NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were modestly lower on the final trading day of May as investors shifted their attention to next week's jobs report for May.
The S&P 500 fell 0.47%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.47%, and the Nasdaq declined 0.43%.
Economists hope to see continued strength in the labor market, proof that March's disappointing number was an aberration in a weak first quarter.
The data "will go a long way toward helping validate if the Federal Reserve is correct in its assumption that a lot of the things that negatively impacted the first quarter were transitory," said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at U.S. Bank.
Economists expect the economy to add 210,000 jobs in May with the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 5.4%. Hourly earnings are forecast to increase 0.2% month on month. The Labor Department will release the data on Friday, June 5.
First-quarter gross domestic product, originally seen up 0.2%, was revised down to negative 0.7% in a second estimate. The contraction was slightly narrower than economists had expected, though marked a stark reminder of how bad economic growth truly was at the start of the year.
The value of inventories increased by $95 billion, down from a previously estimated increase of $110.3 billion. Exports fell 7.6%, while imports were revised up to 5.6% from 1.8%, leading to a larger trade deficit which reduced GDP.
Economists expect the economy to bounce back in the latter half of the year, and second-quarter data including monthly housing figures support this. Second-quarter GDP is expected to rise 3%.