Stocks Rally On Economic Data To Begin September

Michael Teague |

Stocks rallied shortly before the closing bell on Tuesday as Wall Street regained some confidence on better than expected economic data, as well as promises from Secretary of State John Kerry that any US intervention against the Syrian regime would be limited, and not metastasize into a “boots on the ground” level of involvement ahead of a planned congressional vote on the matter.

Two economic data points came in well ahead of expectations to kick off the third trimester of the year. The ISM manufacturing index for August jumped from July’s reading of 55.4 to a reading of 55.7, despite economists’ expectations for the number to drop to 53.9, and marking the highest reading since June of 2011.

Meanwhile the Department of Commerce reported better than hoped for construction spending figures in its report for the month of July. While the expectations had been for an increase 0.4 percent on a month-over-month basis, the actual figure came in at an increase of 0.6 percent, indicating a that the US economy is indeed sticking to its path of slow but steady growth.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended the day 0.42 percent higher to a finish at 1,639.76 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 14,833.96 points, a gain of 0.16 percent, and the NASDAQ was up 0.63 percent to 3,612.61 points.

Tech shares helped to lift the NASDAQ higher, with gains on heavy trading for Facebook (FB) , Micron Technology (MU) (one of 2013’s best performing stocks), Yahoo! (YHOO) , and Himax Technologies (HIMX) .

Techs also lifted up the S&P 500, with big gains for Electronic Arts (EA) and semiconductor manufacturer Xilinx (XLNX) . Basic materials stocks also did well, with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) , Pioneer Natural Resources ($PXD), and CONSOL Energy (CNX) all ending the day higher.

Defense contractors United Technologies ($UTX) and Boeing (BA) were at the top of the Dow, along with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) also ending the day higher, on heavy volume, despite recent legal woes. Microsoft (MSFT) was a huge drag on the benchmark index, however, after investors evinced skepticism about the struggling tech company’s early-day announcement that it would be purchasing Nokia’s (NOK) devices and handsets unit, along with patents, for some $7.2 billion dollars. Shares had dropped over 4.5 percent ahead by the closing bell, to $31.88, and on nearly three times of the volume of the next most heavily-traded Dow stock of the day, Bank of America (BAC) . For its part, Nokia ended the day 31 percent higher to $5.12 per share.

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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
BA Boeing Company (The) 145.54 6.52 4.69 13,266,029
BAC Bank of America Corporation 16.87 0.15 0.90 58,411,925
BMKDF BioMark Diagnostics Inc 0.07 0.00 0.00 0
CNX CONSOL Energy Inc. 16.38 -0.62 -3.65 4,059,795
EA Electronic Arts Inc. 82.58 -0.36 -0.43 2,024,602
FB Facebook Inc. 131.04 -1.25 -0.94 13,070,540
FCX Freeport-McMoRan Inc. 10.58 0.03 0.28 24,181,509
HIMX Himax Technologies Inc. 8.06 0.02 0.25 2,284,956
JPM JP Morgan Chase 69.13 0.33 0.48 9,791,880
MSFT Microsoft Corporation 60.63 -0.36 -0.59 29,908,822
MU Micron Technology Inc. 17.64 0.10 0.57 23,602,378
NOK Nokia Corporation Sponsored American Depositary Sh 5.16 0.19 3.82 16,723,142
PXD Pioneer Natural Resources Company 183.03 0.00 0.00 1,306,573
UTX United Technologies Corporation 101.01 -0.35 -0.35 3,734,107
XLNX Xilinx Inc. 50.29 -0.02 -0.04 1,955,021
YHOO Yahoo! Inc. 42.08 -0.47 -1.10 6,123,006


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