Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records ahead of Q3 earnings

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished at fresh records on Monday (Oct 2) following strong economic data and in anticipation of another strong quarter of corporate earnings reports.

Photo source AFP

All three major indices ended at all-time highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping 152.51 points (0.68 per cent) to 22,557.60.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 9.76 points (0.39 per cent) to 2,529.12, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 20.76 points (0.32 per cent) to 6,516.72.

US manufacturing activity rose to its highest level in September in 13 years, according to data from the Institute for Supply Management.

The report showed strength across virtually every manufacturing segment, although some companies expressed fears that US hurricanes could lead to higher supply costs.

Analysts were also bullish about third-quarter earnings season, which kicks off in earnest in about 10 days. Companies in the S&P 500 are projected to report a five per cent year-over-year gain in operating earnings-per-share (EPS), according to CFRA Research.

"The recovery from the 2015-16 EPS recession continues," said CFRA. "History implies that the final tally will likely be even better than 5.0%."

Analysts said sentiment was not affected by a brutal mass shooting at a Las Vegas hotel that resulted in at least 58 fatalities. However, MGM Resorts, which owns the hotel, fell 5.6 per cent.

Banks were big gainers, with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs all winning more than one per cent.

Healthcare stocks were also strong, as Pfizer advanced 1.1 per cent, Gilead Sciences 3.1 per cent and Johnson & Johnson 0.9 per cent.

General Motors surged 4.4 per cent following an upgrade from Deutsche Bank as it unveiled plans to launch 20 all-electric models by 2023.

Disney advanced 1.3 per cent as it reached an agreement with cable company Altice USA on sports programming and other broadcasts in New York and some other Northeastern states. Altice advanced 0.8 per cent.

Nordstrom sank 6.3 per cent following a report in the New York Post that said talks to take the department store private are faltering. 

Source AFP