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* Sept ISM services report expected at 10:00 a.m. ET
* PepsiCo rises after quarterly beat; lifts Coke
* Tesla drops as quarterly deliveries miss estimates
* Dow off 0.09%, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.09% (Updates to open)
By Medha Singh and Arjun Panchadar
Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks treaded water on Thursday after losing 3% in the past two sessions on data that pointed to the risk of a slide into recession, with investor attention now squarely on services data.
The ISM’s non-manufacturing activity index is likely to show a reading of 55 in September, down from 56.4 in August. Market participants will also focus on a pivotal jobs report on Friday after dismal manufacturing and hiring data showed the U.S.-China trade war was hurting the U.S. economy.
“We are really counting on the consumer to kind of carry us through here amid the slow patch in manufacturing,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Brown said a rebound in the services sector in August from its weakest level in nearly three years was indicative of the health of the overall economy, but “markets are going to be pretty sensitive to any surprise on the downside.”
The gloomy economic data over the last couple of days has led to two straight days of a more than 1% drop in the benchmark S&P 500 for the first time this year and set the Dow on course for its worst week in four months.
The benchmark index is now nearly 5% below its all-time high hit in July even though it came within striking distance of that level two weeks ago.
PepsiCo Inc rose 2.1% after the company beat quarterly expectations as higher advertising and new low-calorie versions of Gatorade boosted demand for its beverages in North America.
Its shares propped up the consumer staples sector by 0.3%, which led gains among nine of the 11 major S&P sectors trading higher.
At 9:38 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.96 points, or 0.09%, at 26,055.66, the S&P 500 was up 1.15 points, or 0.04%, at 2,888.76. The Nasdaq Composite was up 6.95 points, or 0.09%, at 7,792.19.
Leading the decliners on the S&P 500 was Corona maker Constellation Brands Inc, which fell about 4.2% as it took a $839 million write down in the value of its investment in pot firm Canopy Growth during the quarter. However, the company raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.
Tesla Inc shares dropped 5.3% as the electric-car maker’s quarterly deliveries missed analysts’ estimates.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.29-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.03-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and 12 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded no new highs and 33 new lows.
Reporting by Medha Singh and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur