The Dow booked its best day since February on Monday, after stocks booked a brutal month of September, as expectations for a potential pause in rate hikes from the Federal Reserve after December gathered steam. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.25% rose about 765 points, or 2.7%, ending near 29,490, which was its best daily percentage gain since February 25, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.48% gained 2.6%. The Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.85% advanced 2.3%. Stocks kicked off October on a high note, after booking their worse first 9 months of a year in two years. The rally came as the surging dollar /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY -0.28% against a basket of rival currencies took a breather and the benchmark 10-year Treasury rate retreated from its recent high of 4%, near 3.7% on Monday. Fed-funds futures traders on Monday also were pricing in a less dramatic rise in the central bank's policy rate in early 2023, according to the CME FedWatch Tool .