- Stocks plunged on Wednesday as new economic data on hiring and manufacturing sparked concerns that the US economy could be headed for a slowdown.
- The ADP Research Institute said private employers added 135,000 jobs in September, falling below the 140,000 forecasted by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
- The weak hiring data came on the back of a disappointing manufacturing readout on Tuesday showing that factory activity sunk to a 10-year low last month.
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Stocks got pummeled on Wednesday after a pair of economic reports set off lingering fears of a slowdown — and possible recession — in the US economy.
Here’s a look at the major indexes as of the 4: 00 p.m. close on Wednesday:
- The S&P 500 fell 1.79%, to 2,887.61.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 494 points, or 1.86%, to 26,078.62.
- The Nasdaq Composite slid 1.56%, to 7,785.25.
Payroll data from the ADP Research Institute showed that private employers added 135,000 jobs in September, coming up short of the 140,000 projected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The institute also revised its August reading to 157,000, down from 195,000.
The hiring data followed the lowest factory-activity readout in a decade, released by the Institute for Supply Management on Tuesday. The organization said its manufacturing index fell to 47.8 last month, missing forecasts of 49.1 and hitting its lowest point since June 2009.
The duo of weak readouts led to a resurgence of concern on Wednesday that the US economy could be bound for a slowdown as the US-China trade war weighs on producers. There’s also worry that the slowdown could spread to consumers and lead to a decline in spending.
Within the S&P 500 sectors, energy declined more than 2.5%, while consumer staples and financials fell close to 2%. Industrials and materials both tumbled 1.9%.
Read more: The last 2 times stocks entered the ‘Grey Zone’ were before the tech bubble and the global financial crisis. Here’s why UBS thinks equities are on a similar path — and why the Fed will be powerless to stop it.