Stocks Post Best Monthly Gains Since February

The DJIA and SPX notched a seventh straight monthly gain

Oct 31, 2017 at 4:31 PM
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U.S. stocks ended modestly higher today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) each posting their best monthly gains since February. The Dow and S&P also extended their monthly win streaks to a seventh month, and the Nasdaq notched another record high in early trading, thanks to surging semiconductor stocks like Intel (INTC).

On the economic front, consumer confidence rose to a nearly 17-year high, and the employment cost index jumped 0.7% in the third quarter, which could translate into increased pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December. The central bank will emerge from its two-day meeting tomorrow, a day before traders expect President Trump's pick to lead the Fed.

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

  • How the Dow made history today.
  • The pharma stock slammed by legal trouble.
  • A look at Tesla's earnings history.
  • Plus, a look at Fitbit shares ahead of earnings; how Under Armour's earnings shocked two athleisure stocks; and behind one pharma stock's mixed analyst attention.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 23,377.24) ended with a gain of 28.5 points, or 0.1%. INTC led the 15 Dow gainers with a 2.5% advance, while General Electric (GE) paced the 15 losers with a 1.2% drop. For the month, the Dow gained 4.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,575.26) ended up 2.4 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,727.67) touched a record high of 6,737.75, before ending with a gain of 28.7 points, or 0.4%. For the month, the SPX and IXIC gained 2.2 and 3.6%, respectively.
 
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 10.18) lost 0.3 point, or 3.1%, and posted a monthly gain of 7%.

Closing Indexes Summary Oct 31
NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Oct 31

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. JAB Holding is rumored to be interested in buying Dunkin' Brands. The company, which purchased Panera Bread for $7.5 billion in April, also owns Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. (CNBC)
  2. Netflix suspended production of the sixth season of "House of Cards," after actor Anthony Rapp accused the show's star Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct in a BuzzFeed article. (MarketWatch)
  3. Options traders are eyeing another earnings win for Fitbit stock.
  4. Under Armour's disappointing earnings sent two athleisure stocks in different directions.
  5. Inside Merck stock's mixed analyst attention today.


Corporate Earnings Oct 31

Unusual Options Activity Oct 31
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Crude prices settled higher again today, amid talk of extended production cuts. December-dated oil futures ended up 23 cents, or 0.4%, at $54.38 per barrel, with a monthly gain of 5.2%. 

Meanwhile, gold ended lower, as the dollar recovered from yesterday's political uncertainty and investors grow cautious ahead of Trump's Fed chair selection, which is expected for Thursday. December-dated gold ended up $7.20, or 0.6%, at $1,270.50 an ounce, with second straight monthly decline of 1.1%.

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