Manufacturing slowdown, Fed mess stall market rally

Wall Street’s recent efforts to rally following last week’s recession scare was thwarted Thursday by a bevy of bad news, including the first signs of a manufacturing slowdown in 10 years.

Stocks started the day off strong on growing signs of a confident US consumer — thanks to stellar earnings reports from Dick’s Sporting Goods and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

But stocks faltered later in the morning after Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George said she disagreed with the Fed’s decision to cut interest rates last month.

Soon thereafter, the yield curve between 10-year and 2-year Treasury notes inverted for the third time in the last week. Such inversions — when the 10-year yield falls below the 2-year yield — have preceded all seven recessions of the last 50 years.

Throwing more cold water on investors’ attempt to push markets higher was key manufacturing data for August that signaled a “contraction” for the first time since September 2009.

But in a sharp turnaround from last week — when the Dow plunged more than 900 points after the first yield curve inversion — traders were able to largely shrug off Thursday’s bad news.

The Dow notched a modest gain Thursday, closing up 49.51 points — or 0.2 percent — at 26,252.24, while the S&P 500 ended flat and the Nasdaq gave up 0.4 percent.

“We know manufacturing is weak — it’s weak everywhere. The US was never going to be immune to that slowdown. The yield curve has been flirting in and out of inversion, so that’s not new either,” explained Michael Antonelli, managing director at Baird.

“Apply today’s data points to last week and we would have suffered an equity market bloodbath,” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital Management, told The Post.

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