U.S. stocks sank, and oil prices slipped amid two key pieces of data: the JOLTS job openings survey, which showed a softening in the labor market, and factory orders data.
Checking in with the indexes around 12:05 p.m. ET, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) declined nearly 0.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) slipped 0.78%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) slid 0.54%
Oil prices moved down, with WTI crude oil — the U.S. benchmark — trading below $80 a barrel. Oil was back in its four-month trading range after OPEC+ announced it would slash output by 1.16 million barrels per day.
On the economic front, vacancies at US employers fell to 9.93 million from 10.5 million, lower than expected. On the other hand, quits were up and layoffs were down, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. Separately, factory orders fell 0.3%, also lower than anticipated.
Bond yields moved downward after the data prints. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note dipped to 3.35% Tuesday.
The S&P 500 closed up 0.4% on Monday. The biggest laggard was the Nasdaq 100, which fell 0.27%. Bond yields were down as manufacturing activity slumped to the lowest level since May 2020, signaling further declines could be coming as credit conditions tighten.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said Monday that the continued strength in the labor market gives the Fed room to fight inflation. Bullard also commented on OPEC’s decision to cut output, suggesting it could potentially make the Fed’s job of lowering inflation more challenging as oil prices increase.
Separately, Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook also highlighted the continued tightness in the labor market.
“We are still going to see inflation from that, but we’ve seen wage gains moderating quite a bit,” she said.
Still, the Federal Reserve has stuck with inflation as its top concern, even amid the recent banking turmoil that has showed signs of easing.
“The Fed rate expected for the next meeting was largely flat against this backdrop, climbing a modest 1.6…