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US Indexes Close Higher Thursday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 26,201.04 on Thursday with a gain of 122.42 points or 0.47%. The S&P 500 closed at 2,910.63 for a gain of 23.02 points or 0.80%. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 7,872.26 for a gain of 87.02 points or 1.12%. The VIX Volatility Index was lower at 19.12 for a loss of 1.44 points or -7.00%.

Thursday's market movers

U.S. indexes closed higher Thursday, ending a two-day selloff that started the month of October. The day's rally was fueled mostly by expectations for another Federal Reserve rate cut as global growth concerns continued. The Federal Open Market Committee meets again on Oct. 29 and 30. The CME Fed Watch Tool is now reporting a 90.3% chance of 25 basis point decrease to a federal funds target range of 1.50% to 1.75%.

On Thursday, the U.S. economy reported another disappointing signal in the services sector. The ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI fell to 52.6 in September from 56.4. The news followed the lowest reading on ISM manufacturing since 2009 earlier in the week. Investors will be watching for Friday's September jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to help solidify economic opinions. Wednesday's ADP private sector report was just below expectations, showing 135,000 new jobs. Friday's new payrolls report is estimated at approximately 145,000.

Economic reports affecting market trading included the following:

  • Jobless claims increased to 219,000 from 215,000.
  • The Markit Composite PMI increased to 51 in September from 50.7.
  • The ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI decreased to 52.6 in September from 56.4. Separately, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Employment Index decreased to 50.4 from 53.1; the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 55.2 from 61.5; the ISM Non-Manufacturing Prices Index increased to 60.0 from 58.2; and the ISM Non-Manufacturing New Orders Index decreased to 53.7 from 60.3.
  • Factory orders decreased 0.1% in August following an increase of 1.4%. Factory orders excluding transportation were unchanged in August following an increase of 0.2%.
  • The Treasury held auctions for four-week bills at a rate of 1.750% and eight-week bills at a rate of 1.710%.
  • Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage market survey showed mortgage rates mostly steady. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.65%, up one basis point from last week's 3.64%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.14%, down two basis points from last week's 3.16%.
  • Vehicle sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.2 million in September, up from 16.9 million.

In the S&P 500, the technology, real estate and energy sectors led gains. In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the following stocks led gains:

  • Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) 1.86%
  • McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) 1.57%
  • Visa (NYSE:V) 1.47%
  • Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) 1.37%
  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) 1.06%

Small-cap stocks

In small-caps, the Russell 2000 closed at 1,483.20 for a gain of 3.57 points or 0.24%. The S&P 600 closed at 921.11 for a gain of 2.00 points or 0.22%. The Dow Jones U.S. Small-Cap Growth Index closed at 9,473.86 for a gain of 68.34 points or 0.73%. The Dow Jones U.S. Small-Cap Value Index closed at 9,155.16 for a gain of 5.72 points or 0.06%.

Other notable indexes

Other notable index closes included the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index at 1,884.88 for a gain of 11.06 points or 0.59%; the S&P 100 at 1,287.83 for a gain of 10.92 points or 0.86%; the Nasdaq 100 at 7,638.39 for a gain of 87.61 points or 1.16%; the Russell 3000 at 1,704.62 for a gain of 13.58 points or 0.80%; the Russell 1000 at 1,608.54 for a gain of 13.19 points or 0.83%; the Wilshire 5000 at 29,740.43 for a gain of 234.66 points or 0.80%; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index at 709.47 for a gain of 3.64 points or 0.52%.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.