Dow on track for best month in more than 45 years

By Paul R. La Monica, CNN BusinessUpdated: Mon, 31 Oct 2022 16:04:14 GMTSource: CNN BusinessThe Dow fell slightly midday Monday but is still up 14% this month, putting it on track for its best monthly

By Paul R. La Monica, CNN Business

Updated: Mon, 31 Oct 2022 16:04:14 GMT

Source: CNN Business

The Dow fell slightly midday Monday but is still up 14% this month, putting it on track for its best monthly gain since January 1976. The blue chips remain down nearly 10% this year though. Meanwhile, The S&P 500 has fallen nearly 20% in 2022 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has plunged 30%. Both were down a bit Monday.

Still, it's fitting that on Halloween, candy maker Hershey is trading at an all-time high, Shares are up nearly 25% this year. But overall, there haven't been too many sweet Kisses for investors this year: Despite a ferocious rally so far in October, there are a lot more losers than winners on Wall Street in 2022.

Big techs, industrials and consumer discretionary stocks have been hit hard in 2022. Intel, Nike, Salesforce, Microsoft, 3M, Boeing, Disney, Walgreens, Home Depot, Cisco and Verizon are all down more than 25% in 2022. That's nearly half of the Dow stocks.

Tech is getting crushed in the S&P 500 too. Facebook owner Meta Platforms has plunged more than 70% this year. PayPal, chip giant Nvidia and Netflix have all lost more than half their value as well.

But there are some other winners besides Hershey. Oil stocks and health care companies are leading the market, with Chevron, Merck and Amgen topping the Dow leaders list.

Chevron is even trading near an all-time high. So is rival (and former Dow component) Exxon Mobil. Big Pharma leader Eli Lilly and health insurers Cigna and Humana are also at record highs.

It's not just energy and health care stocks posting solid gains this year. Several consumer staples firms — companies that sell food and beverages — are thriving as well. McDonald's, Pepsi and cereal makers General Mills and Post recently hit record highs.

Also in the all-time high club: defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, insurers Metlife and Progressive, auto parts retailers Autozone and O'Reilly Automotive and wireless giant T-Mobile.

There's a saying on Wall Street that there's always a bull market somewhere. This list of well known, brand-name stocks trading at record highs is further proof of that point.

Yet the broader market is undeniably struggling this year due to concerns about inflation and the fact that the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates significantly to try and defeat the scourge of rising prices.

There are growing worries that the Fed was too late to start fighting inflation and now risks sending the economy into a recession next year as it seems to be playing catch-up with its series of aggressive rate hikes.