US stocks end mixed as soft jobs data revives fears of a looming recession

  • US stocks were mixed on Wednesday as traders digested weak jobs data. 
  • The Nasdaq Composite fell 1% as traders retreated on recession fears.
  • Gold traded near record highs at $2,049 per ounce. 

US stocks were mixed on Wednesday on fresh recession fears following new data that suggest the labor market is finally weakening after a year of monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve. 

The Nasdaq Composite shed over 1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial average closed in the red as well. Out of the three major gauges, the S&P 500 notched small gains. 

Traders were mulling ADP private payroll data, which showed that US companies added fewer jobs than expected. Data showed private payrolls increased by 145,000 last month, far below estimates of 210,000. All eyes will be on Friday’s non-farm payroll report as the next indicator of labor market strength. 

Meanwhile, gold was flirting with record highs as traders bet that the Fed would soon loosen monetary policy. 

In a note to clients on Wednesday, UBS Global Wealth Management’s investment chief, Mark Haefele, said recession risks have increased.

“As the slowdown of the US economy becomes more apparent, we think investors should prepare for a peak in interest rates by considering opportunities in bonds in the current environment,” Haefele wrote. 

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:

Here’s what else happened today: 

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