The S&P 500 index edged up 0.3% last week, resuming its upward trajectory to trade near record highs again as retailers including Macy’s (M) reported quarterly earnings above analysts’ expectations.
Last week’s increase came as a number of US retailers including Macy’s (M), Kohl’s (KSS) and TJX (TJX) released better-than-expected quarterly results. Investors and analysts have been concerned about the impacts of rising consumer prices as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the retailers’ reports pointed to strong demand despite the inflation and pandemic concerns.
As such, the consumer discretionary sector had the largest percentage increase of the week, up 3.8%, followed by a 2.4% rise in technology. There was just one other sector in the black last week — utilities — which rose 0.9%.
However, the week’s overall advance was limited as the energy sector tumbled 5.2%, followed by a 2.8% decline in financials and a 2% slide in materials. Other sectors in the red included industrials, communication services, consumer staples, health care and real estate.
Next week, economic data will be consolidated into the first three days of the week as the US stock market will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday and it will be shortened Friday.
The data being released earlier in the week will include the Chicago Fed National Activity Index and existing home sales for October on Monday and Markit’s November readings on the manufacturing and services sectors on Tuesday. Wednesday will have a slew of reports including weekly jobless claims, Q3 gross domestic product, and October consumer spending as well as core inflation and new home sales.
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