By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened mostly lower on Wednesday as fears of an economic slowdown and, possibly, an early withdrawal of monetary stimulus, continued to dominate.
By 9:40 AM ET (1340 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 65 points, or 0.2%, at 35,035 points. The S&P 500 was down 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite, which had closed at a fresh record high on Tuesday, was down 0.4%.
Earlier, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard repeated his call for an immediate start to the ‘tapering’ of bond purchases by the Fed, whose policy-setting committee next meets on September 22nd. Bullard told the Financial Times that there are more vacant jobs than there are unemployed workers in the U.S. economy and that the weak August employment report was well within the limits of monthly volatility that should be expected.
The morning’s trading is likely to be dominated by the JOLTS job openings report, which showed vacancies surging to a fifth straight monthly record of 10.934 million. The numbers may help offset some of the pessimism felt since the employment report for August on Friday, which had showed a big drop in the pace of job gains in August. The economic calendar is otherwise relatively bare, except for numbers showing that mortgage applications fell again last week, their third drop in the last four weeks.
Among early movers, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock rose 1.0% after data showing that its factory in China continues to scale up production rapidly, despite recurrent problems with semiconductor shortages. One of its Chinese rivals Nio (NYSE:NIO) saw its ADRs fall 3.5% after it announced a secondary offering to finance its expansion.
Another stock hit by a secondary offering was Bumble (NASDAQ:BMBL). The dating site operator fell some 1.6% after announcing a block sale of around 12% in the company by existing shareholders, led by Blackstone (NYSE:BX). They’re taking cash off the table after seeing the stock rise 14% since its February listing.
Elsewhere, Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN) stock fell 3.5% after the company said that the Securities and Exchanges Commission had threatened legal action if it launched a new product allowing customers to lend digital assets. CEO Brian Armstrong said the practice was already widespread in the sector and criticized the SEC in a thread on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) for refusing to clarify its position on regulating crypto.
Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock fell another 2.2% amid the fallout from the deaths of people who had taken contaminated doses of its Covid-19 vaccine. Switches into rival Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) stock, which earlier this week signed a major sales contract with Japan for its rival vaccine, rose another 7.7% Fellow biotech startup Kadmon (NASDAQ:KDMN) rose 72% after agreeing to be bought by French pharma giant Sanofi (PA:SASY) (NASDAQ:SNY), which fell 2.6%.
Wall Street Opens Mostly Lower as Economic Fears Weigh Again; Dow Down 65 Pts
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