CNBC Daily Open: Don't read too much into market losses so far

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This report is from today's CNBC Daily Open, our new, international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

What you need to know today

Labor market remains tight
U.S. private sector jobs increased by 164,000 in December, according to payroll company ADP. That figure's more than the estimated 130,000 and the downwardly revised 101,000 in November. In conjunction with the fall in initial jobless claims for the last week of 2023, that's a sign the U.S. labor market is still tight — though the pace of pay increases slowed down, ADP said.

Nasdaq's struggles
U.S. stocks lost ground Thursday, giving the Nasdaq Composite its longest losing streak since October 2022. Meanwhile, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield climbed 9 basis points to hit 4.003%. Asia-Pacific markets also retreated Friday, shedding earlier gains. Japan's Nikkei 225, however, bucked the trend to rise 0.6%, as a survey showed Japan's private sector activity had stopped contracting in December.

BYD zooms past Tesla
In 2011, Elon Musk shrugged off BYD, saying its car isn't "particularly attractive [and] the technology is not very strong." Fast forward 12 years, BYD has overtaken Tesla as the top EV maker in the fourth quarter of 2023. Here's how the Chinese automaker achieved the feat — and the company's five best-selling cars in China.

Rocky start to first IPO
Robosense Technology debuted on Hong Kong's stock exchange Friday, making it the first initial public offering in the territory for 2024. It wasn't a promising start, however, as shares of the Alibaba-backed technology company, which develops laser imaging, detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors for self-driving cars, fell 2% on its first day of trading.

[PRO] Look beyond valuation
Inflation may be cooling globally, but the recent attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea may drive up prices once again. To combat the potential of rising prices, this fund looks beyond valuation to target a return that's greater than the U.K. consumer price index plus an additional 3%, after fees and over any five-year period.

The bottom line

Stocks continued struggling for a third straight day in the new year. Mega-cap technology stocks, in particular, have been having a hard time. After another downbeat session yesterday, Apple's lost around 5.5% so far this year, while Amazon's down 4.85% and Microsoft in red by 2.15%%.

Yesterday's tech losses caused the Nasdaq Composite to decline 0.56% Thursday, its fifth loss in a row and its longest losing streak since October 2022. The S&P 500 slipped 0.34%, declining for a fourth consecutive session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, managed to eke out a marginal gain.

But investors shouldn't take the first three trading days as tea leaves that augur how the rest of the year will turn out.

"Whether any of this lasts, I wouldn't really look to the last few days as mattering very much," Steven Wieting, chief investment strategist of Citi Global Wealth told CNBC. "It's really a statistical coin toss."

In fact, Wietling expects the S&P to climb more than 6% by the end of the year, which would put it around the 5,000 level.

Oppenheimer chief market strategist John Stoltzfus is even more optimistic. He thinks the S&P could rally more than 10% in 2024, driven higher by a better-than-expected earnings season.

"When you consider 11 hikes and four pauses insofar and no recession [along with] the resilience that's seen in business and the consumer as well as in labor, all this looks remarkably good," he said.

There's evidence backing his forecast. Consumer strength's demonstrated by data from Bank of America and Adobe. Bank of America credit and debit card data showed spending on holiday items rose 0.3% year on year in the five weeks from Thanksgiving to Dec. 30, while Adobe Analytics said online spending rose 4.9% to a record $222.1 billion between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, economists expect today's U.S. jobs report to show the labor market will continue cooling to just the right temperature.  

"The overall picture is one in which the labor market is gradually decelerating in a very orderly fashion," said Julia Pollak, chief economist at online jobs marketplace ZipRecruiter.

With the consumer staying strong, the jobs market moderating without a sharp increase in unemployment and inflation — hopefully — continuing to subside, the outlook for stocks for the rest of the year appears better than what the first three days have suggested.

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