GOOD START TO NOVEMBER: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 136 points on the first day of November, its best gain since mid-September. That came after a loss in October, the first down month since May.
CONFIDENT CONSUMERS: The Conference Board said Americans' confidence in the economy surged last month to the highest level in nearly five years. Many were encouraged by an improving job market.
JOBS NEWS: Investors got a twin dose of good news on the jobs market. Claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, and payroll processor ADP reported that private companies added more jobs last month than economists had been expecting.