Dow set for best September since 1939 chart for more market data. By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter

NEW YORK ( -- The summer has come to an end, and so has the market slump that came with it. With little on tap to challenge the recent rally, stocks are on track to close September with the biggest monthly gains in over a year.

Though September is typically down month on Wall Street and the economic recovery remains sluggish, investors have taken cues from recent upbeat economic news to propel major indexes sharply higher during the month after a sell-off in August.

"We've been seeing modestly favorable economic numbers lately, which has allowed markets to keep moving up," said Stephen Carl, head equity trader at Williams Capital Group.

So far, the Dow has rallied 8.4%, which would be the best monthly gain since July 2009, when the blue-chip index added 8.6%. The latest lift also puts the Dow on track for its best September since 1939, when it rose 13.5%.

The S&P has rallied 9.5%, the largest increase since April 2009, and the Nasdaq has surged 12.6%, the biggest jump since October 2002.

Last week, stocks rose more than 2% after the major indexes broke above key technical levels early in the week. That encouraged investors to keep the momentum going, and stocks ended with a rally to fresh four-month highs.

Though the economy is still not out of the woods, analysts don't foresee a pullback in stocks in the week ahead.

"We've got a frilly light week ahead in economic data until the last couple of days, and as long those readings come in near expectations, the markets will be able to sustain the recent gains," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial Group.

And even if poor economic news triggers some volatility and puts pressure on stocks, Sheldon said the recent momentum should be enough for investors to close September and the third quarter on a positive note.

On the docket

Monday: There are no market-moving economic or corporate events expected on Monday.

Tuesday: The Case-Shiller 20-city home price index is expected to have increased 3.4% in July after rising 4.2% in June.

After the start of trading, the Conference Board releases its Consumer Confidence index for September. Economists forecast the index to have edged down to 52.9 during the month from 53.5 in August.

Wednesday: The government's weekly oil inventory report is due after the start of trading.

Thursday: The third and final reading on gross domestic product growth in the second quarter is due before the bell. The economy is expected to have expanded at a 1.6% annualized rate, unchanged from the previous reading, and still sharply lower from the initial reading had been for a 2.4% growth rate in the period.

At the same time, the Department of Labor releases a weekly report on jobless claims. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment insurance is expected to have decreased to 457,000 last week from 465,000 in the previous week.

Continuing claims, a measure of Americans who have been receiving benefits for a week or more, are expected to have dropped to 4.45 million from 4.49 million claims the previous week.

The Chicago PMI, a regional reading on manufacturing activity, will be released after the bell. The measure is expected to have eased to 56.0 in September from 56.7 in August.

Friday: A government report on personal income and spending is due before the opening bell. Economists surveyed by expect income to have edged up 0.3% in August after rising 0.2% in July. Spending is forecast to tick up 0.3% after increasing 0.4%.

The University of Michigan's final reading on consumer sentiment in September is due shortly after the market open. It's expected to inch up to 67.1 from the last reading 66.6.

The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) index of manufacturing is also due after the start of trading. Economists forecast the index to have slipped to 54.5 in September from 56.3 in August. Any number above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

Meanwhile, the government is expected to report that construction spending fell 0.5% in August, after dropping 1% in July.

Auto and truck sales for September are due throughout the day. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.85%3.81%
15 yr fixed2.97%2.91%
5/1 ARM3.38%3.09%
30 yr refi3.85%3.81%
15 yr refi3.01%2.99%
Rate data provided
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,387.21 -291.49 -1.65%
Nasdaq 4,681.50 -90.27 -1.89%
S&P 500 2,029.55 -27.54 -1.34%
Treasuries 1.82 -0.00 -0.16%
Data as of 4:52am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Microsoft Corp 42.66 -4.35 -9.25%
Apple Inc 109.14 -3.96 -3.50%
Bank of America Corp... 15.63 -0.22 -1.39%
Intel Corp 34.18 -1.62 -4.52%
Cisco Systems Inc 26.90 -1.07 -3.83%
Data as of Jan 27


American Express and MasterCard are preparing to let customers use their credit cards in Cuba. More

China has beefed up its Great Firewall yet again, this time cracking down on virtual private networks, or VPNs. More

On demand delivery startup WunWun is expecting its order volume to double by the time they close up shop on Monday. All thanks to a blizzard. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.