Dow trades about 200 points lower as investors weigh delta variant

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By William Watts and Steve Goldstein

Major U.S. stock indexes traded mostly lower, though the Nasdaq Composite marched deeper into record territory, as investors returned from a three-day holiday weekend.

How are stock-index futures trading?

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended at a record on Friday, and gained 1.6% last week. The S&P 500 and the Dow industrials finished the week within touching distances of all-time highs. U.S. markets were closed Monday for Labor Day.

What’s driving the market

Analysts were discussing the implications of the disappointing August payrolls report released Friday by the Labor Department, which showed 235,000 nonfarm jobs created.

Analysts at BCA Research pointed out that while no leisure and hospitality jobs were created last month, wages rose — an indicator that the delta wave of COVID-19 infections is the primary cause for the jobs disappointment, and not a shift in the industry’s hiring needs.

“We expect strong job growth in the months ahead as supply-side labor constraints are removed and infections rates ease. This implies that the Fed will continue to prepare for the normalization of monetary policy, starting with a taper announcement later this year,” they said.

Strategists at Barclays lifted their year-end S&P 500 price target to 4,600 from 4,400. “We do not believe that the start of the taper will lead to a significant market selloff,” the Barclays strategists said.

See:Taper your pessimism — Fed’s actions won’t derail U.S. stocks, Barclays strategists say

-William Watts

Which companies are in focus?

How are other assets faring?

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-07-21 0949ET

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