The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed lower for a third straight session Tuesday as traders struggled to recover from sharp losses suffered in the previous session and looked ahead to more economic tea leaves coming later in the week.
The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.59% to close at 10,983.78. The S&P 500 lost 0.16%, ending the day at 3,957.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average notched a marginal gain, closing 3.07 points, or 0.01%, higher at 33,852.53.
Investors are watching for data coming later this week, including JOLTS job openings on Wednesday and November payrolls Friday, for insight into how the economy is performing. They are also waiting for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s scheduled speech at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings on Wednesday for clues into whether the central bank will slow or stop interest rate hikes.
“The market has shifted focus from the conclusion of the third quarter earnings reporting season to now additional factors that are likely to influence the Federal Reserve in their December deliberations,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank. “Investors are clearly focused on the path ahead rather than looking in the rear-view mirror.”
The markets largely failed to reverse course from the steep and broad losses Monday after protests in mainland China against the country’s zero-Covid policy started over the weekend. The protests elevated concerns over the potential for Chinese Covid protocols that could once again hamper global supply chains.
Overnight, however, global markets seemed to catch a reprieve as a Chinese official told reporters that 65.8% of people “over age 80” had received booster shots. On top of that, the government reported the first decline in Covid infections within mainland China in more than a week. That contributed to a rally in the Hong Kong and Shanghai markets.