U.S. Stocks End Session On Weak Note; Dow Records Biggest Monthly Gain Since 1976

U.S. stocks drifted lower on Monday with investors making cautious moves, as they continued to react to recent quarterly earnings updates from big-name companies and looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement due on Wednesday.

The major averages all ended on a negative note, but still managed to post monthly gains after recording losses in the previous two months.

The Dow ended the session with a loss of 128.85 points or 0.39 percent at 32,732.95. The S&P 500 settled with a loss of 29.08 points or 0.75 percent at 3,871.98, while the Nasdaq dropped 114.31 points or 1.03 percent to settle at 10,988.15.

The Dow posted a gain of almost 14 percent in October, the biggest monthly return since January 2976. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added more than 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, in the month.

The Fed, which is set to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, is widely expected to raise interest rate by another 75 basis points – its fourth straight rate hike – to fight soaring inflation.

Among the prominent losers in the session was Apple Inc. (AAPL), which drifted down more than 1.5 percent on reports the production of the company’s iPhones could drop by around 30 percent next month. A surge in Covid-19 curbs in China is cited as the reason for the likely drop in production.

Amazon Inc (AMZN), Microsoft Corp (MSFT) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.TO) shed about 1 percent, 1.6 percent, and 1.8 percent, respectively. Shares of Meta Platforms Inc (META) plunged more than 6 percent.

Intel (INTC) lost about 2.2 percent. Coco-Cola (KO), American Express (AXP) and Amgen (AMGN) lost 1.25 to 1.4 percent.

Visa, Boeing, Home Depot, Verizon and McDonalds also closed weak.

Travelers Companies (TRV) gained nearly 1.5 percent. Goldman Sachs (GS), United Health (UNH), Walt Disney (DIS), Chevron (CVX) and Merck (MRK) also ended higher.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed the Chicago PMI in the U.S. dropped to 45.20 points in October from 45.70 points in September of 2022. The reading was the lowest since June of 2020.

Other Markets

Asian stocks closed broadly higher on Monday amid renewed bets the U.S. Federal Reserve may slow the pace of interest-rate increases at its December meeting.

European stocks shrugged off early weakness and closed higher today. Among the major markets, Germany and France moved higher, while the U.K. ended slightly weak.

Looking Ahead

The Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting gets underway on Tuesday. Traders are likely to keep a close eye on the Fed’s statement, looking for signs the central bank is considering slowing the pace of interest rate hikes.

Later in the week, the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report is due.

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