By Geoffrey Smith
Fintech Zoom — U.S, stock markets started the holiday-shortened week on a subdued note, as a high-profile downgrade of U.S. growth forecasts weighed on sentiment amid a broad lack of any more concrete news.
By 9:40 AM ET (1340 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 173 points, or 0.5% at 35,195 points, while the S&P 500 was down by 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite was up by 0.1%, as investors once again sought relative safety in longer-dated growth plays.
Earlier. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) cut its growth forecasts for gross domestic product in the fourth quarter to 5.5% from 6.5% earlier, a move that followed hard on the heels of its second downgrade to the outlook for the current quarter in as many weeks. Having originally expected the U.S. economy to expand at an annualized rate of 8.5% through the summer quarter, Goldman now sees growth of only 3.5%, thanks to the spread of Delta variant Covid-19 and the fading effect of fiscal stimulus.
The downgrade came after August’s labor market report showed a much bigger-than-expected hit to hiring from the latest wave of the pandemic. The U.S. economy created only 235,000 net nonfarm jobs through the middle of the month, less than a quarter of July’s gains and well below the 750,000 expected.
However, there were still notable bright spots: AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) stock rose 6.6% to its highest in a month after news that Disney‘s new Marvel superhero movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, had taken in over $90 million on its debut weekend at the box office in North America. CEO Adam Aron said via Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) that the company beat its own record for Labor Day weekend revenue as a result, adding that the figures topped comparable figures for 2019 for the first time.
Other big gainers included Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) stock, which rose by 6.5% after S&P Dow Jones said it will include the dating site operator’s stock in the S&P 500. That will force passive investors benchmarked to the index to include it in their portfolio.
Going in the other direction, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock fell 0.4% after news of a third death in Japan among people who had received its Covid-19 vaccine from a contaminated batch. The stock also suffered a little from comments over the weekend by U.S. health supremo Anthony Fauci saying that it was lagging Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech in readying materials to support booster shots of its vaccine. Rival vaccine maker Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) stock rose 7.0%, meanwhile, after Japan sealed a deal for 150 million doses of its Covid-19 drug.
Elsewhere in the pharma world, Genmab ADRs (NASDAQ:GMAB) fell 2.2% and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) stock fell 1.9% after Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) analysts downgraded both to Equal Weight on valuation concerns after their recent rallies.
Wall Street Falls at Open on Growth Fears; Dow Down 175 Pts
Chinese activist Ai Weiwei says Credit Suisse closing his foundation’s bank account
Federer-backed shoemaker On aims for over $6 billion valuation in U.S. IPO