Investing.com -- U.S. stocks gave up gains Wednesday, as investors digested another round of softer jobs data pointing to a slowing economy, boosting hopes that sooner rather later rate Federal Reserve cut is on the horizon.
By 14:48 ET (19:48 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20 points, or 0.1%, the S&P 500 was flat, and the NASDAQ Composite fell 0.1%.
Private job gains slow in November
Data from payroll processor ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) showed that private U.S. employers added just 103,000 jobs last month, down from a revised mark of 106,000 in October. Economists had forecast an increase of 130,000 jobs.
The data arrived a day after job openings dipped to their lowest mark in over two years in October and point to a slowing job market that could not only slow the economy but also force the Fed a rate cut early next year.
The slew of the jobs data will continue on Thursday and Friday with release of weekly initial jobless claims and nonfarm payrolls, respectively.
Campbell Soup beats expectations
In corporate news, Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) stock rose over 4% after the food company surpassed expectations for quarterly profit on Wednesday, benefiting from higher prices for its packaged meals and snacks that helped offset a slowdown in demand from cost-conscious consumers.
Brown Forman (NYSE:BFb) stock slumped over 6% after the whiskey-maker cut net sales forecast for 2024 as cost-conscious consumers looked at cheaper alternatives to its more pricier brands in the United States.
Cloud services provider Box (NYSE:BOX) stock fell 10% after reporting disappointing third-quarter results after the close Tuesday.
Toll Brothers rally leads homebuilders higher; MongoDB (NASDAQ:MDB) slumps despite strong results
Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL) rose more than 2% to lead the broader homebuilders sector higher after the luxury homebuilder reported better-than-expected quarterly results.
The company also touted optimism ahead for home buying activity after a recent slip in mortgage rates, lifting homebuilders including Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) and DR Horton Inc (NYSE:DHI) higher.
MongoDB fell more than 8% even as the cloud data storage company reported quarterly results that beat on both the top and bottom lines, driven by growth in its enterprise advanced segment.
"[W]e believe MongoDB can leverage an attractive growth recipe to sustain its recent momentum," Oppenheimer said in a Wednesday note.
Oil prices plunge to drop below $70 a barrel; Exxon to boost pace of buybacks
Oil prices below $70 a barrel to the lowest level since June on Wednesday after weekly U.S. petroleum data showed a larger-than-expected draw in weekly U.S. inventories, but also a much larger in build in gasoline supplies at time when U.S. crude production climbed to record highs.
Weekly U.S. inventories fell by 4.6M barrrels, compared with estimates for a decline of $1.03M, while gasoline supplies jumped by 5.4 barrels, well above expectations for a build of 1M.
The jump in gasoline supplies come just as data showed earlier this week that U.S. oil production hit a record high in September.
The broader energy sector fell more than 1%, with ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) down 1.3% despite detailing plans to increase the pace of its share buybacks after it closes its $60 billion takeover of shale producer Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD).
(Peter Nurse, Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)
Upgrade your decision-making with InvestingPro+! Using discount code “INVESTPRO” receive an additional 10% off the InvestingPro+ yearly subscription. Click here and don't forget the discount code.