Stock Market Today: Markets End an Up Month on a Down Note

October might have ended with a whimper, but the month overall delivered big-time gains for equity investors.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Equities closed out an otherwise strong October in the red on Monday, as a rise in bond yields and declines in some big technology stocks weighed on the major indexes. 

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.4% to finish at 32,733, while the broader S&P 500 fell 0.7% to 3,872. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slumped 1.0% to close at 10,988. 

Major tech names continued their selloff from last week, which featured a slew of disappointing quarterly earnings reports and forecasts. Dow components Apple (AAPL, -1.5%) and Microsoft (MSFT, -1.6%) were just two of the names in the multi-trillion-dollar-market-cap club to once again lose ground on Monday. Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL, -1.9%) and (AMZN, -0.9%) likewise continued to struggle, as did Facebook parent (and former mega-cap darling) Meta Platforms (META, -6.1%). 

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Meanwhile, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 4.07% ahead of the Federal Reserve's regularly scheduled two-day policy meeting later this week. Market participants expect the central bank to once again raise short-term interest rates Wednesday, with a fourth 0.75%-point swipe at persistent inflation. 

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In October, Stocks Soared. Is the Bear Market Dead?

October might have ended with a whimper, but the month overall delivered big-time gains for equity investors. The S&P 500 rose 8.0% on a price basis for the month, and even the beaten and bruised Nasdaq tacked on a respectable 3.9%.

But no one did better than investors in the bluest of blue-chip stocks. The Dow, that elite bastion of just 30 blue chips, rose 14.0% for the month. Indeed, it was the Dow's best October since 1975. Partly that's a function of the Dow being a haven for companies with rising and reliable dividends. Indeed, a mini-portfolio of the Dow's best dividend stocks is clobbering the broader market so far this year. The Dow is also home to some of the best stocks to own in a bear market

What's most encouraging is what has historically come next when the Dow produces a boffo October: the blue-chip barometer has gone on to generate even more impressive upside over the following three-, six- and 12-month periods. 

It remains to be seen if October will maintain its reputation as a bear-market killer, but so far so good. Read on to see what history has to say about the market's prospects after the Dow logged one of its best Octobers in ages.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.