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NEW YORK, New York – U.S. stocks headed higher on the first day of October, with all the major indices recording strong gains.

“It’s the first day of trading in a new quarter so it’s common to see stocks move in and out of the plus and minus columns,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York told Reuters Friday.

“September played its traditional role by cooling down the market and probably presenting a buying opportunity,” he added.

The Dow Jones industrials index did best, jumping 482.54 points or 1.43 percent to 34,326.46.

The Nasdaq Composite gained 118.12 points or 0.82 percent to 14,566.70.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 climbed 49.50 points or 1.15 percent to 4,357.04.

On foreign exchange markets, the U.S. dollar lost ground across the board. Profit-takers sent the British pound up to 1.3550, approaching the New York close Friday. The Japanese yen strengthened to 111.06. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9302, while the euro was a fraction stronger at 1.1595.

The Canadian dollar rose to 1.2641. The Australian dollar rebounded to 0.7265. The New Zealand dollar advanced to 0.6941.

Overseas equity markets closed on the downside. The FTSE 100 in London lost 0.84 percent. The German Dax shed 0.68 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 ended the day 0.04 percent lower.

On Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 dropped 681.59 points or 2.31 percent at 28,771.07, a one-month low,

The Australian All Ordinaries shed 143.10 points or 1.88 percent to 7,486.60.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 87.86 points or 0.36 percent to 24,575.64.

In China, the Shanghai Composite closed ahead 31.81 points or 0.90 percent at 3,568.17.