Stock Market Today: Small Caps Rally, Dow Temporarily Tops 36K

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all carved out new highs ahead of a busy week on Wall Street.

blue stock market chart with up arrows
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Investors were in an upbeat mood to start the new month, sparking modest gains for major market indexes.

Today's gains came despite a pair of uninspiring economic reports, with the Institute of Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) falling to 60.8 in October from 61.1 in September – though it still arrived above economists' consensus estimate of 60.3.

Separate data from the Census Bureau showed construction spending unexpectedly declined in September (-0.5% actual vs. +0.6% expected).

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"While the data was somewhat disappointing, it was not surprising as the fingerprints of supply-chain issues continue to be evident," says Michael Reinking, senior market strategist at the New York Stock Exchange.

Still, the markets managed to hold their gains into the close.

The price action was led by small caps, with the Russell 2000 climbing 2.7% to 2,358 – within a chipshot of its mid-March record high at 2,360.17.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 35,913 (briefly topping the 36,000 mark for the first time ever), the Nasdaq Composite added 0.6% to 15,595 and the S&P 500 ended up 0.2% at 4,613. This was enough for new record highs for all three indexes.

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(Image credit: YCharts)

Other news in the stock market today:

  • U.S. crude futures rose 0.6% to $84.05 per barrel.
  • Gold futures, aided by a declining U.S. dollar, improved by 0.7% to close at $1,795.80 per ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) ticked up 0.9% to 16.41.
  • Bitcoin slipped 1.8% to $61,420.23. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
  • Shares of real estate marketplace Zillow Group (ZG, -8.6%) sank on Monday following a pair of reports about the company's home buying and selling business. Earlier in the day, a note from KeyBanc analyst Edward Yruma said that an analysis showed that, of about 20% of Zillow's inventory, nearly two-thirds are listed below the purchase price. "Zillow may have leaned into home acquisition at the wrong time, and we believe earnings may be at risk due to its current home inventory ($1.17 billion at 2Q21)," he wrote. Later in the day, a Bloomberg report stated that Zillow is pitching institutional buyers for roughly 7,000 of its homes, which it's trying to sell for a combined $2.8 billion.
  • Tesla (TSLA) shares ripped 8.5% higher to another new high amid a couple of new developments. The company began an aggressive no-down-payment leasing program in China, and it said a pilot program in the Netherlands will allow non-Tesla vehicles to charge at a handful of Tesla's Supercharger stations. The gains also come amid CEO Elon Musk's pledge to sell some of his stock "right now" to help raise $6 billion in response to a recent challenge from UN World Food Programme director David Beasley for billionaires to "step up now, on a one-time basis" to end world hunger.

Buckle Up, It's Going to Be a Busy Week

In addition to the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting that kicks off tomorrow – one in which the central bank could unveil plans to start tapering its monthly bond purchases – there's the October jobs report due out on Friday.

Plus, this week features a jam-packed earnings calendar, with blue-chip Pfizer (PFE) among those reporting bright and early tomorrow. And given that many companies tend to announce dividend news at the same time as they report earnings, there could be plenty of headlines on the dividend-growth front.

Take AbbVie (ABBV), for instance, which just last week announced an 8.5% hike to its dividend alongside its quarterly results. This marked the 50th consecutive increase to ABBV's dividend, securing its membership in the Dividend Aristocrats.

The Dividend Aristocrats are companies in the S&P 500 that have raised their annual payouts every year for at least 25 years. If you're unfamiliar with the Aristocrats or simply want to see which ones have been added to the list this year, check them out.

Karee Venema
Contributing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.