S&P 500 falls from record high as job growth slows

A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
  • GM slides despite posting quarterly profit
  • Private payrolls growth slows as labor shortages linger
  • Amazon.com, Netflix, Facebook outperform
  • Indexes: Dow off 0.84%, S&P down 0.41%, Nasdaq flat

Aug 4 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 fell from a record high on Wednesday as data signaled a slowdown in job growth last month, while General Motors tracked its worst day in more than a year despite a record pre-tax profit.

GM's shares (GM.N) slumped 8.3% to a two-week low, underscoring the uncertainty facing global automakers at a time of technological and economic disruption. Shares of rival Ford Motor Co (F.N) fell 3.2%. read more

Ten of the 11 S&P indexes were lower, with industrials (.SPLRCI) and energy (.SPNY) slipping 0.3% and 2.1%, respectively, as data showed U.S. private payrolls increased far less than expected in July, likely constrained by shortages of workers and raw materials. read more

The blue-chip Dow (.DJI), heavily weighted toward economically-sensitive stocks, tumbled 0.8%.

"The market is expensive where it is and people are worried about any chance of inflation and rates going higher, which would justify a little bit of compression of multiples," said Olivier Sarfati, head of equities at GenTrust.

After six straight month of gains, the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) has struggled to rise higher in August as surging cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and fears of higher inflation have overshadowed a stellar corporate earnings season.

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida said on Wednesday the central bank should be in the position to begin raising interest rates in 2023, as data showed a measure of U.S. services industry activity jumped to a record high last month. read more

Heavyweight technology stocks including Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O), which were deemed "stay-at-home-winners" during last year's COVID-19 lockdowns, outperformed the broader market as bond yields dipped.

"The drop in bond yields is like a canary in the coal mine and is for now helping growth stocks, while large cyclical stocks are showing signs of weakness maybe because investors are questioning the passage of the huge infrastructure package," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

Investor sentiment received a boost on Monday after the Senate introduced a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, but the Democratic and Republican leaders have squabbled over debate on amendments. read more

Focus now turns to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report on Friday.

At 11:57 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.84% and the S&P 500 was down 0.41%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was flat.

In earnings-related moves, BorgWarner Inc (BWA.N) slid 3.9% even as it beat profit expectations on strong consumer demand for new vehicles, while Kraft Heinz Co (KHC.O) tumbled 4.2% after warning of margin pressure from higher prices of ingredients.

Robinhood Markets Inc (HOOD.O) jumped 33.4%, as interest from star fund manager Cathie Wood and small-time traders set up the stock for a fourth session of gains after its underwhelming market debut last week. read more

Declining issues outnumbered advancers 2.29-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.77-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 54 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 73 new highs and 67 new lows.

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani, Sruthi Shankar and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Aditya Soni

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