Manufacturing lifts stocks

| Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

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

The improvement happened during what could have been a difficult month for the economy, with a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days and a narrowly averted default on the federal 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 Dow Jones industrial average rose 69.80 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,615.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,761.64. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,922.04.

Energy stocks lagged the market as Chevron reported that its third-quarter income fell 6 percent, missing analysts' estimates.

A drop in the price of oil weighed down the energy sector, too. Crude oil fell $1.77, or 1.8 percent, to $94.61 a barrel.

The positive start to this month's trading follows 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.

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