So far, September is a winner
Apple pushes the Nasdaq and Nasdaq-100 to 13-year highs, and the Dow jumps 141, its best day since mid-July, thanks to gains from Caterpillar, 3M and IBM.
Think back to the end of August. There was lots of shuddering among investors about the month ahead: September. It was usually the worst month of the year, exceedingly volatile. Plus September 2013 was the fifth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Bros.
So, it's only five trading days into the month, but September is not living up to its billing as the worst month for stocks.
In fact, the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) closed at its highest level since Sept. 28, 2000. The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX) finished at its best level since November 7, 2000.
The Dow Jones Industrials ($INDU), up 141 points to 15,063, enjoyed their best daily performance since July 11. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index's ($INX) 17-point gain to 1,672 was its biggest since Aug. 1. The Nasdaq's gain was 46 points to 3,706. The Nasdaq-100 was up 37 points to 3,170. Apple by itself contributed about 7 points to the Nasdaq-100's gain.
The Dow's close was its first above 15,000 since Aug. 23. The blue-chip index is still 3.8% below its closing peak of 15,658.36, set on Aug. 2. The S&P 500 is 2.2% under its closing peak of 1,709.67, also set on Aug. 2. Despite the Nasdaq's finish, the index is still 26.6% below its all-time closing peak of 5,048.62, set on March 10, 2000.
Monday's gains were the fourth in the last five for the Dow and fifth straight for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
One reason for the rally: There was talk of an international organization taking control of supplies of sarin gas in Syria. Late Monday, President Obama said he would put plans for airstrikes against Syria on hold if Bashar Assad's regime were to turn over control of its chemical weapons.
The news pushed crude oil prices lower in electronic trading in New York and in London overnight. Stocks look to open higher on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a second reason for the gains of the Nasdaq and the Nasdaq-100 on Monday was Apple (AAPL), up $7.89 to $506.17 after reaching as high as $507.92. The shares are up 27.6% since June 30. Their loss for the year has been cut to less than 5%. The shares had been down 27.7% for the year on April 19, and all you heard about then was "Apple is dead. Apple is dead."
Some investors clearly begged to differ, and one reason for their optimism for is Tuesday's expected announcement of two new iPhones: the high-end iPhone 5S and a cheaper iPhone 5C, apparently aimed at the Chinese market.
Equally important is the prospect that Apple has signed up China Mobile as a vendor. China Mobile has 700 million customers -- seven times as many as Verizon Wireless. So the potential for new customers is huge.
Also pushing the Nasdaq and Nasdaq-100 higher are gains for Facebook (FB), up 6.7% this month and 77% for the quarter; Netflix (NFLX), up 3.6% for the month and 39% for the quarter; and Yahoo (YHOO), up 7.8% for the month and 16.3% for the quarter.
Also helping the market: China reported its exports had grown 7.2% in August from a year ago. The consensus had been for 5.5% growth.
The Chinese report set off a big rally in Caterpillar (CAT), up $2.20 to $85.59. The gain was worth 17 points to the Dow by itself. Gains for 3M (MMM) and IBM (IBM) added an additional 28 points to the Dow.
All the events generated selling on Monday in Brent crude, which finished down $2.40 to $113.72 a barrel. Light sweet crude (-CL) in New York settled down $1.01 to $109.52. Gold (-GC) was little changed at $1,386.70.
The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.897% from Friday's 2.938%. The dollar was lower against major currencies.
Only one of the 30 Dow stocks ended lower: Verizon Communications (VZ), down 43 cents to $45.91.
Meanwhile, 452 S&P 500 stocks were higher, led by electronic-parts maker Molex (MOLX), which agreed to be bought by the billionaire Koch brothers for $7.2 billion. Shares jumped $9.29 to $38.63. Molex was followed by homebuilders Pulte Group (PHM) and D.R. Horton (DHI).
Ninety Nasdaq-100 stocks were higher, led by Sears Holdings (SHLD) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).
How long this rally will last depends on events in the Syria and the Middle East as well as the Federal Reserve's meeting next week. The Fed is expected to decide whether to trim its $85-billion-a-month program of buying Treasury and mortgage bonds with an eye toward ending it some time in 2014.
Most economists see an announcement coming, although the August jobs report, released Friday, was soft enough that some the Fed announcing a smaller-than-expected trim.
More from Top Stocks
A clear night, calm waters... so far, so good. Full speed ahead ordered the Captain. Unsinkable they said. The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk.
The local company my wife works for has over 10 mil in annual sales and has had the best four years of their 60 year history under Obama, and still the owner is a Right-Wing loon that rails on Obama all the time. It just defies any logic the level of hatred they have for someone that saved their asses. I really wish McCain and Palin had won, just imagine the utter destruction that would have ensued. Maybe that is what its going to take to wake these people up. I think the Fall surprises the Tea
Party has in store might just do the trick when they see their fortunes evaporate due to their shutdowns and debt-ceiling debacle. ENJOY!
Let me get this straight. It's the 9th day of the month, so the stock market's not going to crash?? That's like saying [in Chicago, Detroit, etc.] we've had no murders Monday, so this week's going to be murder free. God, the rah, rah, rah, of the shills for the government and helicopter benny's counterfeit money. If the economy was booming, and the unemployment rate was about 2%, companies BEGGING for people to come work for them, wages going UP [instead of stagnating or declining], I could see people cheering Wall Street on. Look at the way we've been lied to about the economy; and if YOU don't believe me, OPEN YOUR EYES AND LOOK AROUND PEOPLE, These people in the government and Wall Street are LYING THEIR HEADS OFF about the economy. You want proof? WHEN was the LAST time you saw or heard about a factory opening up in YOUR community? Look around your local mall lately. Used to be you couldn't FIND a place to park there without walking a quarter of a mile. Take a look now. I live on the border of a sales-tax free state, the ONLY time these malls are crowded now, is during the holidays. And even then, it's NOT like it was even 10 years ago.
Didn't the stock market jump the entire month of September just before the crash of 1929 ?
Of course! Since all the prognosticators have written about how bad Sept has been I expected no less. Time can make anyone a fool.
But you now the rule for Economists...keep on predicting and sooner or later you may be right.
Sept. is a winner ?
When you have a "3,000 point gain" in the stock market in a 52 week period
Something is about to hit the fan...
CHAOS THEORY RULES AGAIN!!!!!!!
WHAT DID I TELL YOU???!!!
SEPTEMBER WILL BE HUGE UP MONTH.
OBAMA IS A WINNER. CONGRESS IF FULL OF DO-NOTHING LOSERS.
NEVER EVER BET AGAINST THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA'S PEOPLE TO BUY STOCKS AND GIVE US ANOTHER INCREDIBLE BULL MARKET.
Fleckenstein, Mirhaydari, Jubak...WRONG AGAIN AMATEURS!!!
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Traders might want to bite on BABA, but long-term investors have reasons to wait.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.