stock market gains bullStocks kicked off the final quarter of the year with moderate gains Friday as more encouraging data on consumer spending, consumer sentiment and auto sales were partly offset by a slowdown in manufacturing activity.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) added 42 points, or 0.4%, to close at 10,830. The broader S&P 500 ($INX) rose five points, or 0.4%, to 1,146. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) gained two points to finish at 2,371.

Better-than-expected readings on personal income, personal spending and consumer sentiment helped lift equities, damped somewhat by a modest decline in September factory orders. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index dipped to 54.4 from 56.3 in August. Although factory orders are still growing, they are doing so at a slower rate.

A Third-Quarter Earnings Spark?

Stocks notched their best September since 1939 -- and enjoyed their best quarterly performance since the third quarter of last year -- in no small part because second-quarter earnings were so strong, says Cort Gwon, director of trading strategies and research at FBN Securities.

An improving macroeconomic outlook, a pickup in deal activity and a dovish Federal Reserve are all contributing to the current stock market rally, Gwon says, and yet there's still a great deal of cash sitting in bonds -- or on the sidelines entirely. If the V-shaped recovery in corporate profits continues apace, third-quarter earnings season could be just the spark the market needs to rally into year-end.

For more on Gwon's outlook from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYX), see the video below.


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vstlvlvaccaro

A Stock Market Correction of at least a 500 pt Dow drop will happen before the Nov 2 election .... if the GOP wins, you get your money back and then some ... if the Democialists win, it'll be another rollercoaster ride ... either way, you can MAKE MONEY ! ! !

October 02 2010 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Samir semaan

Another Blog is that this country needs an anticorruption office through the Federal bureau of investigation to limit the fraud in unemployment benefit and medicaid and medicare and social services and food stamps and financial help while the states pay for these programs the federal government reimburse the states for these programs sombody has to watch how these programs run so Fraud and waste are unacceptable.

October 02 2010 at 1:02 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Samir semaan's comment
prognesub

The same office should investigate fraudulent banksters and other corporate beneficiaries of government handouts.

October 03 2010 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Samir semaan

The stocks in September is the best so since this recession and indicators continue to show grows in different sectors but the real one is going to be when American consumers can see the housing market rebound a little so consumer confidence will grow to the level before the recession and do not forget is election year too the housing maintenance system must continue till the next year so consumer confidence can continue to grow in this recession that why I said over and over again trust and confidence take you a long way another point any financial reform through the treasury needs intelligence and information to catch the problem before it fustered in the market inside and outside the country

October 02 2010 at 12:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
prognesub

Have you thanked a Fed-head today for priming the stock market pump ?

October 02 2010 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ingfp

Suckers rally at best.....

October 01 2010 at 10:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
skysob

the economy will never recover until they put controls on all commidity traders and speculators!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 01 2010 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bartonlyle

I'm not convinced that the "historic" September performance of the Dow is a true measure of a turnaround in the economy; I can't buy into the notion of a "jobless recovery". I view it as a possible signal that Americans are desperate for a source of income and are willing to roll the dice that the markets are oversold and there are bargains to be had. Why else would they buy into historically the worst month ever? I have also been aggressive buying dividend yields in quality companies and holding them as core holdings ((MO, a case in point). I know how I've been playing it and am delighted to take between 3 & 10% returns in weeks (v. months), and I'm doing this in my IRA. I've always liked "disaster stocks" and have done very well bottom-fishing the likes of BP. I also feel this will be short-lived, with a sharp sell-off in December to capitalize on the lower capital gains taxes that will expire on 12/31 for those who aren't doing it in tax-favored accounts. And a final thought: There's a VERY important election coming up in just under five weeks; does anyone not believe there's some mischief afoot to make things look better than reality in anticipation of the election?

October 01 2010 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply