October has been a breakout month for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as some big, old companies reported earnings results that sent their shares soaring.

The performance of the 30-component index

DJIA, +0.12%

 rose at twice the pace as it did in September, 4.2% versus 2.1% (with dividends reinvested). It was the biggest jump since February.

The S&P 500 Index

SPX, +0.09%

climbed 2.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index

COMP, +0.43%

advanced 3.2%.

Here’s how the Dow and the other two indices have performed during each of the past 12 months:

Month Dow Jones Industrial Average S&P 500 Nasdaq Composite
October 2017 4.2% 2.2% 3.2%
September 2017 2.1% 2.1% 1.1%
August 2017 0.3% 0.3% 1.4%
July 2017 2.5% 2.1% 3.4%
June 2017 1.6% 0.6% -0.9%
May 2017 0.3% 1.4% 2.7%
April 2017 1.3% 1.0% 2.4%
March 2017 -0.7% 0.1% 1.6%
February 2017 4.8% 4.0% 3.9%
January 2017 0.5% 1.9% 4.4%
December 2016 3.3% 2.0% 1.2%
November 2016 5.4% 3.7% 2.8%
Oct. 31, 2016, through Oct. 30, 2017 18.2% 16.8% 25.5%
Source FactSet

So the Nasdaq is your 12-month winner. This, of course, reflects the strength of the technology sector. For the smaller Nasdaq companies, the prospect of lower corporate income tax rates has been a contributing factor, as their businesses tend to be domestically focused, making their income tax scenarios simpler and more costly.

Also see:Here are the actual tax rates the biggest companies in America pay

Interestingly, the S&P 500 has recorded no negative monthly returns.

The Dow’s October winners and losers

Here’s how the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average have performed during October:

Company Ticker Total return – Sept. 30 through Oct. 30 Total return – 2017 through Oct. 30 Total return- 12 months Total return – 3 years Total return – 5 years
Intel Corp. INTC, +2.52% 17% 25% 32% 49% 138%
Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -0.85% 13% 37% 43% 97% 241%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, +0.41% 11% 28% 28% 23% 32%
Caterpillar Inc. CAT, -0.51% 10% 52% 68% 52% 90%
3M Co. MMM, -0.36% 10% 32% 43% 64% 197%
Travelers Co. TRV, -0.13%

 

8% 10% 25% 42% 108%
Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -0.42% 8% 24% 25% 42% 128%
UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, +0.40% 7% 32% 52% 134% 307%
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM, -0.79% 7% 20% 50% 85% 181%
Nike Inc. Class B NKE, -0.51% 7% 10% 8% 23% 158%
International Business Machines Corp. IBM, -0.19% 6% -4% 5% 4% -8%
McDonald’s Corp. MCD, +0.41% 6% 39% 52% 95% 125%
American Express Co. AXP, +0.47% 5% 30% 45% 12% 83%
Visa Inc. Class A V, -0.05% 5% 42% 35% 90% 230%
DowDuPont Inc. DWDP, +0.88% 4% 28% 37% 64% 187%
United Technologies Corp. UTX, -0.06% 3% 11% 20% 21% 72%
Cisco Systems Inc. CSC, -16.88% 2% 17% 15% 56% 131%
Boeing Co. BA, -0.49% 2% 70% 87% 128% 315%
Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, -0.23% 2% -5% 2% -2% 8%
Coca-Cola Co. KO, +0.26% 2% 13% 12% 22% 44%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, +0.66% 2% 2% 38% 34% 116%
Home Depot Inc. HD, +0.28% 1% 26% 37% 81% 206%
Walt Disney Co. DIS, -0.23% -1% -5% 6% 14% 111%
Pfizer Inc. PFE, -0.26% -2% 11% 14% 31% 65%
Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, +0.08% -2% -6% 4% 10% 34%
Chevron Corp. CVX, +1.31% -3% 0% 15% 11% 25%
Procter & Gamble Co. PG, +0.08% -4% 6% 2% 9% 45%
Merck & Co. Inc. MRK, +0.69% -15% -5% -4% 5% 40%
General Electric Co. GE, -1.22% -16% -34% -28% -12% 14%
Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.12% 4% 20% 29% 46% 102%
Source: FactSet

Intel Corp.

INTC, +2.52%

 has been the best Dow performer in October, returning 17%. The stock rose 7% on Oct. 27 after the company bucked the trend for semiconductor manufacturers and raised its sales and earnings outlook. The stock has returned 25% for 2017.

Shares of Microsoft Corp.

MSFT, -0.85%

 have returned 13% in October, with better-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales.

Also see:Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Intel find billions more in profit

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

WMT, +0.41%

 is next, with an 11% return this month, as analysts expressed their newfound confidence in the company, following a slew of positive announcements from the retailer.

Read:Wal-Mart finds way to appeal to millennial shoppers

Caterpillar Inc.

CAT, -0.51%

showed it was in the upward swing of its business cycle. Its shares have returned 10% this month.

The last double-digit October gainer in the Dow is 3M Co.

MMM, -0.36%

with a 10% return, as it beat expectations for sales and earnings. This company has been a stellar long-term financial performer, as you can see when its numbers are compared with other industrial conglomerates.

Seven Dow stocks have produced negative returns this month. General Electric Co.

GE, -1.22%

  has been the worst, with a 16% decline. Investors expect a major dividend cut, and new CEO John Flannery has his work cut out for him, reining in the company’s expenses. Here’s why GE might be removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

More recent coverage of GE:

GE’s pledge to be more accountable comes after SEC comments, stock plunge

GE board didn’t know about ex-CEO Immelt’s extra jets

GE ratings outlook revised to negative at Fitch

GE’s profit miss was a shock, and so was the stock’s bounce

Shares of Merck & Co.

MRK, +0.69%

 were clobbered over a six-session stretch through Monday. The company reported a third-quarter loss and missed the consensus sales estimate, feeding a 15% decline this month.

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