S&P, Nasdaq Wrap Up Third Quarter with Record Highs

The Dow struggled to make a meaningful move above breakeven

by Josh Selway

Published on Sep 29, 2017 at 4:31 PM
Updated on Sep 29, 2017 at 4:56 PM

The last day of the third quarter was positive for stocks, though the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) spent most of the day trading modestly lower. The S&P 500 Index (SPX), on the other hand, roared to fresh record highs, as did the Nasdaq Composite (COMP), thanks to a major rebound in large-cap tech stocks. Traders continued to consider the Trump administration's tax plan, while also digesting somewhat disappointing inflation data. But even with today's tepid price action, the Dow managed to extend its quarterly win streak to eight.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 22,405.09) squeezed out a 23.9-point, or 0.1%, win, with 18 Dow components closing higher. Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Microsoft (MSFT) both gained 0.8% to pace the winners, while Nike (NKE) was the worst off of the 12 losers, sliding 1.5%. The Dow added 0.2% for the week, 2% for the month, and 4.9% for the quarter. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,519.36) added 9.3 points, or 0.4%, for its best close ever. This brings the SPX's weekly gain to 0.7%, its monthly gain to 1.9%, and its quarterly return to 4%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 6,495.96) also rallied to record levels, picking up 42.5 points, or 0.7%. The COMP ended the week up 1.1%, the month up 1%, and the quarter up 5.8%. 
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 9.51) dipped 0.04 point, or 0.4%, bringing the fear gauge's weekly loss to 0.8%, its monthly loss to 10.1%, and its quarterly loss to 14.9%. 

Closing Indexes Summary sept 29
NYSE and Nasdaq Sept 29

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Duo Security has discovered that Apple's Mac computers are vulnerable to hard-to-detect firmware hacking. Apple has been trying to address the issue since 2015, but Duo discovered many Macs in use are not adequately protected. (Reuters) 
  2. News reports suggest President Trump met with former Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh about potentially leading the U.S. central bank. Trump is also reportedly considering current Fed governor Jerome Powell.  (Politico, CNBC)
  3. The homebuilding stock that hit new highs after earnings. 
  4. Why this small-cap airline stock could hit higher highs. 
  5. Call buyers blitzed Costco stock ahead of earnings. 

Corporate Earnings Chart September 29
Unusual Options Activity Sept 29
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert


November-dated crude futures added $0.11 today, or 0.2%, to close at $51.67 per barrel, bringing its weekly win to 2%. For the month, oil picked up 7.7%, while sporting a quarterly advance of 10.5%. 

Gold edged lower today, with the December contract shedding $3.90, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,284.80 per ounce. Gold lost 1% for the week and 2.7% for the month, but finished the quarter with a 3.6% lead. 

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