The S&P 500 index closed green last week rising by +.45%, it’s second consecutive marginal gain. The market benchmark ended Friday at 4,327 up from the prior Friday’s closing level of 4,308. The index is up +0.9% in October and almost 13% this year. The increase was small as investors weighed stronger-than-expected Q3 bank earnings against concerns about persistent inflation readings and what they might mean for future Federal rate policy.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) both reported Q3 results that topped analyst expectations on Friday but data last week showed September consumer prices and producer prices both came in higher than expected.
The energy sector led gains last week, up +4.5%, followed by a welcome rebound of +3.6% rise in utilities, a +2.3% climb in real estate and a +1% increase in industrials. Three groups declined last week: consumer discretionary fell -0.7%, followed by a -0.4% decline in materials and a -0.2% slip in communication services.
The energy sector jumped as crude oil futures rose as traders look rising tensions following Saturday’s terror attack on Israel by Hamas. In addition, the US boosted enforcement of the price cap on Russian oil exports, sanctioning two tankers carrying oil priced above the cap. Gains in the energy sector included shares of Marathon Oil (MRO), which rose +14% last week as RBC Capital Markets raised its estimate for the company’s Q3 earnings per share, citing expected benefits from higher final benchmark commodity prices and production.
In utilities, shares of NextEra Energy (NEE) rose +8.5% as the owner of Florida Power & Light Co. said its board declared a regular quarterly common stock dividend of $0.4675 per share, maintaining its prior rate.
On the downside, the declines in consumer discretionary included VF Corp. (VFC) and Hasbro (HAS), whose shares fell -4.9% and -4.7%, respectively. Both companies plan to release quarterly results later this month.
This week, the market will receive earnings reports from a number of large companies including Charles Schwab (SCHW), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Bank of America (BAC), Lockheed Martin (LMT), Prologis (PLD), Goldman Sachs (GS), Tesla (TSLA), Procter & Gamble (PG), Netflix (NFLX), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Morgan Stanley (MS), Philip Morris International (PM), Union Pacific (UNP), AT&T (T) and American Express (AXP).
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Oak Harvest Weekly Stock Talk: Stock Markets and Mole Magic