The S&P 500 index rose 1.6% last week as gains led by the technology, communication services and consumer discretionary sectors brought the market benchmark to a fresh 2023 high.
The climb came amid encouraging guidance from some companies and hopes that Congress will reach an agreement on the US debt ceiling soon, though those hopes dimmed a bit on Friday after Republican negotiators halted the talks, saying the White House was being uncooperative.
The S&P 500 is now up 0.5% for the month to date and up 9.2% for the year to date.
Investors had been more optimistic on Thursday after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said a House of Representatives vote on a debt ceiling deal could come as soon as next week.
The debt ceiling remains a concern as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that without a deal to raise the borrowing limit, the US government may be unable to pay its bills on time by June 1.
By sector, technology had the largest percentage increase of the week, up 4.2%, followed by a 3.1% rise in communication services and a 2.6% boost in consumer discretionary. Other gainers included financials, industrials, energy and materials.
The utilities sector led to the downside with a 4.4% drop, followed by a 2.4% decline in real estate, a 1.7% slip in consumer staples and a 0.7% drop in health care.
This week, Standard & Poor’s will release its May readings on the US services and manufacturing sectors on Tuesday. Also, the first revision to Q1 gross domestic product is set to be announced on Thursday, along with April pending home sales. Finally, the April personal consumption expenditures index, a closely watched inflation measure, will be released on Friday.
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