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US close: Dow Jones wraps up best month in over a year

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Friday 01 Dec 2023

US close: Dow Jones wraps up best month in over a year

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks were mostly higher at the close on Thursday, with the Dow Jones hitting a new high for 2023, as a winning month for stocks drew to a close.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.47% at 35,950.89 and the S&P 500 had advanced 0.38% to 4,567.80, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.23% at 14,226.22.

The Dow closed 520.47 points higher on Thursday, extending gains recorded in the previous session after US GDP figures came in ahead of expectations.

Major averages delivered solid gains in November, putting an end to a three-month losing streak. For the month, the S&P 500 was up 8.9%, while the Nasdaq picked up nearly 10.7%. The blue-chip Dow Jones was up 8.8% in November, turning in its best monthly performance since last October.

Thursday's primary focus was news that US inflation had eased, as expected, in the month of October, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which will provide some reassurance to the Federal Reserve that elevated interest rates were doing their job of cooling economic growth and taming price pressures. The personal consumption expenditures index for October flatlined during the month after 0.4% growth in September, slightly below the 0.1% increase expected by analysts.

Meanwhile, the annual change in the core PCE - which excludes more volatile items like food and energy to give a more accurate gauge of inflationary pressures and as such is the Fed's preferred measure of inflation - slowed to 3.5% from 3.7%, in line with economists' forecasts. Data also revealed that US personal incomes increased by 0.2% over October as expected, slowing from 0.4% growth in September, while personal spending growth also eased to 0.2%, from 0.7% previously.

Elsewhere on the macro front, Americans filed unemployment claims at an accelerated clip in the week ended 25 November, according to the Labor Department. Initial jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 218,000 last week, up from a revised figure of 211,000 for the previous week but short of market expectations for a print of 220,000.

Continuing claims, on the other hand, surged by 86,000 to 1.92m, marking the highest level since November 2021, while the four-week moving average, which aims to strip out week-to-week volatility, fell by 500 to 220,000. Non-seasonally adjusted claims dropped by 42,136 to 198,843, driven by declines in California, Texas, Oregon, Florida and Georgia.

On another note, November's Chicago purchasing managers' index surged to 55.8 in November, according to the Institute for Supply Management, up from 44 in the prior month, well above market forecasts for a print of 45.4 and the first month of expansion in Chicago's economic activity since August 2022.

Finally, US pending home sales dropped to a record low in October as mortgage rates rose sharply. According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales dropped 1.5% month-on-month and 8.5% year-on-year, following an upwardly revised 11.2% drop in September. Pending home sales hit their lowest level since the NAR started monitoring the metric in 2001 - worse than readings during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global financial crisis of more than a decade ago.

In the corporate space, Big Lots posted a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss at the bell, while Kroger cut its full-year sales guidance on the back of uneven grocery demand and lower prices.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

Dow Jones - Risers

Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $251.90 9.36%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $552.97 3.36%
Boeing Co. (BA) $231.63 3.21%
American Express Co. (AXP) $170.77 1.99%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $180.65 1.79%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $154.70 1.68%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $153.52 1.58%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $38.33 1.51%
International Business Machines Corporation (CDI) (IBM) $158.58 1.37%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $102.48 1.33%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Intel Corp. (INTC) $44.70 -0.53%
Walmart Inc. (WMT) $155.69 -0.25%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $143.41 -0.22%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $19.94 -0.20%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $110.22 -0.09%
Dowdupont Inc. (DWDP) $0.00 0.00%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $378.91 0.02%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $92.69 0.21%
Apple Inc. (AAPL) $189.95 0.31%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $58.44 0.36%

S&P 500 - Risers

Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $251.90 9.36%
PVH Corp. (PVH) $97.78 6.86%
Phillips 66 Common Stock (PSX) $128.88 5.46%
Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) $0.49 5.15%
Discover Financial Services (DFS) $93.11 4.62%
Centene Corp. (CNC) $73.68 4.54%
Packaging Corp. Amer (PKG) $168.02 3.81%
Nucor Corp. (NUE) $170.02 3.78%
Synchrony Financial (SYF) $32.38 3.65%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $552.97 3.36%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Ford Motor Co. (F) $10.26 -3.12%
Dominion Energy Inc. (D) $45.26 -2.97%
CenturyLink Inc. (LUMN) $1.30 -2.96%
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $467.70 -2.85%
Foot Locker Inc. (FL) $26.95 -2.67%
VF Corp. (VFC) $16.70 -2.34%
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) $121.16 -2.17%
Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) $59.15 -1.96%
Fortinet Inc. (FTNT) $52.56 -1.94%
Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI) $3.64 -1.89%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Workday, Inc. (WDAY) $270.72 2.74%
Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) $218.43 2.14%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $48.31 2.09%
Trip.com Group Limited (TCOM) $35.18 2.06%
Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR) $123.59 2.04%
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) $823.81 1.88%
Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) $76.60 1.82%
CSX Corp. (CSX) $32.30 1.80%
Incyte Corp. (INCY) $54.34 1.78%
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $185.29 1.77%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) $0.77 -18.35%
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $467.70 -2.85%
Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL) $132.53 -1.82%
Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG) $133.92 -1.82%
Synopsys Inc. (SNPS) $543.23 -1.67%
Tesla Inc (TSLA) $240.08 -1.66%
Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) $925.73 -1.60%
Meta Platforms Inc. (META) $327.15 -1.52%
Align Technology Inc. (ALGN) $213.80 -1.24%
Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) $611.01 -1.03%


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