With Labor Day behind us, summer has come to a symbolic end. Despite falling for the second straight week, U.S. stocks logged another month of gains in August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.63 percent higher, while the S&P 500 increased nearly 2 percent. The Nasdaq, helped by an 8 percent rise in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), jumped more than 4 percent for the month.
All three major averages finished August on a high note and posted their first gains in the month since 2009, as markets enjoyed Ben Bernanke’s Jackson Hole speech. The Fed Chairman did not specifically detail more quantitative easing measures, but reiterated that the central bank “will provide additional policy accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.”
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for the third consecutive month. Although the blue-chip index is normally viewed as boring, there were plenty of large movers. Listed below are the best and worst performers in the Dow for August.
Interestingly, investors appeared more willing to take on risk as well-known dividend names such as Coca-Cola and Verizon were among the worst performers. In the S&P 500, the divide between companies with and without dividends was even more pronounced. According to Bespoke Investment Group, a market research firm, the highest yielding S&P 500 stocks averaged a gain of only 0.62 percent in August. In comparison, non-dividend S&P 500 companies jumped an average of 5.45 percent.
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