Stocks – Wall Street Flat to Lower at Open; ISM Data on Tap

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – Wall Street opened flat to lower on Thursday, following a seep selloff in the previous two sessions as investors eyed services sector data due later in the day amid concerns over the deepening impact of global trade tensions on the U.S. economy.

The dipped 0.1%, by 09:40 AM ET (13:40 GMT), while the and the were little changed.

Wall Street’s main indexes slid 3% in the previous two sessions after weak employment and manufacturing data suggested that the U.S.-China trade war is taking an increasing toll on the U.S. economy.

The ISM’s non-manufacturing activity index is forecast to slow to in September, down from 56.4 in August. The report is coming ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for September, which will be closely watched for signs of strength in the economy.

“We are really counting on the consumer to kind of carry us through here amid the slow patch in manufacturing,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Brown said a rebound in the services sector in August from its weakest level in nearly three years was indicative of the health of the overall economy, but “markets are going to be pretty sensitive to any surprise on the downside.”

Data earlier Thursday showed that rose marginally last week, suggesting the labor market remains strong even as employers are becoming more cautious about hiring workers.

Meanwhile, shares in Pepsi (NASDAQ:) were higher after it beat quarterly revenue and profit estimates, as ramped up advertising and new low calorie versions of Gatorade boosted demand for its beverages in North America.

Brewer Constellation Brands (NYSE:) fell despite raiseing its full-year adjusted profit forecast. It beat Wall Street estimates for second quarter profit on the back of strong summer demand for Corona and Modelo beers, but shares fell after it said it took a $839 million write down in the value of its investment in pot firm Canopy Growth (TO:WEED) during the quarter.

Discount wholesaler Costco (NASDAQ:) was set to report after the close.

Tesla (NASDAQ:) shares fell more than 5% after it fell short of expectations with its third-quarter deliveries, which totalled 97,000. CEO Elon Musk had predicted the company would crack 100,000 for the first time.

The , which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was treading water, while were almost unchanged at $1,507.55 a troy ounce. were down 1.6% at $51.76 a barrel.

–Reuters contributed to this report

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