Stocks Erase Post-ISM Loss, But Trading Stifled By Risk From Looming GDP, Jobs Data
Stocks headed into the close flat to marginally higher, erasing earlier losses tied to a better than expected services sector indicator and a lowered EU growth forecast for 2014. Trading in the Dow Industrials was confined to a paper-thin 30 point range for most of the day with pressure on telecom and healthcare stocks offset by strength in consumer staples.
Stocks were trading defensively for most of the day with investors wary of economic data that could influence the Fed to consider tapering before the end of the year. This caused the exaggerated reaction to the above-consensus Institute for Supply Management index for October sending the Dow 117 points lower just after the open. Although very dovish comments from Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren helped soothe Fed-related jitters, investors were unwilling to take aggressive bets before this week's pivotal economic data which includes GDP on Thursday and non-farm payrolls on Friday.