Stocks Rally Again, But Finish October With Steep Losses

new york (AP) -

Stocks climbed for the second day in a row Wednesday at the end of a brutal month for the global market. Investors applauded strong quarterly results from companies including Facebook and General Motors, but U.S. stocks still finished with their worst monthly loss in seven years.

Markets in Europe, Asia and the U.S. rallied following better-than-expected results from various companies and continued hiring by U.S. businesses. Many of the biggest gains Wednesday came from technology and internet companies and retailers, which plunged early in October as investors worried about rising interest rates and the U.S.-China trade dispute.

The S&P 500 hadn’t risen for two consecutive days since late September. It finished October with a loss of 6.9 percent, its worst since September 2011. The third quarter of this year was the best in five years for U.S. stocks, but those gains were wiped out this month. The S&P 500 is now up 1.4 percent for the year.

Stocks began sinking on Oct. 3 as interest rates rocketed higher. Even after those gains eased, investors kept selling stocks as they worried about the trade dispute and other factors that could also hurt economic growth and company profits.

The S&P 500 index rose 29.11 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,711.74. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 241.12 points, or 1 percent, to 25,115.76. The Nasdaq composite jumped 144.25 points, or 2 percent, to 7,305.90.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies edged up 4.78 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,511.41. Smaller and more U.S.-focused companies did even worse than the rest of the stock market in October.

Facebook had a mixed third quarter, with better-than-expected earnings and disappointing revenue. But after the company’s recent losses, even that was a relief to Wall Street. After a 2.9 percent gain Tuesday, the stock rose 3.8 percent to $151.79.

Other high-flying internet and tech stocks did better. Netflix jumped 5.6 percent to $301.78 and Amazon soared 4.4 percent to $1,598.01. Apple, which held up much better than the broader stock market this month, gained 2.6 percent to $218.86.

General Motors also did far better than expected in the third quarter as it raised prices in North America and its China division held up well. The stock jumped 9.1 percent to $36.59.

Bond prices dropped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.14 percent from 3.11 percent.

Stock indexes overseas also tumbled in October. The Hang Seng, Kospi, CAC 40 and Mexico’s Bolsa all did worse than the S&P 500. U.S. stocks had done better than all of those indexes this year.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 1.3 percent to $65.31 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 0.6 percent to $75.47 per barrel in London.

Energy companies have lagged the market as U.S. crude has fallen 10 percent this month.

Wholesale gasoline lost 2.1 percent to $1.77 a gallon. Heating oil edged up 0.1 percent to $2.26 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2.3 percent to $3.26 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold lost 0.8 percent to $1,215 an ounce. Silver fell 1.2 percent to $14.28 an ounce. Copper slipped 0.2 percent to $2.66 a pound.

The dollar slipped to 113.06 yen from 112.96 yen. The euro fell to $1.1314 from $1.1342.