The S&P 500 index rose 1.3% last week, lifting October’s monthly advance to 6.9%, as US corporations’ Q3 financial results continued to come in mostly above estimates.
Friday was the final trading day of October, which started Q4 on a strong note and wiped out the S&P 500’s 4.8% September slide. With just two months remaining in 2021, the index is now up nearly 23% for the year to date.
The gains came as quarterly earnings reports have largely surpassed expectations at a time when supply-chain challenges, the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation concerns have persisted. In many cases, these issues haven’t dented profits by as much as analysts and investors had feared.
The consumer discretionary sector had the largest percentage increase of the week, up 4%, followed by gains of 2% each in communication services and technology.
Four sectors were in the red last week: Financials fell 0.9%, energy shed 0.8%, utilities declined 0.5% and industrials edged down 0.3%
Next week, the companies releasing quarterly financial results are expected to include Simon Property Group (SPG), Pfizer (PFE), DuPont (DD), CVS Health (CVS), Kellogg (K) and American International Group (AIG).
On the economic front, the market will be focused on a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee as well as October employment data being released next week. The FOMC meeting will conclude Wednesday. ADP will release October private-sector employment numbers on Wednesday, followed by the Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims on Thursday and monthly nonfarm payrolls on Friday.
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