U.S. stocks waver after stopgap funding deal; focus turns to jobs

Investing.com — U.S. stocks are wobbling to start a new month and quarter after a last-minute deal to extend government funding for another 45 days averted a government shutdown.

At 10:33 ET (14:33 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 108 points or 0.3%, while the S&P 500 was down 0.1% and the NASDAQ Composite was up 0.5%.

While passage of the stopgap measure potentially threatens House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s hold on the leadership, the extension means lawmakers have more time to pass spending bills and agree on a longer-term plan without the disruption to the system a shutdown poses. Lawmakers are still divided on spending levels and on money for Ukraine and border security.

Jobs data in focus

The main indices were mixed in the final day of September trading on Friday, although all three slipped on a monthly basis. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite in particular dropped to their worst month of 2023 so far. However, the indices are up for the year, highlighting the strength of a rally several months ago that was driven by soaring enthusiasm for generative artificial intelligence.

Headlining the data calendar this week will be several reports on the state of the labor market, including the key September jobs report on Friday, with economists predicting that the U.S. added fewer jobs during the month compared with August.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at 11:00 ET at a roundtable discussion with small business owners. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Hasker and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester are also slated to make remarks during the day.

Cryptocurrency stocks in focus

Shares in crypto-related stocks such as Riot Platforms (NASDAQ:RIOT) and Marathon Digital (NASDAQ:MARA) rose 12.8% and 7.9%, respectively, reflecting a surge in Bitcoin‘s price to near two-month highs.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s (NASDAQ:COIN) shares also rose 2% after the company announced that its Singapore arm had obtained a license to offer digital payment token services to individuals and institutions in the city-state.

Oil climbs amid tight supply outlook

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, also known as OPEC+, will likely not change its production policy at a closely-watched meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee on Wednesday, Reuters has reported.

“We do not believe that the group will change its output policy,” analysts at ING said in a note. “However, what is possible (and a JMMC meeting is not needed for this), is Saudi Arabia starting to ease its additional voluntary supply cut of [one million] [barrels per day].”

Separately, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais noted on Monday that oil demand is expected to remain “resilient” over the rest of 2023, a prediction that was boosted by strong factory activity figures out of top oil importer China.