October Was the Best Month for Stocks in 4 Years

Markets were down on slightly higher than average volume trading today. The Dow lost 92.26 points and closed out the day’s trading at 17,663.54. The NASDAQ fell by 20.52 points and closed the day at 5,053.75. The S&P 500 fell as well, losing 10.05 points in trading today and closing down to 2,079.36.

In overseas trading today, markets were mixed. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 149 points while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell by 178 points. In Australia, the ASX fell by 22 points. The picture was the same across Europe, with London’s FTSE falling 35 points, France’s CAC gaining 12 points, and Germany’s DAX up 49 points.

October Was the Best Month for Stocks in 4 Years

The month of October saw stocks rise more than they have in the past 4 years.
The surge in share prices was driven by some unlikely sources. McDonald’s (MCD), Amazon (AMZN), General Motors (GM), Mattel (MAT), and Sonic (SONC) have all outperformed the market’s baseline. That’s a pretty good accomplishment, considering that the Dow and S&P 500 were each up 9% this month.

Consumer Spending Falls Again

The bad news about October is that consumer spending is continuing to fall. Wages fell this past quarter, and it’s having an effect on consumer spending. Fast casual dining chains were hardest hit, but retail also suffered. The underlying problem is with wages, which have actually fell this quarter. Although unemployment rates fell, wages stayed stagnant.

Of course, the holiday season is nearly upon us. That may help the consumer economy to rally, or it could mean that this year’s holiday season will fizzle. Seasonal employment numbers could spell the difference between a successful year or a holiday mess.

Consumer spending and wage growth is a big part of the reason why the Fed hasn’t moved on a rate hike yet this year. We’ll have to wait and see how November and December shape up before the Fed makes a decision on rate hikes. Right now, the picture is gloomy, but end of year spending could make the difference.
Published on Oct 30, 2015
By Aaron Phillips
Aaron Phillips is a financial researcher and journalist based out of Michigan. He regularly writes the IG Daily and IG Weekly columns.

Copyrighted 2020. Content published with author's permission.

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