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%.
5 Items on Our Radar Today
- 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 )
- 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 )
- Options traders are eyeing another earnings win for Fitbit stock .
- Under Armour's disappointing earnings sent two athleisure stocks in different directions.
- Inside Merck stock's mixed analyst attention today.
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
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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