Stocks ended the last day of an ugly quarter and month on a strong note, with the Nasdaq gaining more than 2%, and all sectors of the S&P 500 closing in the green.
The third quarter was the worst for stocks since 2011. The Dow fell 7.6%, the S&P 500 lost 7%, and the Nasdaq dropped 7.4%.
First, Wednesday’s scoreboard:
Dow:16,284.70, +235.57, (1.47%) S&P 500: 1,920.03, +35.94, (1.91%) Nasdaq: 4,620.17, +102.84, (2.28%)
And now, the top stories:
Business activity in the Midwest is in contraction, again. The ISM Chicago purchasing manager’s index was reported at 48.7, missing the estimate for 54.4. For a fifth month this year, the index was below 50, the borderline between expansion and contraction. “Downgrades to global economic growth and intense volatility in financial markets” weighed on manufacturing in the region, according to the report. Other regional manufacturing surveys, including those from the Philly and New York Federal Reserves, were weak in September. US private payrolls grew by 200,000 in September, according to ADP Research Institute. Economists had estimated growth of 190,000, unchanged from August. The goods-producing sector added 12,000 jobs, while service-producing firms increased payrolls by 188,000. “Despite job losses in the energy and manufacturing industries, the economy is creating close to 200,000 jobs per month,” wrote Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi in the release. “At this pace full employment is fast approaching.” Twitter is finally getting a new permanent CEO, and it is interim chief executive Jack Dorsey, according to Re/code. The company could announce Dorsey’s appointment as soon as Thursday, ending the four-month search since Dick Costolo suddenly resigned in June. Dorsey would also remain as CEO of mobile payments company Square. Twitter shares rallied as much as 4% today. US crude oil inventories rose by 3.95 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration – more than expected, and the most in four weeks. A separate monthly release showed that in July, crude production was 9.358 million barrels per day, compared to 9.29 million in June. The EIA’s most recent short-term outlook forecast, again, that production would continue to decline from the top in April through mid-2016.