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Wall Street Starts November in Green

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After record-high closes on the last day of trading for October on Friday, the three major stock market indexes are starting the first trading day of November once again in the green in the pre-market today: the Dow is +130 points, the S&P 500 +12 and the Nasdaq +28 points.

For the record, the Dow gained +5.8% last month, which was the worst performer of the three. The S&P 500 grew +6.9% and the Nasdaq a very healthy +7.3%. Year to date, the Dow has gained +18.5%, the S&P +24.5% and the Nasdaq +22. The fourth major index, the Russell 2000, grew +2.5% last month and is +18% year to date.

Q3 earnings reports continue apace, even as many of the marquee names (FAANG, etc.) have already reported. And this will also be jobs week for the month of October, with 385K new positions expected to have been filled on the ADP (ADP - Free Report) private-sector payroll survey and 450K on the nonfarm payrolls Friday from the U.S. government. As of the prior-month’s read on nonfarm payrolls, the Unemployment Rate is now 4.8%, below 5% for the first time since prior to the pandemic taking hold.

American Airlines (AAL - Free Report) has something of a damper for all this heated market excitement this morning: after cancelling 1800 flights or so over the weekend — including 1000 Sunday alone on wind delays and tight staffing across the country — the airline major has scrapped another 300 flights already today. Shares are down only moderately on the news.

But for the Airline industry overall, we continue to see difficulties in coping with a surge in flight demand as staffing remains somewhat depleted. Pilots, flight attendants, plane mechanics and more all make up an ecosystem of the labor market, and like Spirit (SAVE - Free Report) this past summer and Southwest (LUV - Free Report) just a couple weeks ago, American is but the latest — and biggest — airline to demonstrate it is not immune from the difficulties in ramping back up post-pandemic.

After today’s open, two major pieces of Manufacturing data hit the tape: Markit Manufacturing PMI is expected to come in a notch higher for October than September, to 59.3; ISM Manufacturing, also for October, is expected to pull back to 60.3% from 61.1% the previous month. Both these estimates remain well above the 50 threshold indicating gains in Manufacturing. In other words, more positive data supporting the run-up in markets we’ve seen over the past month.