Stocks are mixed again, with the Dow lower and the Nasdaq higher recently. Gold and silver are a smidge higher, while Treasuries, crude oil, and the dollar are flat.

We won’t get the official Labor Department data for May until Friday morning. But today’s private payrolls report from ADP came in weak. It showed the economy created 152,000 jobs last month, the slowest since the start of 2024 and below the average estimate of 175,000. The manufacturing sector actually cut 20,000 jobs, the worst reading for that part of the economy since last July. The information technology and business services groups also shed positions.

Source: Trading Economics

The news follows yesterday’s “JOLTS” report for April, which showed the number of available jobs per job hunter slumped to its lowest in almost three years. On an absolute basis, companies were looking to fill about 8.06 million jobs at the end of April. That was the lowest since February 2021.

The reports have combined to boost speculation about earlier Federal Reserve interest rate cuts. Rate futures traders were recently pricing in a 57% chance of a 25-basis-point cut at the Fed meeting that concludes Sept. 18, up from just 42% a week earlier.

Turns out the $8 billion Family Dollar acquisition wasn’t Dollar Tree Inc.’s (DLTR) best play. The company already announced plans to close 970 former Family Dollar locations. Now, it’s looking to sell or spin off the unit entirely. DLTR operates almost 16,400 low-priced goods retail locations in 48 US states and a handful of Canadian provinces. Its shares are down 15% year-to-date.