The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) finished September with a 7.7% gain. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was up 8.8%. Both enjoyed their best September performances since 1939.
The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) added 12% for the month, its best September since 1998.
Normally the weakest month for stocks since 1950, September confounded many analysts. They'd confidently expected the market to slide further after a weak August performance because of worries that the economy was about to sink back into recession.
<LI sizcache="0" sizset="140" itxtvisited="1">American International Group (AIG), up 4.4% to $39.10. The insurer, once the world's largest, agreed with U.S. regulators to repay its bailout by converting the government's holdings into common shares for sale, a step toward independence. <LI sizcache="0" sizset="141" itxtvisited="1">McCormick & Co. (MKC), up 2.3% to $42.04. The world's biggest spice seller said it would earn at least $2.57 a share excluding one-time items this year. The Street consensus has been $2.54. <LI sizcache="0" sizset="142" itxtvisited="1">Comverse Technology (CMVT) up 15.4% to $6.73. Oracle and buyout firms are interested in buying the voice-mail software maker's assets, The Wall Street Journal said. The report added that buyout firms may be more interested in Verint Systems (VRNT), a maker of business analysis software. Verint, 54% owned by Comverse, jumped 146% to $29.55. <LI sizcache="0" sizset="144" itxtvisited="1">Limelight Networks (LLNW), up 6.5% to $5.89. The maker of software that speeds delivery and prevents online problems with Web videos may be poised to rise, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Wednesday on his “Mad Money” program. <LI sizcache="0" sizset="145" itxtvisited="1">Manitowoc (MTW), up 13.6% to $12.11. The world's biggest manufacturer of overhead cranes will refinance a portion of its term loans with senior unsecured notes. The offering should "materially reduce" concern over potential equity distress, Morgan Stanley said.
Maybe some good news for the economy for a change?