Did You Miss the Dow's Biggest Monthly Point Gain Ever?
Tags: dow, monthly point gain
After a brutal September, it was refreshing to see October swoop in with a record-breaking monthly point gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average scored 9.5% gains in October, rising 1,041.63 points, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite rose 11%.

That's the largest monthly point gain in the Dow's history and the third-largest percentage gain. The S&P 500 posted its largest percentage gain since 1991.

In fact, the numbers could've been even higher had jitters over the European debt crisis not killed markets on the month's last trading day. The Dow ended down 276.10 points, or 2.3%.

Still, these are impressive results for investors - at least, for those who stayed in the markets and weren't scared away after September's poor market performance.

Among those enjoying the October rally were subscribers to our Private Briefing service's stock picks: we logged at least one double-digit gainer each week in our Private Briefing plays.

These big winners include the country fund that's up more than 16% in the past month, the "micro-cap" biotech stock that rose more than 13% in one week, and the gold and copper miner up 11% since we delivered it to you on Oct. 13.

It's gains like this that show leaving the markets and sitting on the sidelines is not the way to win in a volatile market environment, like the one we warned you would hit in September.

September capped off the worst third quarter for U.S. stocks in more than 80 years. The Dow fell 5% for the month, far exceeding the average 1.07% loss the index has seen in September since its 1896 launch. The S&P 500 dropped about 7% - half of the 14% loss that broad stock index incurred for the entire third quarter.

Private Briefing subscribers were also protected against September's steep losses. We told you to safeguard your investments against a notoriously unstable month with a number of defensive plays, including high-yield stocks, "glocal" companies, emerging-market stocks, and gold, silver and other precious metals.

Now, November is off to a rocky start. The Dow fell 297.05 points in the month's first trading day today (Tuesday), or 2.48% to 11,657.96. The S&P 500 slipped 32.02 points, or 2.79%, and the Nasdaq was down 77.45 points, or 2.89%.

The month typically posts positive results. The Dow has ended in the green 64% of the time over the past 50 years, with an average gain of 1.22%, according to Bespoke Investment Group. But with the sovereign debt crisis in Europe far from resolved, and its effects already spreading to U.S.-based banks like MF Global (NYSE: MF), there are plenty of reasons a market whipsaw could rattle investors - if they aren't prepared.

This is why we're ready to arm you with a slew of new investing ideas and techniques to show you how to profit for the rest of the year.

If you haven't already signed up for our Private Briefing service, click here to learn more. If you're already a member, stay tuned for more daily investing advice from Executive Editor William Patalon III and our team of financial experts.

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