The S&P 500 stretched its winning streak to the seventh week, as the Federal Reserve held its monetary policy steady and indicated rate cuts for next year.
The benchmark equity index ended Friday’s session up from last week’s close, marking its longest winning streak since 2017. All sectors notched solid gains for the week, led by real estate’s 5.3% surge as mortgage applications continued their upward trend, with 30-year fixed interest rates on conforming loan balances falling to their lowest level since July.
Materials jumped 4%, while communication services saw the only drop for the week, down 0.1%.
The Federal Open Market Committee kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 5.25% to 5.5% — the third consecutive pause — and lowered its median rate and inflation expectations through 2025. In a bid to tame inflation, the FOMC started increasing rates in March 2022, with its last hike coming this July.
The federal funds rate is likely “at or near its peak,” though it is too soon to declare victory, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday following the FOMC meeting. New York Fed President John Williams told CNBC Friday that policymakers “aren’t really talking about rate cuts right now.”
The next FOMC meeting is scheduled for Jan. 30-31.
Official data released during the week showed consumer inflation unexpectedly edged higher sequentially in November, while price growth eased on an annual basis. Producer prices were flat month over month in November, and annual wholesale costs ticked up less than projected. November retail sales unexpectedly increased, while industrial production rebounded.
This week’s economic calendar will feature the third and final official reading on Q3 growth, consumer confidence prints and November housing reports.
Get instructions on how to enable our Flash News Briefing skill to your Amazon devices: