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Markets Light Ahead of Big Data; CrowdStrike Sinks on Q3 Results

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We now count three straight down trading days for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. The blue-chip Dow index, which closed up by a miniscule +0.01%, looks to have reached another recent peak last week, where the S&P is down from a lower peak and a nonexistent near-term peak on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. The S&P slipped -0.16% on the day and the Nasdaq -0.59%. The small-cap Russell 2000 gained +0.31% in the session.

There would appear to be some hesitation in the markets ahead of big economic numbers due out beginning tomorrow morning: private-sector payrolls from ADP (ADP - Free Report) and nonfarm payrolls from the U.S. government Friday, and PCE price index numbers from October on Thursday. We’ll also see JOLTS data and weekly jobless claims, manufacturing, construction, home sales and a Q3 GDP revision, just to mention a few.

In addition, Fed Chair Jay Powell speaks tomorrow at the Brookings Institute, and we may be seeing some trepidation among market participants about this, as well. Much of the rally post-mid-October lows has been thinly predicated on the notion that the Fed is done hiking interest rates by 75 basis points (bps) at a time by the December meeting. But Powell, who would likely rather not see a bull run on the markets at this stage, has a way of dousing positive sentiment with verbal cold water.

After the closing bell, cybersecurity major CrowdStrike (CRWD - Free Report) has tumbled -18% following its Q3 earnings release, which actually posted beats on top and bottom lines and a hike to earnings guidance in Q4: the company reported 40 cents per share versus 32 cents expected, $581 million in sales outpaced the $575 million in the Zacks consensus, and a range of 42-45 cents in Q4 earnings surpassed the 35 cents analysts had been looking for. Yet the name, already -30% year to date, is taking a bath in late trading.

One reason may be the mention of annual recurring revenue expected to come down on macro headwinds; some smaller customers may fall away and some larger ones are re-toggling their relationship with the Austin, TX-based cybersecurity firm. In addition, we’re seeing some selling off in the space in general during the late session, including Palo Alto Networks (PANW - Free Report) -3.8% and Zscaler (ZS - Free Report) -5.8%.

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