Stocks start November on a positive noteBy KEN SWEET
The Associated Press | November 02,2013AP File Photo
Trader Jeffrey Vazquez works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Stock futures are heading lower after U.S. policy makers said they would maintain a massive economic stimulus program.NEW YORK — The stock market started November on a strong note as investors reacted to an expansion in U.S. manufacturing last month.
The improvement came during what could have been a difficult month for the U.S. economy, with a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days and a narrowly averted default on the U.S. government’s debt, which could have rattled financial markets.
“With what happened in the last two months, it’s amazing how strong this market has been,” said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that its manufacturing index increased to 56.4, the highest level since April 2011. That was better than the 55.1 figure economists were expecting, according financial data provider FactSet.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 69.80 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,615.55. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5.10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,761.64. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,922.04.
Energy stocks lagged the market after Chevron reported that its third-quarter income fell 6 percent, missing analysts’ estimates, due to weakness in the company’s oil refining business. Chevron fell $1.95, or 1.6 percent, to $118.01.
The energy sector was also weighed down by a drop in the price of oil. Crude oil fell $1.77, or 1.8 percent, to $94.61 a barrel.
The positive start to this month’s trading comes after a strong October for the stock market. The S&P 500 closed at a record high seven times during the month, most recently on Tuesday. It ended October with a gain of 4.5 percent.
However, some investors have expressed skepticism that stocks can keep up this rapid pace pace heading into the last two months of the year.
The S&P 500 is up 23 percent so far this year, while the average annual return on the S&P 500 is around 8 percent. Stocks are also starting to look expensive by some measures. Investors are paying more than $16 for every $1 of earnings in the S&P 500, the highest that ratio has been since February 2011.
“I don’t think this market is cheap by any means,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial. “We’ve been urging caution for some time now.”
In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.62 percent from 2.56 percent.
On Friday morning, the Nasdaq’s options market was halted due to a technical glitch. Regular stock trading was not affected.
Among stocks making big moves:
— The Container Store more than doubled on its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company raised $225 million in its initial public offering, pricing 12.5 million shares at $18 each. The stock soared $18.20 to $36.20.
— First Solar jumped $8.83, or 18 percent, to $59.14. The solar panel maker said it had an adjusted profit of $2.28 per share for the third quarter, blowing past analysts’ estimates of $1.13 per share, according FactSet.MORE IN National / World BusinessDALLAS — UPS might levy surcharges or even turn away some holiday shipments this year if... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: V-2 No. 13, launched this day in 1946 from White Sands, New Mexico, takes first photographs of Earth from the edge of the planet's outer atmosphere; 1947: Walt Disney testifies before HUAC, names employees he says are communists.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont's brand discussed at Killington, state's attorney candidates Marc Brierre and Rose Kennedy profiled, Curtis reports about Rutland police chief's new job, and four arrested, charged for heroin, crack sales.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1935, New York gangster, bootlegger, ruthless murderer Dutch Schultz, born Arthur Flegenheimer to Jewish-German immigrant parents, and three associates gunned down, killed, at the Palace Chophouse in Newark, N.J.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Acclaimed illusionist & escape artist Harry Houdini, performing in Montreal in 1926, is sucker-punched by a McGill University student. Houdini doesn't know he has peritonitis - the punches are possible factor in his Oct. 31 death.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Police Chief James Baker to resign from the force at the end of the year to take a job in Washington, D.C., jury remains out in teacher killing murder trial, Rec Dept. releases report on what's wrong with White's Pool.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Well diggers in Cardiff, New York, find what is thought to be the petrified body of a 10-foot-tall man, perfectly preserved after thousands of years, which becomes a popular roadside attraction until proven to be a fake.