Closing Update: Stocks Extend Rally, Lifting Major Indices to Fresh Highs

U.S. stocks were higher today, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials closing at a record high. Gains were supported by mostly improved Q3 company earnings and expectations the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Markets Committee will conclude its two-day meeting tomorrow leaving its $85-billion monthly stimulus efforts in place for the foreseeable future. Nearly all industry sectors in the S&P 500 advanceds, led by shares of consumer staples and technology companies. Energy stocks also flourished despite a small drop in crude oil prices today while financial stocks lagged the broader markets.

Trading for some Nasdaq-listed index securities were temporarily halted this afternoon after the securities exchange's Global Index Data Service was disrupted before resuming normal operations at 12.37 pm EDT. The glitch affected two of the market's more closely watched indices - the Nasdaq 100 and the Nasdaq Composite - forcing a brief shutdown in trading of securities linked to those indices.

NDAQ officials said they were investigating the issue, adding no equity exchange operations were affected by the shutdown.

In economic news today, inflation unexpectedly eased at the wholesale level with the Labor Department reporting its producer price index declined 0.1% during September after rising 0.3% in August. The market consensus was looking for for a 0.2% gain.

Excluding food and energy, prices firmed 0.1%, matching expectations, following no change in August.

But home prices, as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller index, continued to pick up new steam in August, with the 20-city index rising an adjusted 0.9% compared to a 0.6% rise during the prior month. It was the first monthly pickup since April when prices jumped 1.7 percent.

The year-on-year rate is showing extra strength, gaining 12.8%. City data also showed a clean 20-city sweep of monthly gains.

Also, business inventories rose 0.3% during August, the Commerce Department reported today, possibly indicating modest industrial re-stocking was underway this summer that could provide a lift in Q3 GDP growth. July inventories rose 0.4%.

Commodities were mostly lower. Crude oil for December delivery fell 48 cents to settle at $98.20 per barrel while November natural gas was down 7 cents to $3.50 per 1 million BTU. December gold slid $6.60 to $1,345.30 per ounce while December silver was down 3 cents at $22.49 per ounce. December copper added a penny to settle at $3.28 per pound.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 111, or 0.7%, at 15,680

S&P 500 up 9, or 0.6%, at 1,771

Nasdaq Composite Index up 12, or 0.3%, at 3,952


Hang Seng Index up 0.18%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.23%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.71%


(+) ONP, Sees Q3 EPS of $0.30 on $37.7 million in revenue, up from a $0.24 per share profit in the year-ago quarter on $37.7 million in revenue.

(+) NTRI, Q3 revs of $85.4 mln beat Capital IQ consensus by $3.4 mln. EPS of $0.15 tops expectations by $0.02 per share.

(+) JLL, Q3 Adjusted earnings of $1.49 per share soundly beats estimates looking for $1.40 per share.


(-) DCO, Q3 EPS misses by $0.04; revenue also trails estimates.

(-) EROC, Decreases quarterly distribution by 32% to $0.15 per share.

(-) SAMN, Guides Q1 EPS, revenue below consensus, overshadowing $0.06 per share beat with Q4 earnins.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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