The S&P 500 index climbed 5.9% last week, the market benchmark’s largest weekly increase of the year, as comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and a weaker-than-expected October jobs report helped ease investor worries about future rate policy.
The S&P 500 is now up almost 14% for the year to date, a significant improvement from its year-to-date gain of 7.2% one week ago.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 closed out October with a monthly drop of 3.1%, marking its third consecutive monthly decline, amid worries over whether the Federal Reserve might need to raise rates again to combat inflation.
On Wednesday, however, the stock market kicked off November with a relief rally as the Federal Open Market Committee held the target range for its federal funds rate steady and comments by Powell focused on progress on moving inflation lower. Investors saw that as a hint that the committee’s rate increases may be ending.
The rally continued after data released Friday showed the US economy added fewer-than-expected jobs in October while the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose; the weaker-than-expected job growth is seen as reducing the likelihood of more rate increases.
All of the S&P 500’s sectors rose week-to-week, led by an 8.5% jump in real estate, a 7.4% rise in financials and a 7.2% increase in consumer discretionary. The smallest increase was logged by energy, which still rose 2.3%.
This week, there will be a number of speeches by Fed officials including Powell. Also, September data on consumer credit and wholesale inventories will be released.
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