Major ETFs flatlined Wednesday in quiet trade, pausing after
three winning sessions in a row as the market digested U.S.
productivity numbers released by the Labor Department.
In afternoon trade, the SPDR S&P 500 (
) shed 0.03%.
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (
) ticked up 0.06%.
PowerShares QQQ (
), a basket of the 100 largest nonfinancial stocks on the Nasdaq,
IShares MSCI EAFE Index (
), tracking developed foreign markets, lost 0.17%.
IShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
) added 0.10%.
U.S. Productivity Up
Nonfarm business productivity, which measures the output per
hour of all workers, rose at a 1.6% annual rate in the second
quarter, according the Labor Department. Economists had predicted
a 1.4% gain. That was up from a 0.5% decline in the first
quarter. Productivity in Q2 climbed 1.1% year over year.
Q2 unit labor costs were up 1.7% from Q1 as compensation costs
grew faster than productivity. Economists had predicted a 0.4%
lift in labor costs. Unit labor costs rose 0.8% year over year in
"The surge appears to have reflected discretionary bonus
income rather than more inflationary wage rates or other costs,"
Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics,
wrote in a client note. "And while the Q2 pace was above
consensus, it was roughly in line with the trend in goods and
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