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Stock Market News For Oct 5, 2017

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Benchmarks finished at record level on Wednesday as the services sector posted strong growth in September. The ISM Services index hit record high since Aug 2005, hinting at broadly encouraging economic conditions. Meanwhile, the private sector added lesser number of jobs to the U.S. economy in the last month primarily due to losses for small-business sector in the wake of two devastating hurricanes that ravaged swathes of Texas and Florida last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 22,661.57, gaining 0.1%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 0.1% to close at 2,537.74. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,534.63, increasing 0.1%. A total of 5.8 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 6.3 billion shares. Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1.05-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by 1.01-to-1 ratio. The CBOE VIX decreased 0.4% to close at 9.47.

Benchmarks Continue Breaching Records

Dow continued its stellar showing on Wednesday and posted gains for sixth straight session. The blue-chip index amassed almost 20 points to close at a record high. Such a run was supported by gains from 3M (MMM - Free Report) , UnitedHealth (UNH - Free Report) , Nike (NKE - Free Report) and Caterpillar (CAT - Free Report) , shares of which surged 0.9%, 0.9%, 1.2% and 1%, respectively.

The S&P 500 gained a meager 3.2 points but advanced its streak of gains to seven days on the trot — the longest since May. Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, 7 ended in the positive territory with utilities leading the advancers followed by real estate.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq added almost 3 points to end in the green. However, gains for the index were pared by a slump in the technology sector after shares of Apple (AAPL - Free Report) declined 0.7%. The Compnay possesses a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

ISM Services Index Notches Up a Record High

ISM Services Index in September came in at 59.8%, surpassing the consensus estimate of 55.5%. This also marked its highest level since Aug 2005 when the index logged a reading 61.3%. The report from ISM also stated that non-manufacturing sector showed strong growth despite hurricanes Harvey and Irma ravaging swathes of Texas and Florida. This augurs well for the economy. Of the 17 non-manufacturing sectors which were surveyed, 14 depicted growth in the last month. Three of the industries which lagged behind included educational services, mining and agriculture, and forestry, fishing and hunting.

Furthermore, business activity also surged almost 4 percentage points in the month of September, posting growth for 98 months on the trot. Meanwhile, new orders index also increased to 63% in September from 57.1% in August. Also, the employment index grew to 56.8% in the month.

Job Additions in the Private Sector Suffer

Despite increasing, the number of new job additions in September came in lower than last month’s figure. According to the latest report by ADP, there were a total of 135,000 — hitting an 11 month low since October 2016 — jobs that were added by the private sector to the economy. Economists had expected that the service sector would add about 140,000 jobs. Comparatively, the number of job additions in August was 237,000, revised later to 228,000.

Economists attributed lower number of job additions in September to small-business sector losing jobs in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. However, it should be noted that medium and large businesses reported higher number of addition in jobs in September, with manufacturing sector gaining as many as 18,000 jobs.

Stocks That Made Headlines

Shell Calls Off Thailand Gas Field Divestment Deal

European oil giant Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A - Free Report) has decided not to proceed with the $900-million deal to offload stake in an offshore Thailand Gas Field to a unit of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. (Read More)

Citrix's Revamp Plan to Ramp up Business Profile and Growth

Citrix Systems, Inc. (CTXS - Free Report) has announced a restructuring program in a bid to expedite the transformation to a cloud-based subscription business, increase strategic focus as well as improve operational efficiency. (Read More)

Gannett Acquires Majority Stake in Grateful Ventures

Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI - Free Report) has recently acquired majority ownership in Grateful Ventures, LLC — a digital media company — specialized in lifestyle content including food and cooking websites as well as blogs. (Read More)

Constellation Brands Tops Q2 Earnings & Sales Estimates

Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ - Free Report) posted robust second-quarter fiscal 2018 results, wherein both the top and bottom line topped estimates and improved year over year. (Read More)

4 Stocks to Watch after the Massive Equifax Hack

Cybersecurity stocks spiked on recent news of a data breach affecting 143 million Americans. But which stocks are the best buy candidates right now? And what does the future hold for the cybersecurity industry?

Equifax is just the most recent victim. Computer hacking and identity theft are more common than ever. Zacks has just released Cybersecurity! An Investor’s Guide to inform readers about this $170 billion/year space. More importantly, it highlights 4 cybersecurity picks with strong profit potential.

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