Manufacturing data gives Wall Street a boost

WALL Street started a new quarter with a modest rally yesterday, lifted by a surprising expansion in US manufacturing in September.

After rising more than one per cent by midday, the major US stock indexes came off their highs, with the Nasdaq the hardest-hit. Market participants said Wall Street has shown signs of fatigue as stocks closed a strong third quarter on Friday.

“We are at a level where the market is due for a correction. Also, as we head for a new earnings season here, we should expect more volatility ahead,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset management in Bedford Hills, New York.

Among stocks weighing on the Nasdaq, Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, lost 1.2 per cent to $659.39, dragging the tech-heavy index lower.

Baidu shares fell 3.5 per cent to $112.77 after Jefferies cut the stock to “hold” from “buy” and lowered the price target to $125 from $135.

Besides tech, sectors associated with growth were strong. Financial stocks rose, with Goldman Sachs up 2.8 per cent at $116.86 after the weekly Barron’s said Goldman’s stock could rise at least 25 per cent in the next year as capital markets improve. An S&P index of financial stocks advanced 0.5 per cent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 77.98 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 13,515.11 at the close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 3.82 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 1,444.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 2.70 points, or 0.09 per cent, to close at 3,113.53.