The stock market has closed out a horrendous October, its worst month in 21 years, with a big advance as more investors took chances on stocks turned into bargains by waves of intense selling.
The Dow Jones industrials rose 141 points to the 9,322 level, but ended the month down 14.1 percent. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 16.9 percent during October as the stock market fell victim to investors' anguish over frozen credit markets and what looked like an inevitable recession.
Friday's session gave the market its first back-to-back advances in more than a month. Investors who have become used to bad economic news dealt calmly with data showing a drop in consumer spending.
Another reason for the advance: Funds that dumped stocks furiously as the end of their fiscal year approached were finished with their selling.