Stock Market News for September 30, 2015

Markets ended its choppy session slightly higher on Tuesday following a recovery in healthcare stocks and encouraging economic data on the domestic front. However, another decline in biotech stocks and a drop in Apple shares dragged down the Nasdaq to the red. The Dow finished in the positive territory yesterday, but lost most of the 117 points that it had gained in the initial session. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rebounded from after losing in five consecutive sessions.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 0.3% to close at 16,049.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) gained 0.1% to close at 1,884.09. However, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 4,517.32, declining 0.6%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 2.9% to settle at 26.83. A total of around 7.9 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, higher than the last 20-sessions' average of 7.3 billion. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 55% stocks that declined, 43% advanced.

On Tuesday, the Conference Board reported that Consumer Confidence Index rose to 103 in September from August's reading of 101.3, higher than the consensus estimate of 96.1. The index hit the highest level since January. Moreover, the consumer present situation index increased from August's 115.8 to 121.1 in September, witnessing its highest reading since Sep 2007.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index gained 4.7% year on year in July, higher than a gain of 4.5% in June. While the 10-city index increased 4.5% from the year-ago period in July, 20-city index rose 5%. In month-over-month basis, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose 0.7% in July. Both the 10-city index and 20-city index gained 0.6% in July. According to the report, price increase in the western region of the country was higher than that in the eastern region. These encouraging economic data had a positive impact on benchmarks on Tuesday.

Separately, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) snapped a seven-day losing streak to gain 0.9% on Tuesday. It was also the biggest gainer among the S&P 500 sectors. Key stocks from the sector including Medtronic plc ( MDT ), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ( BMY ), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) and Gilead Sciences Inc. ( GILD ) gained 2.9%, 2.6%, 1.8% and 1.3%, respectively.

Though iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB) recovered slightly in the initial hours, it failed to finish in the positive territory. It lost 0.4% yesterday and is down 15.4% over the month. Apart from the decline in biotech stocks, the Nasdaq was also negatively impacted by a 3% drop in Apple Inc.'s ( AAPL ) shares.

Apple's decline also weighed on the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK), which lost 0.4%. It was also one of the major losers among the S&P 500 sectors. Key technology stocks including Facebook, Inc. ( FB ), EMC Corporation ( EMC ),, inc. ( CRM ) and Adobe Systems Incorporated ( ADBE ) lost 2.9%, 1.1%, 1% and 0.9%, respectively.

However, shares of Yahoo! Inc. ( YHOO ) gained 2.4% after announcing that it will carry on with its plans to spin off the roughly 15% stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd ( BABA ). Yahoo also said that it expects to complete the deal during the fourth quarter of 2015.

Moreover, strong gains in shares of 3M Company ( MMM ) and Johnson & Johnson helped the Dow to negate the impact of Apple's decline. Shares of 3M gained 2.3%.

Meanwhile, investor remained cautious ahead of the non-farm payroll data, which scheduled for release on Friday. It is speculated that Friday's jobs data may play an important role in rate hike decision in October's meeting.

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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.

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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