Powell comments on slowing rate hikes help S&P 500 post second straight weekly gain


The S&P 500 (SP500) on Friday added 1.13% for the week to end at 4,071.70 points, with the benchmark index posting losses in four out of five sessions.

The gains for the week were largely thanks to a massive rally on Wednesday which was spurred by Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s comments on slowing rate hikes.

The week got off to a negative start over concerns on China’s zero-COVID-19 policies and protests against them. By mid-week, the focus had turned to Powell, who in a speech all but confirmed that rate hikes would slow down starting from the central bank’s December monetary policy meeting.

Investors appeared to come back to earth in the final two sessions of the week, as weak manufacturing data coupled with a stronger-than-expected jobs report weighed on sentiment. The data pointed to the fact that the full effects of the Fed’s aggressive tightening was yet to show, and underscored the resilience of the labor market even in the wake of higher interest rates.

Other economic data during the week included the ADP jobs report which showed lesser-than-expected job additions, and October job openings which declined.

The SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) on Friday climbed 1.14% for the week alongside the benchmark index. The ETF is -14.33% YTD.

Of the 11 S&P 500 (SP500) sectors, nine ended the week in the green, with Communication Services and Consumer Discretionary the top gainers. Energy and Financials were the two losers. See below a breakdown of the weekly performance of the sectors as well as the performance of their accompanying SPDR Select Sector ETFs from Nov. 25 close to Dec. 2 close:

#1: Communication Services +3.31%, and the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC) +3.47%.

#2: Consumer Discretionary +2.10%, and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) +2.33%.

#3: Health Care +1.91%, and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) +1.92%.

#4: Materials +1.54%, and the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) +1.69%.

#5: Information Technology +1.31%, and the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) +1.32%.

#6: Consumer Staples +1.10%, and the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) +1.23%.

#7: Industrials +1.00%, and the Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLI) +1.02%.

#8: Real Estate +0.43%, and the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLRE) +0.44%.

#9: Utilities +0.06%, and the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) +0.13%.

#10: Financials -0.64%, and the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) -0.50%.

#11: Energy -1.97%, and the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) -1.70%.

Below is a chart of the 11 sectors’ YTD performance and how they fared against the S&P 500. For investors looking into the future of what’s happening, take a look at the Seeking Alpha Catalyst Watch to see next week’s breakdown of actionable events that stand out.



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