Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

Stocks finished the third quarter higher Monday, but pared earlier gains, after a U.S. Treasury official said the Trump administration doesn't have plans to stop Chinese companies from listing on U.S. exchanges, contradicting an earlier report that sent stocks lower last week.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the third quarter higher Monday after a U.S. Treasury official said the Trump administration doesn't have plans to stop Chinese companies from listing on U.S. exchanges.
  • Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report shares were down on a report the electric vehicle maker was likely to miss its own 100,000 delivery target this quarter. Tesla is Real Money's Stock of the Day.
  • Apple (AAPL) - Get Report  climbed after analysts at J.P. Morgan increased their near-term outlook for iPhone sales.

Wall Street Overview

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 96 points, or 0.36%, to 26,916, the S&P 500 rose 0.50%, and the Nasdaq advanced 0.75%.

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

, Nike

(NKE) - Get Report

and Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

are leading the Dow's advance.

For the quarter, the Dow and S&P 500 gained more than 1% each while the Nasdaq slipped 0.1%. It was the third straight quarterly gain for the Dow and S&P 500.

Apple climbed 2.4% to $223.97 after analysts at J.P. Morgan increased their

near-term outlook

for iPhone sales.

"The Nasdaq, which was relatively weak in recent weeks has been leading the way higher, with especially Apple's rally boosting the tech sector," Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said.

A report from Bloomberg on Friday said the White House was considering limiting investment in China, reigniting trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.

"The administration is not contemplating blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. stock exchanges at this time," Treasury spokeswoman Monica Crowley said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

China's top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu, is expected to lead the upcoming 13th round of talks between China and the U.S. that are aimed at resolving a trade war that has been ongoing for more than a year. Reports last week said trade talks would resume Oct. 10-11 in Washington.

"The fact that Treasury denied the rumors regarding restricting capital flows to China also helped in improving investor sentiment, although the uncertainty concerning next month's trade negotiations remains elevated," Berman said. "The talks are set to resume in less than two weeks, but related headlines could cause wild swings until then as well in the otherwise quiet environment."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking on CNBC Monday, said that restricting Chinese investment in the U.S. "could end up hurting us."

"We're worried about the Chinese and their involvement in this country in some respects, but the Treasury Department made it clear they're not interested in delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges," the Kentucky Republican said.

China's official manufacturing PMI was 49.8 for September, while the private Caixin/Markit survey was 51.4 beating expectations. Berman said the better-than-expected Chinese manufacturing PMI "supported risk assets in pre-market trading, ahead of (Tuesday's) highly anticipated U.S. manufacturing PMI."

Investors were also watching the increasingly partisan battle over the impeachment inquiry into allegations that President Donald Trump sought help from the Ukraine to smear presidential candidate Joe Biden.

On Monday afternoon CNBC reported that House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani for documents related to its impeachment inquiry into the president.

Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report shares were down slightly to $240.87 after reports said the electric vehicle maker was likely to miss its own 100,000 delivery target this quarter, despite an email from CEO Elon Musk last week saying the company might be able to meet the goal. Tesla is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

Shares of healthcare provider UnitedHealth Group (UNH) - Get Report were up nearly 1% to $217.35, while Humana (HUM) - Get Report shares fell nearly 1% to $255.68 after BMO Capital analyst Matt Borsch downgraded both companies to market perform from outperform.

Looking ahead, Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial noted that October gets a bad rap for being a poor month, mainly due to incredible drops in 1929, 1987, and 2008."

"But over the past 20 years October is actually the third best month of the year," Detrick said. "What has us worried this October is the fact that September this year was historically calm. If we know one thing, it is that markets don't stay calm forever and after a dull market last month, we could be due for some usual October volatility."

Detrick added that "the S&P 500 in September 2019 didn't have a single 1% drop and only two 1% gains."

"This normally volatile month could be passing some big moves to October this year," he said.

Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer, Independent Advisor Alliance, said he continues to"believe the three largest themes for the rest of 2019 are the trade war with China, Federal Reserve policy and the global economy."

"The world economy continues to slow down and unless the trade talks can result in a truce, or even better in some form of agreement, the global economy is likely to continue to suffer, which is why the 3 main themes of trade, Central Bank accommodation and the global economy are interrelated," he said.

In energy news, OPEC's oil production fell to a near decade low for September, according a Reuters survey, falling below 29 million barrels per day, with Saudi Arabia accounting for most of the output drop. A drone attack on Saudi oil facilities earlier this month knocked about half of the country's oil production offline.

Brent crude contracts were down $1.68 to $59.36 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate contracts, which are more tightly linked to U.S. gas prices, were down $1.72 to $54.19 a barrel.

In economic news, the Chicago PMI business barometer dropped to 47.1 in September from 50.4 in the prior month, MNI Indicators said. Any reading below 50 points toward worsening conditions.

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