The Dow jumped above 29,000 for the first time since February on Sep 2 and came within 500 points of its all-time record level. Last week, the index turned positive for 2020. For the year, the index is now up about 1.97% versus 10.84% gains in the S&P 500 and a jump of 34.4% in the Nasdaq. It looks like September is going to bode well for the blue-chip index Dow Jones. Let’s tell you why.
Fed to Keep Rates Lower for Longer
On Aug 27, the Federal Reserve announced a new strategy to bring back the United States to full employment level and drive inflation back to healthier levels. Under the new scheme, the U.S. central bank will seek to achieve inflation averaging 2% over time, counterbalancing below-2% periods with higher inflation "for some time."
The change in the Fed’s tone suggests the its key overnight interest rate, already at rock-bottom levels, will remain so in the medium term as the central bank is striving to drive inflation. Since a low-rate environment is great for stocks, Dow Jones rallied (read: Fed Targets "Average Inflation" of 2%: ETF Strategies to Play).
A Bloomberg article indicated that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told states to prepare for a COVID-19 vaccine that would be ready by Nov 1. CDC asked states to clear any kind of bottlenecks that would stop distribution sites from opening. The clinical date suggests that the federal government anticipates a vaccine will become available even before the presidential election on Nov 3.
While Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) seems to be the most prominent candidate in the vaccine race,AstraZeneca plc (AZN - Free Report) recently announced the beginning of a late-stage study in the United States on its coronavirus vaccine candidate, AZD1222, which it is developing in partnership with Oxford University. So, bets over vaccine and reopening trades are gaining traction (read: Biotech ETFs to Shine Bright on Coronavirus Vaccine Progress).
Upbeat Manufacturing Data
A slew of upbeat economic datapoints also helped the Dow Jones rally. After clocking the highest reading since March 2019 in July, U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated to a nearly two-year high in August amid a surge in new orders (read: Global Manufacturing Rebounding: ETFs in Focus).
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Sep 1 that its index of national factory activity rose to a reading of 56.0 last month from 54.2 in July. That marked the highest level since November 2018 and three successive months of growth. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that the index would rise to 54.5 in August. Since Dow Jones is greatly related to the industrial sector, the index has every reason to fare better in September.
Stocks That Took the Dow Jones to New Height
Against the aforementioned backdrop, below we highlight a few stocks that helped the Dow Jones to hit 29,000 once again.
The Coca-Cola Company (KO - Free Report) ): Weight in Dow Jones (1.16%), Stock Up 4.21% on Sep 3
Dow Inc. (DOW - Free Report) : Weight in Dow Jones (1.11%), Stock Up 4.13% on Sep 3
International Business Machines Corp (IBM - Free Report) : Weight in Dow Jones (2.90%), Stock Up 3.87% on Sep 3
Merck & Co Inc (MRK - Free Report) : Weight in Dow Jones (1.97%), Stock Up 2.96% on Sep 3
Amgen Inc (AMGN - Free Report) : Weight in Dow Jones (5.84%), Stock Up 2.89% on Sep 3
ETFs in Focus
Investors seeking a momentum play can also watch out for SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA - Free Report) with a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), and Guggenheim Dow Jones Industrial Average Dividend ETF (DJD - Free Report) ) and iShares Dow Jones US ETF (IYY) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) each.
Investors can also settle for leveraged Dow ETFs for as long as the trend favors them. Here, ProShares Ultra Dow30 (DDM) and ProShares UltraPro Dow30 (UDOW) are a couple of choices (see all leveraged equity ETFs here).
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