Stock Market Today: Stocks Close Higher After ADP Jobs Data

The main benchmarks notched a fourth straight win after private payrolls rose less than expected and Q2 GDP was lowered.

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 Stocks closed higher Wednesday as investors cheered another bad-news-is-good-news reading on the labor market. However, enthusiasm was contained after a separate economic report stirred up recession fears.  

Ahead of the opening bell, ADP said the U.S. added 177,000 private payrolls in August, well below the 200,000 increase expected by economists and the downwardly revised 324,000 gain in July. The Federal Reserve has consistently expressed concern that a stubbornly tight labor market is working at odds with its efforts to bring down inflation, so today's data is welcome news.

Also on the economic calendar was the second reading on Q2 gross domestic product (GDP), which was revised down to 2.1% from the initial reading of 2.4%. Both the second-quarter personal consumption and expenditures (PCE) index – the Fed's preferred measure of inflation that tracks consumer spending – and the core PCE, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, were downwardly revised from the advance estimates. 

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"The [private payrolls] report and this morning's downward revision to GDP imply that the inflation-ridden, red-hot services sector may finally be reaching supply and demand balance, a welcome development relieving market players of further monetary policy intensity at the moment," says José Torres, senior economist at Interactive Brokers

Torres warns that slowing growth in the labor market and economy could create challenges for both corporate earnings and consumers. But, for now, markets are loving the recent batch of weaker economic data without considering "the risks of recession and deteriorating profitability," the economist notes.  

Indeed, all three indexes closed higher for a fourth straight day. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 0.5% to 14,019, the S&P 500 gained 0.4% to 4,514, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 0.1% to 34,890.

3D Systems, Stratasys rise on Apple news

In single-stock news, 3D printing stocks 3D Systems (DDD, +2.0%) and Stratasys (SSYS, +2.4%) each gained ground after a Bloomberg report indicated Apple (AAPL, +1.9%) is testing 3D printers to make the steel chassis for some of its new smartwatches. According to the article, Apple could expand its use of 3D printers on other products if this test is successful, which would help improve the tech giant's manufacturing process.

Elsewhere, HP (HPQ) stock slumped 6.6% after earnings. The printer and PC maker – and member of the Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio – reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of 86 cents per share, matching analysts estimates. However, revenue of $13.2 billion fell short – marking HPQ's third straight top-line miss – and the company gave disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter guidance. 

"The macro situation is not improving as quickly as anticipated," said CEO Enrique Lores in the company's earnings call, adding that the "outlook is largely driven by the continued aggressive pricing environment in PCs, sluggish demand in China and enterprise demands."

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Karee Venema
Contributing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.