Stock Market Today: Energy Leads Broad Market Snap-Back
Upbeat economic data helped provide a tailwind for most stocks, but energy really shone as tight inventories sent oil prices soaring.
A broad and robust relief rally that saw all but one sector finish in the green provided investors with a little respite Wednesday.
Lifting spirits were a pair of economic data points. First: This month's reading of the Empire State Manufacturing Index, which measures general business conditions in New York, nearly doubled, to 34.3 from 18.3 in August, shattering expectations.
Michael Reinking, senior market strategist for the New York Stock Exchange, notes that while the index usually isn't closely watched, being the "the first piece of September economic data the market has had to digest" might have merited the extra attention.
Also on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released August industrial production numbers that matched estimates, rising 0.4% month-over-month.
Energy stocks (+3.7%), including the likes of EOG Resources (EOG, +8.3%) and Devon Energy (DVN, +7.3%), were by far the best sector performer. They were aided by a 3.1% surge in U.S. crude oil prices, to $72.61 per barrel, as U.S. inventories tightened.
The major indexes all finished with similar returns: The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.7% to 34,814, the S&P 500 improved 0.9% to 4,480, and the Nasdaq Composite snapped its five-session skid with a 0.8% gain to 15,161.
Other news in the stock market today:
- The small-cap Russell 2000 jumped 1.1% to 2,234.
- It was a second day of sharp losses for casino stocks after the Macau government kicked off a 45-day review of casino operations in the Chinese territory. The process is being conducted as a means of garnering public input on amending gambling laws, with speculation swirling that it could lead to stricter regulations for casino operators. Among today's notable decliners were Wynn Resorts (WYNN, -6.3%), MGM Resorts International (MGM, -2.5%) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS, -1.7%).
- SoFi Technologies (SOFI, +6.6%) got a boost today after Mizuho Americas analysts Dan Dolev and Ryan Coyne initiated coverage of the fintech stock with a Buy. "SoFi is a one-stop shop digital financial services firm that is in the midst of a powerful transition to a full-fledged mobile-first, super-app neo-bank with in-house next-gen issuing capabilities," they wrote in a note to clients. SoFi went public in early June via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
- Gold futures shed 0.7% to end at $1,794.80 an ounce.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) retreated by 6.4% to 18.21.
- Bitcoin had another strong day, advancing 3.5% to $48,099.15. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
What's the Best Brokerage for You?
Investors rarely have the luxury of control and certainty.
For instance, let's say you conduct tireless research before you purchase a stock or fund. That should improve your chances of making a smart investment, but every now and again, an exogenous shock – like COVID – rips apart your thesis.
That's why it's vital to make the most of what we do have complete control over.
One such area is costs. That's part of the idea behind our Kip 25 mutual fund and Kip ETF 20 lists – it's good to identify quality investment products, but it's all the better when more of their returns are flowing back into your pockets, thanks to lower fees.
Another thing you can control: your brokerage account.
While the race to zero-commission trading has reduced (and hidden) differences on the fee front, different brokerages still have different approaches to features such as tools, research, investment choices and customer service.
So, what's the right brokerage for you? Check out our latest rankings of the best online brokers, where we delve into the major brokerages' features and drawbacks.