The Dow jumps nearly 300 points as it fights to avoid its biggest monthly drop since the financial crisis

  • Stocks rose Wednesday as Wall Street shook off fears about rising rates and signs of slowing growth.
  • After a string of sharp sell-offs in recent weeks, the US indices are trying to avoid their worst month since the financial crisis.
  • Follow the US indices in real time here.

Stocks rose Wednesday as Wall Street shook off concerns about signs of slowing growth and rising rates in an eleventh-hour attempt to recover from their worst month since the financial crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.18%, or nearly 300 points. The S&P 500 gained 1.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 2%.

The benchmark S&P 500 had lost 8.6% through October 30, and would need to finish the month down more than more than 8.2% to suffer its biggest monthly decline since May 2009.

“The expected better start for US equities follows a renewed risk on tone during the Asian and European sessions and attention will now likely turn to third quarter earnings from Apple,” Vincent Heaney, a strategist at UBS, said in an email.

Along with Apple, Spotify and Starbucks are also expected to report after the bell Thursday. Facebook posted revenue and guidance that came in slightly below estimates, but Wall Street seemed relieved users hadn’t fled during a quarter punctuated by scandal. General Motors beat, dodging some trade-war issues that have cast uncertainty on the auto industry.

In the latest sign of a tightening labour market, data before the US open showed companies added the most jobs in eight months in October. The private sector added 227,000 jobs in October, the ADP Research Institute said, compared with economist forecasts for 189,000. The Labour Department is scheduled to release its employment report Friday.

Ian Shepherdson said it isn’t clear what ADP estimates will mean for the Labour Department report because they likely won’t capture hits from Hurricane Michael, while the official data will.

“We’d be very surprised to see Friday’s headlines as strong as the ADP data, but with hurricanes making landfall in the survey weeks in both September and August – that has never happened before, as far as we know – we’re braced for anything,” Sheperdson said.

Wall Street has mirrored gloomy markets around the world in recent weeks, with global equities also heading for their worst October in six years.

China’s government said Wednesday that manufacturing growth was the slowest in more than two years this month. The manufacturing PMI reading came in at 50.2 in October, only slightly surpassing the threshold that indicates expansion. A reading below 50 signals contraction.

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