Stocks surged through the trading day to bring the Nasdaq back into positive territory for the year, amid continued weakness in biotech stocks.
Led by energy, all 10 sectors on the S&P 500 were in the green in the final hour of trading. And, 95% of trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange was in rallying stocks.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,785.91 +313.54 (1.90%)
- S&P 500: 1,988.10, +36.74, (1.88%)
- Nasdaq: 4,782.27, +74.49, (1.58%)
And now, the top stories on Monday:
- The services sector is still robust. ISM’s non-manufacturing index for September came in at 56.9 (57.5 expected). And, Markit’s services purchasing manager’s index was 55.1 (55.6 expected). Although both indexes missed forecasts, they showed that employment grew, and they remain above 50, the border between expansion and contraction. Conversely, manufacturing did not have a great September, with all the regional surveys showing that the sector contracted.
- Twitter finally has a new CEO. Jack Dorsey, the company’s co-founder, and CEO of digital payments company Square, is stepping in officially, having served as the interim boss. Former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down from Twitter’s board. The company’s stock has been punished this year, down 22%, amid uncertainty during the three-month leadership vacuum and a decline in active user growth. In trading today, it rallied as much as 7%.
- General Electric was the biggest gainer on the Dow, with shares up as much as 5%, after the company announced it is selling its corporate aircraft portfolio for roughly $US2.5 billion. The company is still shedding the bulk of its GE Capital assets, as it announced in April. Year-to-date, GE has announced nearly $US100 billion in deals.
- Spark Therapeutics‘ stock spiked 22% on some great news of a late-stage study. The company said its experimental gene therapy improved vision in patients that had a type of inherited eye disorder. The stock had rallied as much as 50% in premarket trading. Spark plans to file for marketing approval next year following the results on its lead drug, SPK-RPE65.