U.S. stocks were higher in the final session of the quarter, with some positive Chinese economic data appearing to offset continued signs of slowing domestic manufacturing activity. The global markets also mulled late last week’s reports that the U.S. is considering restricting investment in China. Meanwhile, Thor Industries rallied after posting stronger-than-expected earnings and NextEra announced an acquisition. Treasury yields were little changed and the U.S. dollar was higher, while gold and crude oil prices declined.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 97 points (0.4%) to 26,917, the S&P 500 Index gained 15 points (0.5%) to 2,977 and the Nasdaq Composite increased 60 points (0.8%) to 7,999. In moderate volume, 882 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.8 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil moved $1.84 lower to $54.07 per barrel and wholesale gasoline lost $0.04 to $1.57 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price declined $22.86 to $1,474.31 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.3% higher at 99.38.
The Chicago PMI Index fell back to a level depicting contraction (a reading below 50), declining to 47.1 in September from August’s 50.4 level and compared to the Bloomberg expectation of a dip to 50.0. The index posted the third month of contraction in four as new orders, order backlog and employment all declined.
The September Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index dipped but remained in expansion territory (a reading above zero), decreasing to 1.5 from 2.7 in August, and versus expectations of a decline to 1.0. Growth in new orders and production slowed but employment expanded at a faster rate.
Treasuries were little unchanged, as the yields on the 2-year and 10-year notes, along with the 30-year bond, were flat at 1.62%, 1.67% and 2.12%, respectively.
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