Stocks regained some of what they lost on Friday to close out the month, and the quarter, on an up note after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin denied that the White House was looking to restrict China's access to U.S. markets, as had been previously reported. White House adviser Peter Navarro reiterated that message in a CNBC interview this morning, though he kept open the door that the U.S. could consider some type of action in the future on that front.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Chicago PMI declined 3.3 points to 47.1 in September, which was weaker than expected. The Dallas Fed's manufacturing index dipped 1.2 points to 1.5 in September.
In China, the unofficial Caixin PMI unexpectedly jumped to 51.4 in the September reading from 50.4 in August. The official National Bureau of Statistics PMI also nudged higher to 49.8, though it remains below the 50 point no change mark, and the official non-manufacturing PMI fell back to 53.7 from 53.8.
TOP NEWS: Apple (AAPL) shares rose 2.3% after JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee established a December 2020 price target of $265, up from his from his December 2019 target to $243. The 2019 product cycle is largely considered to be a "muted one," said Chatterjee, who raised his iPhone volume forecasts for Apple's September quarter by 1M and for its December quarter by 3M units to account for stronger trends, particularly led by the iPhone 11 model amongst the new iPhones.
Boeing (BA) engineers working on a flight-control system for the 737 Max omitted key safeguards that had been included in an earlier version of the same system used on a military tanker jet, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Dova Pharmaceuticals (DOVA) announced it has entered into an agreement and plan of merger with Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, or Sobi. Under the terms of the agreement, Dova stockholders will be offered an upfront payment for $27.50 per share in cash, along with one non-tradeable Contingent Value Right, or CVR, that entitles them to an additional $1.50 per share in cash upon regulatory approval of DOPTELET for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia, or CIT, representing a total potential consideration of $29.00 per share, or a total potential consideration of up to $915M on a fully diluted basis.
In other M&A news, Colony Capital (CLNY) agreed to sell Colony Industrial, its industrial real estate assets and affiliated industrial operating platform, to an affiliate of Blackstone (BX) for an aggreagte purchase price of $5.9B. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Shares of Colony Capital closed 2% higher after the news.
Meanwhile, CNBC reported that Amazon (AMZN) is in talks to bring its cashierless technology that runs its Go stores to other retailers such as airport shops and movie theaters.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Just Energy (JE), which rose 6.8% after Canaccord analyst Raveel Afzaal said that he views activist investor Rob Snyder's increased position in the company as a positive. Also higher was Thor Industries (THO), which gained 15.8% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was G1 Therapeutics (GTHX), which fell 32.9% after it presented the first clinical data results from a Phase 1/2a study of G1T48. Also lower was Immunomedics (IMMU), which fell 7.4% after presenting interim data from the 100-patient cohort of cisplatin-eligible patients of the company's TROPHY-U-01 open-label Phase 2 study.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 96.58, or 0.36%, to 26,916.83, the Nasdaq gained 59.71, or 0.75%, to 7,999.34, and the S&P 500 advanced 14.95, or 0.5%, to 2,976.74.