S&P closes above 2,100 for first time since August; Dow positive for 2015

U.S. stocks closed higher by nearly 1 percent or more Monday, the first trading day of November, helped by gains in energy and health care stocks. ( Tweet This )

“To me this is just one gigantic performance chase. No one wants to miss the year-end rally (even after October’s gains),” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group.

“A lot of the international factors that spooked the market in August are still there,” he said, noting declines in Asian equities overnight.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed in the green for 2015, joining the SP 500 and the Nasdaq composite in positive territory for the year so far.

The SP 500 gained more than 1 percent to top 2,100. The last time the index crossed 2,100 in intraday trade was Aug. 18, and its last close above was on Aug. 17.

Energy closed up 2.4 percent to lead SP 500 advancers, despite crude oil settling down 1 percent.

Chevron (CVX), 3M (MMM) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) contributed the most to gains in the Dow, which closed up 165 points.

The Nasdaq composite outperformed, ending up 1.45 percent, as Apple (AAPL) gained 1.4 percent and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) (IBB) rose nearly 3.9 percent for its best day since Oct. 15.

Health care closed up 2 percent as the second-best performing SP sector. Analysts attributed some support to news that Ireland-based drugmaker Shire said it would buy Dyax for about $5.9 billion.

The Nasdaq 100 — which is composed of the Nasdaq’s 100 largest nonfinancial firms — hit a new 52-week high but closed just shy of its record close from March 2000 of 4,704.73. The index briefly topped the record close in intraday trade.

“I think generally earnings continue to do a little better than expected,” said Michael Mussio, managing director at FBB Capital Partners.

“It looks like some people are continuing to buy today into the strength,” he said.

In U.S. economic news, October ISM manufacturing was 50.1 , slightly beating expectations of 50.0 but posting a fourth straight month of decline, Reuters said. Construction spending rose 0.6 percent in September.

“It’s good that it was positive, over 50. It hasn’t collapsed,” said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management. “The economy continues to move along at a moderate pace.”

The final read on October manufacturing PMI hit a 6-month high at 54.1, according to Markit.

The data is “generally positive. Manufacturing data exceeded expectations … we also had positive news on construction that points to areas of the domestic economy that are showing strength,” said Ben Garber, economist at Moody’s Analytics Capital Markets.

“I think we get a lot of mixed signals from the data but this data is a positive,” he said.

The key report for the week is the October nonfarm payrolls report due Friday.

Treasury yields held higher, with the 10-year (U.S.:US10Y) at 2.18 percent and the 2-year (U.S.:US2Y) at 0.75 percent.

The U.S. dollar traded mildly lower against major world currencies, with the euro near $1.10 and the yen at 120.76 yen against the greenback.

The major averages opened little changed, with the Dow dipping into negative territory as Visa (NYSE:V) weighed. The stock closed down about 3 percent after falling more than 3.5 percent in morning trade.

The credit card issuer reported earnings that missed but revenue that slightly topped expectations. Visa also announced the purchase of Visa Europe for about $18.2 billion and authorized a new $5 billion share repurchase program.

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Ahead of the open, Dow futures were up about 50 points, after Markit said the final read on October euro zone manufacturing PMI at 52.3, topping the flash and September print of 52.0.

“I think what’s going on is we had some pretty good manufacturing data out of Europe and that gave futures a boost,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.

European stocks closed higher , with the DAX up nearly 1 percent, after the data releases and amid some key earnings reports from HSBC, Commerzbank and Ryanair.

Asian stocks closed lower after Chinese manufacturing indices continued to show contraction in the sector.

“We had the PMI come out of China [and] even though it was in contraction, it was [unchanged], which is an indication of China’s economy stabilizing,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.

China’s official PMI released by the National Bureau of Statistics was 49.8 for October, unchanged from the previous month but missing expectations of 50.0.

However, the preliminary Caixin China manufacturing PMI did beat expectations, and rose from September’s 47.2 print to 48.3 in October.

“You’ve got a stabilization in the deceleration of China data and the European markets are handling that pretty nicely,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

Hogan and other analysts also noted support for Monday’s gains from positive momentum following stellar October performance.

U.S. stocks ended lower Friday, near session lows, but closed out their best month in four years as a recovery in oil prices and hopes of easy monetary policy supported gains.

In corporate news, HP Inc. (HPQ) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) began trading as separate companies Monday, following the split of Hewlett-Packard into two.

Earnings season winds down with fewer names reporting this week. AIG (AIG) and Fitbit (FIT) are among those posting results after the bell.

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The Dow Jones industrial average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) closed up 165.22 points, or 0.94 percent, at 17,828.76, with Chevron leading advancers and Visa the greatest laggard.

The SP 500 (^GSPC) closed up 24.69 points, or 1.19 percent, at 2,104.05, with energy leading all 10 sectors higher.

The Nasdaq (^IXIC) closed up 73.40 points, or 1.45 percent, at 5,127.15.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) (^VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, held near 14.

About five stocks advanced for every decliner on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 860 million and a composite volume of 3.7 billion in the close.

Dow briefly adds 100 after data; Visa weighs

Crude oil (New York Mercantile Exchange: @CL.1) futures settled down 45 cents, or 1 percent, at $46.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures (CEC:Commodities Exchange Centre: @GC.1) ended down $5.50 at $1,135.90 an ounce.

—Reuters and CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Peter Schacknow contributed to this report

On tap this week:

Monday

Earnings: AIG, Allstate, Fitbit, General Growth Properties

Tuesday

Earnings: UBS, Archer Daniels Midland, CIT Group, DiscoveryComm., Hyatt, Kellogg, Sprint, Activision Blizzard, CBS, Tesla Motors, Etsy, Fogo de Chao, Groupon, Herbalife, U.S. Steel, Zillow, Zynga

Auto sales

10:00 a.m.: Factory orders

Wednesday

Earnings: 21st Century Fox, Honda Motor, Time Warner, Chesapeake Energy, Michael Kors, Motorola Solutions, Lumber Liquidators, SodaStream, Wendy’s, Facebook, MetLife, Qualcomm, CF Industries, Whole Foods,GoDaddy, King Digital

5:30 a.m.: Fed Gov. Lael Brainard on bank supervision panel in Frankfurt

8:15 a.m.: ADP employment

8:30 a.m.: U.S. trade deficit

8:45 a.m.: Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker on social innovation capital

9:45 a.m.: Services PMI

10:00 a.m.: ISM non-manufacturing

10:00 a.m.: Fed Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on bank regulation and supervision

2:30 p.m.: New York Fed President William Dudley, press briefing on looking beyond macro economy

7:30 p.m.: Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer on central bank independence before National Economists Club

Thursday

Earnings: AstraZeneca, Toyota Motors, Molson Coors Brewing, Disney,Kraft Heinz, Monster Beverage, News Corp., Nvidia, Symantec, TripAdvisor, Dreamworks Animation, Shake Shack

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans gives welcoming remarks at banking conference

8:30 a.m.: Jobless claims, productivity and costs

8:30 a.m.: Philadelphia Fed’s Patrick Harker on energy interdependence

8:30 a.m.: New York Fed’s Bill Dudley opening remarks at financial services industry conference

9:10 a.m.: Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer on IMF panel on reforming financial services

1:25 p.m.: Fed Gov. Dan Tarullo on regulation of international banks at Chicago bank conference

1:30 p.m.: Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart at Joint Central Bank conference, Switzerland

4 p.m.: Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Fed policy at IMF conference

Friday

Earnings: Allianz, Cigna, Humana

8:30 a.m.: October employment report

9:10 a.m.: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on policy and economy

3:00 p.m.: Consumer credit

4:15 p.m.: Fed Gov. Lael Brainard on policy panel at IMFconference

Saturday

11:10 p.m.: San Francisco Fed President John Williams on outlook and economic education

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