Dow Rides Rally as Defensive Names Shine on Private Jobs Wobble By

© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – The Dow jumped on Wednesday, as defensive concerns of the market like utilities and consumer staples got a chance to shine amid data showing the U.S. economy created fewer than expected private jobs last month.  

The rose 1.08%, or 308 points, the added 1.17%, and  the gained 0.74%.

In a sign that investors could be worried that the run-up in growth stocks like tech is nearing a top, utilities were among the biggest gainers, led by a more than 3% jump in Exelon (NASDAQ:) and PPL (NYSE:).

Consumer staples were not far behind thanks to a more than 4% rise in Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:) and 9% jump in whiskey maker Brown Forman (NYSE:).

Brown Forman reported first-quarter fiscal first-quarter earnings of 67 cents on revenue of $753 million, topping estimates for earnings of 39 cents a share, on revenue of $691.2 million.

Technology lagged the broader move higher as Apple (NASDAQ:) eased 2%, though still remains up about 80% for the year so far. Shares of Apple have been underpinned by growing investor optimism over its upcoming launch of the iPhone 12, which many Wall Street analysts expect will spark a wave of upgrades.

Energy, meanwhile, continued its sluggish start to the week on falling oil prices despite data showing a larger-than-expected 9.3 million barrel draw in weekly stocks.

On the economic front, investors digested data showing the U.S. economy created 428,000 private jobs last month, well short of estimates of 950,000.

“ADP’s measure has undershot the official estimate of private payrolls in recent months, but the error diminished sharply in both June and July.  Assuming a further narrowing of the gap in August, we expect Friday’s official headline print to be about 750,000,” Pantheon Macroeconomics said.

Still, the somber jobs report did little to cool expectations for a strong economic recovery at a time when consumer spending continues to gather steam.

“Consumer spending continued to pick up, sparked by strong vehicle sales and some improvements in tourism and retail sectors, according to the Fed’s said in its Beige Book report. 

In other news, Tesla (NASDAQ:) fell more than 6% after its largest outside shareholder, Baillie Gifford, cut some of its holdings in the company, citing portfolio restrictions in the wake of the massive run higher in the stock. 

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