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Stock Market Today: Dow Ends up 765 as Wall Street Looks to Shake Off Brutal September

Stocks finished higher Monday as investors kick off October on a positive note after September's dismal losses, with Friday's non-farm payrolls report in focus.

Stocks came roaring back on Monday as Wall Street started the new month, and quarter, on a more solid note, and also looked ahead to fresh economic data for signs of whether the Federal Reserve might soften its stance on tightening rates to combat inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 765 points, or 2.66%, to 29,490, while the S&P 500 advanced 2.59%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 2.27%.

Benchmark 2-year notes were pegged at 4.122% in New York trading, while the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note ticked down to 3.655%. Yields and prices move inversely.

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing PMI fell to 50.9% % last month, missing expectations and down from August’s reading of 52.8%. Economists were expecting to a reading of 52.5%.

"U.S. stocks are surging to kick off October, helped by tumbling Treasury yields after a key manufacturing report showed noticeable signs of downward pressure on inflation," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst for the Americas with Oanda. "It is premature to say that the Fed is almost done with tightening, but it seems Wall Street is growing confident that they could be done in December."

Stocks ended the day Friday staunchly in the red, with the Dow and S&P 500 notching their biggest monthly losses since March 2020. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 500 points on Friday, or 1.71%, falling to 28,725. S&P 500 ended down 1.51%, while the tech-focused Nasdaq slipped 1.51%.

For September, the Dow shed 8.8%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite lost 9.3% and 10.5%, respectively. The Nasdaq had a particularly tough month-end, hitting fresh 2022 lows as extended declines for both Tesla and Apple pulled the benchmark sharply lower.

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Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report slipped 8.6% after quarterly vehicle deliveries for the electric-car maker fell short of analysts’ forecasts.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 declined 1.4%. Shares of Credit Suisse  (CSGKF)  tumbled and the Swiss bank tried to assuage fears about its health in a memo to employees and in a round of phone calls to investors and clients over the weekend.

The British pound recovered from earlier losses against the U.S. dollar after the U.K. government abolished a plan that would reduce taxes on high earners. Sterling last traded 0.1% higher against the dollar at $1.117.

To be sure, inflation prospects, as well as planned central bank rate hikes, remain the market's central concern, with several economic reports on investors’ radars this week, culminating with Friday’s non-farm payrolls report.

Economists are expecting the U.S. economy to have created 250,000 jobs last month, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.7% and wage growth staying elevated.

Another strong jobs report could reinforce the case for even more hawkishness from the Fed, potentially roiling markets already hard hit by worries over how high rates may have to rise as the central bank battles the worst inflation in 40 years.

On the other hand, indications that the labor market is slowing could stoke fears that aggressive Fed tightening risks tipping the economy into a recession.

Meantime, several Fed officials are also due to speak during the week, including New York Fed President John Williams, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester.

The next Federal Open Market Committee meeting takes place in November. Investors currently anticipate the central bank will lift its benchmark fed funds rate by another 75 basis points.