U.S. Market Weekly Summary – Week Ending 07/12/2019

S&P 500 Posts 0.8% Weekly Rise, Closes Above 3,000 for First Time

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.8% this week to a record closing high that marked its first close above the psychologically important 3,000 level as investors prepared for the kickoff of Q2 earnings reports next week as well as the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FMOC) late-July meeting.

The market benchmark ended the week at 3,013.77, up from last Friday’s closing level of 2,990.41, and marking its first close above 3,000. It also set a fresh intraday peak during the session.

The S&P 500 first crossed above the 3,000 mark intra-day Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economic outlook hasn’t improved in recent weeks. He said risks that weak inflation could prove more persistent than previously anticipated “strengthened the case for a somewhat more accommodative policy.”

While investors had already been hopeful for the FOMC to cut interest rates at its upcoming meeting later this month, Powell’s Wednesday comments sent those hopes even higher. Still, the S&P 500 failed to close above the 3,000 mark until Friday.

The energy sector had the largest percentage gain this week, up 2.2%, as West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rose to seven-week highs amid anticipation of a possible hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and as Iran attempted to impede a British tanker. Also boosting oil prices, Wednesday’s weekly inventory data from the Energy Information Administration showed a larger-than-expected decrease in oil inventories for last week.

The consumer-discretionary sector had the second-largest percentage increase of the week, up 2.1%. The consumer-discretionary sector’s gainers included Amazon.com, whose shares rose 3.5% this week ahead of its Prime Day event. The advance also came as the Financial Times reported subscription growth at Amazon’s music streaming service is rising faster than at rivals Apple and Spotify.

On the downside, the health-care sector had the largest percentage drop of the week, slipping 1.4%.