Stocks are climbing Thursday as major indexes extend a rebound into a third day. Technology and consumer-focused companies are making some of the biggest gains after they tumbled in October, which was the worst month for U.S. stocks in seven years.
Strong third-quarter results helped stocks rally over the past two days. Chemicals maker DowDuPont jumped after reporting a strong quarter, as did Arm & Hammer maker Church & Dwight.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 25 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,736 as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 228 points, or 0.9 percent, to 25,344. The Nasdaq composite climbed 119 points, or 1.6 percent, to 7,425. The Russell 2000 index jumped 31 points, or 2.1 percent, to 1,543.
Stocks fell sharply from early October through the last few days of the month, a skid that briefly wiped out their gains for the year. After a rally over the last two days, the S&P 500 is up 2.4 percent in 2018.
During the sell-off, high-growth companies like technology and industrial firms and smaller, more U.S.-focused stocks were hit especially hard as investors worried about various factors that could slow their growth and their profits. Those included the U.S.-China trade fight, rising interest rates that could make it more expensive to borrow money, and higher costs for fuel and other necessities.
CHEMISTRY: Chemicals maker DowDuPont surged 7.3 percent to $57.85 after its third-quarter profit surpassed analyst estimates. The company said sales grew in all regions, with strong gains in Asia-Pacific and Latin America. DowDuPont also said it expects to save more money from a cost-cutting program and plans to buy back another $3 billion in stock.
Fertilizer and chemicals maker CF Industries jumped 4.2 percent to $50.06 after it said it expects better nitrogen fertilizer prices over the next few years.
ON THE REBOUND: Industrial companies also regained some of their losses from the last few weeks. Boeing rose 2.3 percent to $362.89 while farm equipment maker Deere added 3.8 percent to $140.54. Chipmakers also rose. Nvidia gained 3.2 percent to $217.57 and Broadcom jumped 3.5 percent to $231.37. Advanced Micro devices leaped 9.2 percent to $19.88.
The S&P 500 fell 6.9 percent last month, and technology and industrial companies and retailers fared even worse. One exception was Apple, which slipped just 3 percent in October. The world’s largest tech company is scheduled to report its results after the close of trading, and it added 0.5 percent to $220.
BREXIT PROGRESS: The pound rose sharply following reports that Britain and the European Union had reached a deal to give U.K. financial services companies access to the bloc after Brexit. The article by The Times cited anonymous sources, and other reports suggested a deal had not yet been finalized. The British pound rose to $1.3012 from $1.2771.
ENERGY SYNERGY: Canadian energy company Encana said it will buy oil and gas company Newfield Exploration for $5.5 billion in stock. Newfield climbed 11.6 percent to $22.54, while Encana dropped 16 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent and the British FTSE 100 dipped 0.2 percent. After a big rally Wednesday, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.2 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.7 percent while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index tumbled 1.1 percent. The Kospi in South Korea finished 0.3 percent lower.
ENERGY: Oil prices continued to weaken after the Department of Energy said U.S. crude stockpiles increased for the sixth straight week. Benchmark U.S. crude slumped 2.6 percent to $63.60 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 2.9 percent to $72.85 a barrel in London.
BONDS: Bond prices turned higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.14 percent from 3.15 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.62 yen from 113.06 yen. The euro rose to $1.1423 from $1.1314.