The S&P 500 index rose 1.6% last week and reached fresh record highs amid better-than-expected Q3 corporate earnings and positive economic data.
With just one trading week left in the month, the S&P 500 is now up 5.5% for October to date. It is up 21% for the year to date.
The weekly climb came as many US companies’ Q3 earnings reports surpassed analysts’ expectations. In addition, weekly jobless claims fell to fresh pandemic lows while US existing home sales rose 7% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.29 million units from 5.88 million in August, exceeding expectations for a rise to 6.1 million in a Bloomberg poll of forecasters.
All but one of the S&P 500’s sectors rose last week. Real estate had the largest percentage increase of the week, up 3.2%, followed by a 2.9% gain in health care and a 2.8% rise in financials. The one sector in the red was communication services, down 0.6%.
Next week, the companies expected to release quarterly results include Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Facebook (FB), 3M (MMM), General Electric (GE), Boeing (BA) and Merck (MRK).
The economic data expected next week are expected to feature September new home sales and pending home sales in addition to the August S&P Case-Shiller home price index. October consumer confidence, September consumer spending and September core inflation will also be released.
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