Utilities Help Push Stocks Higher

U.S. equities traded mostly higher on Monday, led by utilities, following a slew of corporate news and the release of solid economic data, but an investigation into new Hillary Clinton emails kept investors on edge.

That said, Raymond James Chief Investment Strategist Jeffrey Saut said he still expects stocks to end the year at all-time highs. “Fundamentals have changed. GDP has come in better than expected and … earnings have improved,” he said. Saut added that stocks weren’t trading much more lower on Monday because Clinton is “still the odds-on-favorite” to win.

The U.S. economy grew 2.9 percent in the third quarter, according to Commerce Department data released Friday.

U.S. stock futures rose slightly before the bell, as investors parsed through corporate earnings, a merger announcement between Baker Hughes and General Electric, and economic data.

In economic news, consumer spending rose more than expected in September as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and inflation increased steadily, which could bolster expectations of an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve in December.

The Commerce Department said on Monday that consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.5 percent after a downwardly revised 0.1 percent drop in August.

Coming Up:

Monday:

9:45 a.m. Chicago PMI

Tuesday:

Fed meeting begins
Monthly vehicle sales
9:45 a.m. Manufacturing PMI
10:00 a.m. ISM manufacturing
10:00 a.m. Construction spending

Wednesday:

8:15 a.m. ADP employment
2:00 p.m. FOMC statement

Thursday:

8:30 a.m. Initial claims
8:30 a.m. Productivity and costs
9:45 a.m. Services PMI
10:00 a.m. ISM nonmanufacturing
10:00 a.m. Factory orders

Friday:

8:30 a.m. Employment report
8:30 a.m. International trade

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