U.S. stocks retreat amid jobs data as shutdown enters 2nd day

Data Delay

A report today showed companies added fewer workers than projected in September, indicating the U.S. job market is struggling to gain momentum. The 166,000 increase in employment followed a revised 159,000 rise in August that was smaller than initially estimated, according to the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey. The median forecast of 40 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 180,000.

Investors have been scrutinizing economic reports to gauge whether growth is robust enough for the Federal Reserve to begin curtailing stimulus at its next meeting this month. The Labor Department won’t release its monthly jobs report on Friday if the government remains closed.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, rose 6.4% to 16.54 today, reversing a 6.4% drop yesterday. The equity volatility gauge is down 8.2% this year.

Broad Slump

All 10 main S&P 500 groups retreated at least 0.2% today, after each industry rallied more than 0.3% yesterday. Industrial companies and producers of consumer staples tumbled at least 0.8% to pace today’s declines.

BlackBerry slid 4% to $7.60, the lowest in 11 months. The company expects to record about $400 million in restructuring charges, four times the amount it originally projected, as it cuts staff by 40% and sells off equipment and real estate.

Alcoa slumped 2% to $8.01. Deutsche Bank reduced its recommendation to sell from hold, citing the outlook for lower aluminum prices. Shares of the company could fall 33% to as low as $5.50 in the next year, according to the firm, which also said Alcoa should consider spinning off its primary metals business.

Monsanto Co. fell 1.2% to $103.83. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss that was wider than anticipated and said earnings for the year that began Sept. 1 will be no more than $5.20 a share excluding acquisition costs. Analysts estimated profit of $5.34 on average. Monsanto also agreed to buy farm-data company The Climate Corp. for $930 million.

Tesla Risk

Tesla Motors Inc. dropped 1.5% to $190.15. The shares were cut to neutral from outperform by Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Ben Kallo, who cited possible “execution risk” related to production milestones for Model S electric cars.

Global Payments climbed 11% to $56.21, headed for a record close. The bank-card processor forecast cash earnings in 2014 will be as much as $4.05 a share after earlier predicting profit will be no more than $4. The Atlanta-based company also reported first-quarter cash earnings were $1 a share, exceeding the 94-cent profit estimated by analysts on average.

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