NEW YORK (AFP) -Wall Street stocks finished a choppy session mostly lower on Wednesday (May 6) as oil prices fell and fresh US labour data showed another spike in joblessness.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.9 per cent at 23,664.64, and the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.7 per cent to finish at 2,848.42.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.5 per cent at 8,854.39.
Payrolls firm ADP reported the US private sector lost a staggering 20.2 million jobs last month, in a grim precursor to Friday’s official government report.
Adding to the dark outlook: the European Commission said the euro-zone economy would contract by 7.7 per cent in 2020, as the catastrophic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak sweep through the continent.
Sentiment was further dimmed as oil prices fell, snapping a five-day streak of gains amid doubts on how fast demand will recover. US data showed an increase in crude stockpiles, but not as big a jump as analysts expected.
“The market seems to be running out of steam,” said Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities. “We’re starting to see some of the real negative macro news.”
“As the macro indicators become more of a factor, that’s going to create a bit of hesitancy on the part of the investors,” Cardillo added.
Among individual companies, Disney dipped 0.2 per cent as it said it will see an impact of some US$1.4 billion (S$1.9 billion) from the coronavirus in the current fiscal quarter as a result of a massive hit to its theme parks and other operations.
But General Motors jumped 3 per cent after reporting better-than-expected profits and announcing plans to resume US manufacturing this month, even as net income plunged 86 per cent to US$294 million.
Activation Blizzard surged 6.3 per cent as it reported higher profits following heavy use of its games during coronavirus lockdowns, including “Call of Duty: Warzone.” Electronic Arts, another gaming company, also reported higher profits, but fell 3.6 per cent on disappointment over its forecast.