The S&P 500 rose for the sixth straight week, the longest rally since November 2019, as markets parsed hotter-than-projected November jobs data and awaited this week’s key Federal Reserve meeting and inflation reports.
Among sectors, communication services and consumer discretionary rose more than 1% each, with technology, industrials and health care also notching gains. Energy posted the steepest decline at 3.3%, while materials, consumer staples, real estate, utilities and financials also closed lower.
Total nonfarm payrolls rose by 199,000 last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The consensus was for a 185,000 gain in a survey compiled by Bloomberg. Markets are widely expecting the Federal Open Market Committee to hold its benchmark lending rate steady this week, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
Last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that it would be “premature” to “speculate” when interest-rate cuts may begin as the FOMC is ready to tighten policy further, if needed. The committee has increased interest rates by 525 basis points since March 2022 in a bid to combat inflation, with its last hike coming in July this year.
The official readings on consumer inflation and producer prices for November are scheduled to be released this week.
On the economic front, this week’s calendar also includes reports on retail sales and industrial production for November, as well as the New York Fed’s Empire State manufacturing index for this month.
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