Indexes: Dow down 0.92%, S&P up 0.46%, Nasdaq down 0.13%.
Aug 4 - U.S. stocks closed mostly lower on Wednesday with the S&P 500 falling from a record high after data signaled a slowdown in job growth in July and General Motors its worst day since early March.
GM's shares fell 8.9%, underscoring the uncertainty faced by global automakers at a time of technological disruption. Shares of rival Ford Motor Co fell 5.0%.
Nine of the 11 S&P indexes were lower, with industrials and energy both increasing as data showed U.S. private payrolls increased far less than expected in July, likely constrained by shortages of workers and raw materials.
The blue-chip Dow, heavily weighted toward economically sensitive stocks declined also.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq bucked the trend after another report showed a measure of U.S. services industry activity jumped last month to a record high, suggesting a broader economic rebound was still on track.
The ADP employment report this morning big miss has people really locked in to tomorrow's initial claims and then Friday's nonfarm payrolls report, said Ross Mayfield, investment strategist at Baird in Louisville, Kentucky. Is that a big driver?
Broadly, the continuing evolution of COVID - 19, Delta variant over recent weeks and months kind of re-rating of the growth outlook has Mayfield brought to terms with what it means for reflation trade, and what it means to the bond market, Mayfield said.
After six successive months of gains, the benchmark S&P 500 has struggled to rise in August over concerns about the pace of growth as the economy rebounded from the depths of COVID-19 - driven recession and fears of higher inflation overshadowed a stellar corporate earnings season.
On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida stated that the central bank should be in the position to increase interest rates in 2023.
Still, tech and tech-adjacent stocks like Netflix Inc and Facebook Inc, which tend to perform better when interest rates are lower, outperformed the broader market.
Focus now turns to the Labor Department monthly jobs report on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 323.73 points, or 0.92%, to 34,792. 67, the S&P 500 lost 20.49 points, or 0.46%, to 4,402. 66 and Nasdaq Composite added 19.24 points, or 0.13% to 14,780.
In income-related moves, Kraft Heinz Co fell even as it beat profit expectations on strong consumer demand for new vehicles, while BorgWarner Inc fell after warning of margin pressure from higher prices of ingredients.
Robinhood Markets Inc jumped 50.4% as interest from star fund manager Cathie Wood and small-time traders set up the stock for a fourth session of gains after its underwhelming market debut last week.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.78 billion shares, compared with the 9.71 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
Declining issues favored depresseurs on the NYSE by a 2.02 - to - 1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.82 - to - 1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 report 67 new 52 week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 93 new highs and 107 new lows.