U.S. stocks closed lower on Thursday, as investors awaited the September jobs report on Friday that could influence the Federal Reserve’s decision on tapering its bond-buying program. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.35%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.49%, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.64%1.
Among the biggest losers of the day were shares of Rivian Automotive, the electric vehicle maker backed by Amazon and Ford. The stock plunged 20.5% after the company announced plans to issue $1.5 billion of convertible bonds, raising concerns about dilution and cash burn2. Rivian had soared more than 150% since its blockbuster IPO last week, reaching a market value of over $100 billion.
On the positive side, shares of Polestar, another EV maker, rose 9.4% in their trading debut after completing a merger with a blank-check company. The Swedish company, which is partly owned by Volvo and China’s Geely, is seen as a potential rival to Tesla in the premium EV segment3.
In other news, oil prices extended their losses on Thursday, as traders worried about the impact of the new coronavirus variant Omicron on global demand. U.S. crude futures settled 2.6% lower at $65.91 a barrel, while Brent crude futures fell 2.4% to $68.42 a barrel4. Natural gas prices, however, surged to a nine-month high of $3.97 per million British thermal units, as colder weather boosted heating demand and supply remained tight.
The jobs report on Friday will be closely watched by investors and policymakers, as it could provide clues on the strength of the economic recovery and the timing of the Fed’s tapering plans. Analysts expect the U.S. economy to have added 550,000 nonfarm payrolls in November, up from 531,000 in October, while the unemployment rate is forecast to dip to 4.5% from 4.6%.