Wall Street on course for monthly advance

Despite stocks dipping in and out of the red throughout the trading session, today’s net moves on Wall Street have been negligible, leaving the major benchmarks significantly higher than they began October.

Heading into the final hour of trading on Wall Street, the major stock indices were just about flat: the Dow was down 0.05% at 15,611, with the S&P 500 unchanged add the NASDAQ 100 up 0.08%. As we head into November, that leaves the Dow up more than 3% for the month, and just 0.7% away from the all-time high struck earlier this week.

One of the more interesting sets of data today, was the Chicago PMI, which curiously showed no ill effects from the government shutdown in any way. The report showed overall business activity at extremely high levels, and it will be fascinating to see if this is reflected in tomorrow’s manufacturing data. We have two major reports on that sector from Markit and the Institute for Supply Managements (ISM). The ISM manufacturing index has already been showing strength, rising to 56.3 in September (anything above 50 indicates expansion).

We also get to hear from some individuals from the Fed, and it will be interesting to hear their take on the official statement given by the Fed for October, which was open to fairly wide interpretation. President of the St Louis Fed James Bullard is speaking on monetary policy early in the US day, and we will also get to hear from Naryana Kocherlakota, the head of the Minneapolis Fed, and Jeffrey Lacker, the head of the Richmond Fed.

Earnings continue with Dow-component Chevron.

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