Dow rings up eighth triple-digit gain in October
NEW YORK MarketWatch) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average vaulted higher on Thursday trading, dragging the other major U.S. benchmarks higher as well.
The Dow industrials staged a rally of more than 200 points, after starting the session modestly higher. The rally marked the blue-chip indexes eighth straight triple-digit gain in an October that was frightful, at times.
Much of the Dow’s gains can be credited to Visa Inc., Merck & Co. But rosy economic data, pointing to stronger-than-expected growth also factored.
TBroader benchmarks also recorded modest gains, a day after the Federal Reserve officially announced the conclusion of its bond-purchasing initiative.
Confirming the Fed’s optimistic view on the economy, the first reading of third-quarter GDP came in better than expected, expanding at a 3.5% annualized rate. Weekly jobless claims ticked up. However, claims remain below the 300,000, pointing to an improving labor market.
Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.30% rallied 221.11 points, or 1.3%, to 17,195.42. The top two winners on the index, Visa Inc and Merck & Co, contributed 141 and 71 points, respectively, while more than two-thirds of its components finished higher.
The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.62% closed 12.35 points, or 0.6%, to 1,994.65, after flirting with the 2,000 level at session highs.
The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.37% added 16.91 points, or 0.4%, to 4,566.14. The Russell 2000 index gained 9.42 points, or 0.8%, to 1,155.79.
More volatility coming? Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank, said the surprise was that the Fed chose to be so confident so soon after the recent volatility. “Last night’s statement would have been near impossible to publish two weeks ago, so it is a bit of a risk,” he said in a note. Four reasons the market will rally for the rest of 2014
“At a minimum, the Fed seem quite comfortable withdrawing liquidity from the market, and with that, we continue to think that bouts of volatility are more likely now than they were for most of the two years that QE3 was in existence,” said Reid. Economists reactions to Fed statement: Signs of hawkishness
Visa Inc. V, +10.24% rose 10% after the company’s earnings and revenue beat forecasts. It’s rival MasterCard Inc. MA, +9.40% also rallied 9.4% after beating analysts’ forecasts for third-quarter profits and sales.
Avon Products Inc. AVP, -9.03% dropped 9% as weak foreign exchange rates and higher supply chain costs weighed on results, which topped Wall Street profit estimates.
Lakeland Industries Inc. LAKE, +22.97% soared 23%, following a big jump in late trade on Wednesday, after the hazmat-suit maker reported increased manufacturing capacity in response to the Ebola crisis.
GoPro Inc. GPRO, +0.53% GPRO, +0.53% shares rose more than 6% in the extended session Thursday after the mobile sports-camera maker’s third-quarter results topped Wall Street expectations.and LinkedIn LNKD, +1.70% results topped forecasts, but outlook fell short of expectations. Shares still rose 2% aftermarket. Read more about the day’s notable stocks in Movers & Shakers column.
Dollar up, gold slides: The dollar rose against the euro EURUSD, +0.02% and the yen USDJPY, +0.01% — briefly tapping its highest levels since early October against the Japanese currency — as investors absorbed the Fed outcome. Gold GCZ4, -2.11% slid 2.2%, while crude-oil prices CLZ4, -1.44% were off more than 1%.
European stocks SXXP, +0.59% SXXP, +0.59% pulled back, while Asian stocks saw mostly moderate gains, outside of a 0.4% drop for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.49%