The S&P 500 index slipped 1.5% last week, marking a bumpy start to the new year and snapping a nine-week winning streak.
The S&P 500’s decline came as investors adjusted their portfolios following a 24% jump in 2023. The index was flirting with record highs the week prior, amid easing inflation data that helped curb fears of another rate increase by the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee.
However, some jitters and caution were evident as the new year began with looming questions over the Fed committee’s next moves.
While the S&P 500 was down in the first three sessions of 2024, it did edge up 0.2% on Friday amid the release of data showing employers added more jobs than expected in December. The unemployment rate stayed at 3.7%. Still, Friday’s increase was too small to outweigh the prior three days’ declines.
The Technology sector had the largest percentage drop, falling 4.1%, followed by a 3.5% slide in Consumer Discretionary and a 2.1% decline in Industrials. Other sectors in the red on the week included Real Estate, Materials and Communication Services.
Five sectors rose: Health care, Utilities, Energy, Financials and Consumer Staples.
Economic data will be on the lighter side this week, though investors will be paying close attention to the December consumer price index scheduled for Thursday and the December producer price index to be released on Friday, both of which are key inflation readings.
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