Stocks rally on last day of worst quarter in 4 years

October 01 00:02 2015

Stocks were higher at midday Wednesday on the last day of a brutal third quarter as Wall Street gets set to post its worst quarterly performance in four years. The Dow Jones industrial average was up  about 125 points, or 0.8%, at 12:30 p.m. ET. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 1% and the Nasdaq composite index rose 1.3%. Despite the gains, the major indexes are still set to post steep losses for the quarter. Heading into today’s session, the Dow was down 8.9% for the third quarter in its worst performance since the third quarter of 2011 when the blue-chip index tumbled 12.1%.2013-11-04T131020Z_8_CBRE99U0VX000_RTROPTP_3_MARKETS-STOCKS_original

The S&P 500 was down 8.7% as of Tuesday’s close and at the Nasdaq has 9.4% drop. The rally on Wednesday was helped by encouraging news about the labor market. Businesses added 200,000 private sector jobs in September, according to a report by payroll processor ADP. Investors will also be looking for clues about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates when several Fed  officials are set to give speeches Thursday. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will give opening remarks to a community banking conference later this afternoon. Policymakers have said the Fed will likely raise interest rates before the end of the year.

Asian stock markets rebounded, led by gains in Japan. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index surged 2.7% to close at 17,388.15 after investors were buoyed by expectations for more economic stimulus. Tuesday, the Nikkei 225 tumbled 4.1%, putting it in the red for 2015. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 1.4%. The Shanghai composite index gained 0.5%. Japan’s quarterly Tankan business confidence survey due Thursday will show how businesses are feeling about the future, possibly providing a trigger for action from policymakers.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX index rose 2.4%, France’s CAC 40 gained 2.6%, and Britain’s FTSE 100 was 2% higher. U.S. stocks ended mixed Tuesday as Wall Street staged a partial rebound from Monday’s sharp sell-off that edged the broad U.S. market ever closer to its 2015 lows hit in late August.