The S&P 500 index edged up 0.5% last week, with the energy and financial sectors leading to the upside while real estate and utilities weighed. This marks the index’s first weekly gain in three weeks and erases only part of the declines posted earlier in the month.
The S&P 500 is now down 1.5% for September, with four sessions in the month remaining. Despite the September slide, the index is up about 19% for the year to date.
The week’s move was slight as investors traded cautiously heading into the end of the third quarter. In the US, the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee indicated it may begin tapering its asset purchases as soon as November and could raise interest rates next year. Overseas, investors continued to worry about Chinese property markets.
The energy sector had the largest percentage increase of the week, up 4.7%, followed by a 2.2% rise in financials and a 0.9% advance in technology. Other sectors that rose last week included industrials, consumer discretionary and materials. On the downside, real estate led with a 1.5% drop while utilities slipped 1.2%. Other decliners included communication services, health care and consumer staples.
Next week, the final week of Q3, investors will get August readings on durable goods orders and core capital goods orders on Monday, followed by the September consumer confidence index on Tuesday and the August pending home sales index Wednesday. Thursday’s economic data will feature revised Q3 gross domestic product while Friday will include August readings on consumer spending and core inflation, among other data.
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