Stock Market Today: Stocks Sizzle With Big Tech Earnings on Tap

The major indexes notched a win ahead of the busiest week of Q3 earnings so far, with Alphabet and Apple among those reporting.

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Stocks closed higher Monday, building on last week's gains ahead of the busiest week of the third-quarter earnings season thus far.

Roughly one-third of the S&P 500 companies are scheduled to unveil their quarterly results this week. The earnings calendar is jam-packed with several Big Tech names, including Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL (opens in new tab), +1.4%) and iPhone maker Apple (AAPL (opens in new tab), +1.5%). The technology sector (+1.4%) performed well ahead of the release of these updates, though healthcare (+1.9%) was the top gainer today. 

Not all of the day's price action was positive, though. U.S.-listed Chinese stocks like Alibaba (BABA (opens in new tab), -12.5%) and Baidu (BIDU (opens in new tab), -12.6%) spiraled after Xi Jinping over the weekend began his third term as president of China by consolidating the country's top leadership roles with loyalists.

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Despite the downside in Chinese stocks, the major indexes all finished with solid gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.3% to 31,499, the S&P 500 Index gained 1.2% to 3,797, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.9% to 10,952.

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In economic news, both the flash manufacturing and services purchasing managers' indexes (PMIs) for October came in lower than economists were expecting, with each falling below the 50 mark, which signals contraction. 

"The flash PMIs showed significant weakness across both the service and manufacturing parts of the economy, which is good news for investors expecting the Fed to pause early next year," says Edward Moya,  senior market strategist at currency data provider OANDA. "The flash manufacturing PMI dropped to the weakest levels since mid-2020. Barely testing contraction territory is still a big deal as demand softens and further pain is widely expected. The U.S. economy is making its way to a recession, but it won't be a steady decline as large parts of the economy still have strength." 

The Best Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks

Dividend stocks never go out of style – and that has been especially true for investors looking to cushion the blow the broader market has inflicted on their portfolios this year. "Historically, dividends have played an important role in overall investor return," says John Osterweis, founder and co-chief investment officer at Osterweis Capital Management. "This is especially true in higher interest rate environments." Osterweis adds that during periods "when markets swoon, dividends account for 50% or more of overall S&P 500 returns, as was the case in the 1940s and 1970s." 

Investors seeking out the best dividend stocks have no shortage of options to choose from, including quality companies with a history of solid dividend growth or those sporting high yields. To that end, we've compiled a list of these top Dow dividend stocks, each of which boasts above-market dividend yields and can offer value to investors in uncertain times.

Karee Venema
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger.com

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at Kiplinger.com. 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.