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US STOCKS-S&P 500 slips from record high as job growth slows

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·3-min read
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* GM slides despite posting quarterly profit

* Private payrolls growth slows as labor shortages linger

*, Netflix, Facebook outperform

* Indexes: Dow off 0.81%, S&P down 0.31%, Nasdaq up 0.16% (Adds comments; updates prices)

By Echo Wang

Aug 4 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 slipped from a record high on Wednesday as data signaled a sharp slowdown in jobs growth last month, while General Motors tracked its worst day in more than a year despite a record pre-tax profit.

GM's shares slumped 9.1% to a near five-month low, underscoring the uncertainty facing global automakers at a time of technological and economic disruption. Shares of rival Ford Motor Co fell 3.2%.

Eight of the 11 S&P indexes were lower, with industrials and energy slipping 0.8% and 5.9% respectively, as data showed U.S. private payrolls increased far less than expected in July, likely constrained by shortages of workers and raw materials.

The blue-chip Dow, heavily weighted toward economically-sensitive stocks, tumbled 0.8%.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq, on the other hand, rose 0.2% as another report showed a measure of U.S. services industry activity jumped to a record high last month, suggesting a broader economic rebound was still on track.

"The markets are clearly having some trouble trying to process cross-currents of data," said Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth.

"On the one hand, this morning we had the ISM services number came out really hot, one of the best numbers of the cycle. On the other hand, we had the big miss on the ADP number."

After six straight month of gains, the benchmark S&P 500 has struggled to rise higher in August over concerns about the pace of growth as the economy rebounded from the depths of the COVID-19-driven recession, and fears of higher inflation overshadowed a stellar corporate earnings season.

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida said on Wednesday the central bank should be in the position to begin raising interest rates in 2023.

Still, technology stocks including Netflix Inc, Inc and Facebook Inc, which tend to perform better when interest rates are lower, outperformed the broader market.

Focus now turns to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report on Friday.

By 1:39 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 284.25 points, or 0.81%, to 34,832.15, the S&P 500 lost 13.85 points, or 0.31%, to 4,409.3 and the Nasdaq Composite added 23.84 points, or 0.16%, to 14,785.14.

In earnings-related moves, BorgWarner Inc slid 4.5% even as it beat profit expectations on strong consumer demand for new vehicles, while Kraft Heinz Co tumbled 5.4% after warning of margin pressure from higher prices of ingredients.

Robinhood Markets Inc jumped 43.8%, as interest from star fund manager Cathie Wood and small-time traders set up the stock for a fourth session of gains after its underwhelming market debut last week.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.29-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.86-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 65 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 88 new highs and 81 new lows. (Reporting by Echo Wang; Additional reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani, Sruthi Shankar and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Aditya Soni and Diane Craft)

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