Stock Market Today: Stocks Slip to Start Jobs Week

Coming off a fifth straight weekly win, the main indexes took a breather ahead of a busy week of jobs data.

stock market chart with purple and teal bars
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks closed lower Monday, with the main benchmarks coming off a five-week winning streak. Investors may be taking a cautious stance ahead of this week's onslaught of jobs data, which hits just ahead of the next Fed meeting – set to kick off Tuesday, December 12 (the same day the November Consumer Price Index is due).  

The jobs data starts rolling in Tuesday with the release of the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reading. However, all eyes are on Friday's nonfarm payrolls report, especially after October's data showed a sharp slowdown in job growth.

Additionally, Brent Schutte, chief investment officer at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, will be watching "the labor force participation rate to see if the recent rise in new entrants joining the workforce is continuing. A rise in labor force participation could help ease the current elevated wage pressures."

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Ahead of this highly anticipated event, the Nasdaq Composite today fell 0.8% to 14,185, the S&P 500 dropped 0.5% to 4,569, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1% to 36,204.

"After five very strong weeks, a pullback was arguably overdue, but may likely be seen as a buying opportunity before the month is over," says Louis Navellier, chairman and founder of Navellier & Associates

Uber among the newest S&P 500 stocks

In single-stock news, Uber Technologies (UBER) stock rose 2.2% on reports the ride-hailing company will be added to the S&P 500 ahead of the open on Monday, December 18. Uber will be joined by building materials manufacturer Builders FirstSource (BLDR, -1.7%) and electronic parts maker Jabil (JBL, -1.3%). 

The three will replace packaging company Sealed Air (SEE, -1.6%), solar stock SolerEdge Technologies (SEDG, +1.4%) and air carrier Alaska Air Group (ALK), according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.  

Alaska Air to buy Hawaiian Airlines

Speaking of Alaska Air, the company announced over the weekend that it is buying Hawaiian Airlines (HA) in an all-cash deal valued at $1.9 billion, including debt, or $18 per HA share – a 270% premium to Friday's closing price of $4.86. HA shares surged 192.6% today, but at $14.22, they're still well below ALK's purchase price.

The proposed acquisition "comes at a challenging time in the airline industry, with elevated U.S. domestic capacity, cost convergence, delays in aircraft deliveries, labor shortages, and peer JetBlue (JBLU, +4.5%) still working through various regulatory hurdles for its proposed deal with Spirit Airlines (SAVE, +4.1%)," says Susquehanna analyst Christopher Stathoulopoulos. 

This begs the question "why now," Stathoulopoulos says, especially given ALK's relatively strong balance sheet and comments in its third-quarter earnings call about getting back to a single fleet. It seems like investors agreed, with ALK shares tumbling 14.2% today.

Spotify stock jumps on layoff news

Elsewhere, Spotify Technology (SPOT) said it is laying off 17% of its global workforce, or about 1,500 employees. The news came via a note from CEO Daniel Ek, who wrote that while the company contemplated making smaller cuts spread over the next two years, "considering the gap between our financial goal state and our current operational costs, I decided that a substantial action to rightsize our costs was the best option to accomplish our objectives." This is the third round of layoffs Spotify has undergone this year. 

The communication services stock jumped 7.5% today, bringing its year-to-date gain to 146%. 

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Karee Venema
Senior Investing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is the senior investing editor 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.