report fell sharply for April to 119,000 jobs compared to 131,000 in March. This was also well below consensus expectations which expected a rise to 155,000.
Crude oil fell along with the stock market on Wednesday. In late trading, NYMEX crude futures were down around 2.55 percent to $91.08. Brent crude contracts had lost 2.38 percent and were trading at $99.93. Natural gas futures shed 0.50 percent to $4.32 on the session.
Precious metals also fell along with risk assets Wednesday. Near the close of equities, COMEX gold futures were down around 1 percent to $1,457.70 while silver had shed nearly 2 percent to $23.74. Copper plummeted roughly 3.40 percent on the session.
Grains were mostly lower on the day. Corn was last trading down 0.50 percent while wheat lost better than 1.30 percent. Movers in soft commodities included cocoa and cotton. Cocoa prices rose 2 percent while cotton slumped roughly 4 percent.
In late trade, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) was down roughly 1 percent to $123.94. The jump in prices pushed yields lower on the session.
The yield on the 2-Year Note fell one basis point to 0.20 percent while the 5-Year Note yield was down three basis points to 0.65 percent.
The yield on the 10-Year Note declined four basis points to 1.63 percent while the 30-Year Bond yield fell five basis points to 2.83 percent.
The U.S. dollar was slightly lower on Monday. Near the close, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was down around 0.09 percent to $22.18.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading up 0.37 percent to $1.3211. Other movers included the GBP/USD, which added 0.37 percent, and the AUD/USD, which was down 0.68 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The VIX rose on Wednesday as stocks fell. Late in the day the widely watched barometer of volatility expectations was up around 8 percent to 14.63.
Volume was lighter than normal on the session. Around 108 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 128 million.
Bankrate (NASDAQ: RATE) was trading up almost 15 percent late in the day after the company reported better than expected first-quarter financial results and confirmed its 2013 outlook.
Chip-maker Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) surged roughly 13 percent on the session although the reason for the move was vague. The company, however, did debut two new microprocessors on Wednesday.
Shares of Ultimate Software Group (NASDAQ: ULTI) climbed almost 13 percent late in the day after the company released its Q1 results.
Mueller Water Products (NYSE: MWA) climbed roughly 11 percent on the session after the company's fiscal second-quarter financial results impressed investors.
Shares of SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) traded down almost 15 percent after the company reported disappointing Q2 revenue and a weak outlook.
Allergan (NYSE: AGN) plunged on speculation that it may have trouble getting its vision drug to market. The stock closed down more than 13 percent.
The troubles for Allergan helped competitor Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN), which jumped better than 10 percent on the day.
Shares of Ixia (NASDAQ: XXIA) traded down around 12 percent after the company's Q1 results failed to impress Wall Street.
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