Closing Bell: Stocks Start November on a Positive Note

APTOPIX Wall Street
Richard Drew/AP
By KEN SWEET

NEW YORK -- The stock market started November on a strong note as investors reacted to an expansion in U.S. manufacturing last month.

The improvement came during what could have been a difficult month for the U.S. economy, with a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days and a narrowly averted default on the U.S. government's debt, which could have rattled financial markets.

"With what happened in the last two months, it's amazing how strong this market has been," said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management.

The Institute for Supply Management reported that its manufacturing index increased to 56.4, the highest level since April 2011. That was better than the 55.1 figure economists were expecting, according financial data provider FactSet.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 69.80 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,615.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose 5.10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,761.64. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 2.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,922.04.

Energy stocks lagged the market after Chevron (CVX) reported that its third-quarter income fell 6 percent, missing analysts' estimates, due to weakness in the company's oil refining business. Chevron fell $1.95, or 1.6 percent, to $118.01.

The energy sector was also weighed down by a drop in the price of oil. Crude oil fell $1.77, or 1.8 percent, to $94.61 a barrel.

The positive start to this month's trading comes after a strong October for the stock market. The S&P 500 closed at a record high seven times during the month, most recently on Tuesday. It ended October with a gain of 4.5 percent.

However, some investors have expressed skepticism that stocks can keep up this rapid pace pace heading into the last two months of the year.

The S&P 500 is up 23 percent so far this year, while the average annual return on the S&P 500 is around 8 percent. Stocks are also starting to look expensive by some measures. Investors are paying more than $16 for every $1 of earnings in the S&P 500, the highest that ratio has been since February 2011.

"I don't think this market is cheap by any means," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial. "We've been urging caution for some time now."

In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.62 percent from 2.56 percent.

On Friday morning, the Nasdaq's options market was halted due to a technical glitch. Regular stock trading was not affected.

Among stocks making big moves:

• The Container Store (TCS) more than doubled on its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company raised $225 million in its initial public offering, pricing 12.5 million shares at $18 each. The stock soared $18.20 to $36.20.
• First Solar (FSLR) jumped $8.83, or 18 percent, to $59.14. The solar panel maker said it had an adjusted profit of $2.28 per share for the third quarter, blowing past analysts' estimates of $1.13 per share, according FactSet.
• Body Central (BODY) plunged 30 percent to $3.94 after the clothing and accessories retailer reported a third-quarter loss that was worse than analysts were expecting.

What to Watch Monday:
  • The Commerce Department reports factory orders for both August and September at 10 a.m.
  • Kellogg Co. (K) reports quarterly corporate earnings.

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17 Comments

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pdbliz

HOW IS HOPE AND CHANGE NOW,,,MY FRIENDS.!!!!!!!

MY BLACK FRIENDS ARE NOT SO HAPPY ANYMORE.!!!!! AND,,,SOME OF MY WHITE FRIENDS ARE IN A OUTRAGE ALSO..
SO....I TRIED TO TELL THEM ....OBAMA WEARS MANY FACES.!!!!!

November 03 2013 at 11:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

This country is being punished for turning against God. Find him now, before it's too late.

November 03 2013 at 9:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
pdbliz

best post of the week end.!!!!!!!!!!

November 03 2013 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adele

democracks.04

I wonder how the crazies are paying you for all your posts that are so full of lies all the time.
Do you get paid by the word? the time spent? You re one of the biggest problems Republicans have these days. You lie, you are completely misinformed and you sound like you should be institutionalized. We all know how crazy the crazies are.. you do not have to prove it everytime you post.

November 03 2013 at 4:57 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Adele's comment
Adele

After Republicans spent their time during last week\'s hearings demanding apologies for the problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Bill Moyers asked if it would be \"fair to expect just a morsel of apology from the right as well?\" I wouldn\'t be holding my breath for one any time soon: Bill Moyers Essay: Obamacare: The Right Wing’s Alamo.

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/bill-moyers-obamacare-right-wings-alamo

November 03 2013 at 4:50 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Adele's comment
betty_brock

Obama thinks he is a dictator. He should allow a difference of opinion but he doesn't.

November 03 2013 at 9:45 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
mrspelosi

Darling even us Democrats do not want to be a part of Obamacare. I guess I should have read it before we passed this disaster of a healthcare bill doll.

November 03 2013 at 10:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

It is sad that liberals are so anti-American.

November 02 2013 at 9:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
republicanslostagain

It is so sad that the tea party are so anti-government but love their medicare.

November 03 2013 at 11:04 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
bambamsgolfcart

When OBam Bam and Biden wage their war on Hillary in 2016 you\'re gonna really know what the term waging war on women means. OBam Bam, Biden and the Bam Bammers will tear her to shreds like they did in 2008.

November 02 2013 at 6:36 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
teaparty2implode

betty_brock

Dumbercraps killed jobs, not Repubs.

===================================================================

Over 3 million jobs were outsourced under Bush not to mention how many jobs were lost during the financial collapse of 2008. No wonder Georgie boy didn't go to the RNC he had nothing to boast about.

November 02 2013 at 2:15 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

I have never prayed for Obama to fail. Whoever did, it's working.

Seriously, he is failing all by himself.

November 02 2013 at 12:46 AM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

It is getting harder and harder for liberals to defend Obama. It is especially hard if Obama ruined their health insurance.

November 01 2013 at 9:40 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
Hello Bob

No it isn't. What is becoming incredibly difficult is for Republicans to retain any sense of relevancy in the 21st century. It is quite possible that the Republican Party will not be existing in 10 years. They just don't have it !

November 01 2013 at 10:56 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Hello Bob's comment
willypfistergash

It's quite possible that the conservatives take the Republcan party back.

November 01 2013 at 11:48 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down
betty_brock

You prove my point. Only the nut jobs still defend him.

November 02 2013 at 12:45 AM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down
elendil3136

I\'m loving the drop in gas prices. Chevron may whine, but the economy as a whole is getting a boost from the extra disposable income and the moderation of price increases.

November 01 2013 at 8:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply