The Week In Review


Week in Review: S&P 500 Climbs to New Record Highs

On Monday, April retail sales and retail sales ex-auto will be reported at 8:30 ET while March business inventories will be released at 10:00 ET. Week in Review: S&P 500 Climbs to New Record Highs On Monday, the major averages ended on a mixed note as the S&P 500 rose 0.2% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed five points. With no economic news of note and two major foreign markets closed (Japan and the United Kingdom), investors reacted to quarterly earnings. The now-familiar pattern of anemic top-line growth remained in effect as quarterly results from Sysco (SYY 34.20, +0.04) and Tyson Foods (TSN 24.75, -0.13) missed their marks. The results weighed on the third-best performing sector of the year as the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF (XLP 41.16, +0.16) ended lower by 0.7%.

Tuesday saw equities settle with modest gains as the S&P 500 rose 0.5% to close at a new all-time high while the Dow notched its first close above 15,000. The energy sector charged out of the gate as EOG Resources (EOG 133.58, -2.50) displayed notable strength after beating on revenue. The growth-sensitive sector ended with a solid gain even as crude oil ended lower by 0.7% at $95.47. Most other cyclical sectors finished ahead of the broader market and the Dow Jones Transportation Average outperformed as well. The bellwether complex advanced 1.6% to a fresh record high as 18 of 20 components settled in the black.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 settled higher by 0.4% to register its fifth consecutive gain. Cyclical sectors appeared weak during the opening minutes, but most economically-sensitive groups were able to rebound, and finish in the lead. The materials space displayed strength from the start as industrial metals traded higher after China reported a wider-than-expected trade surplus. Gains in copper were notable as the red metal advanced 1.7% to 3.361 per pound.

Thursday saw the S&P 500 register its first lower close of the week. The benchmark average sank to its lows amid afternoon speculation that a well-known reporter, who is considered to be a Fed-insider, may be hinting at changes to the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program. Although equities fell after the rumors began making the rounds, the earlier gains were shaky at best as declining issues outpaced advancers. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 12.78, -0.35) settled higher after spending the entire day in positive territory, suggesting downside protection was in demand throughout the session.