US Stock Markets Ended Oct. 8, 2021

The S&P 500 Index returned 0.83% last week, regaining some of the previous week's 2.19% decline. The index has gained 18.23% YTD and is currently up 1.99% for October, a welcomed trend following September's -4.65%, its worst performance since March 2020. Equites had a rough start to the week as the index declined 1.29% on Monday with the information technology and communication services sectors leading the way down as inflation and growth fears weighed on investors and treasury yields climbed. Markets rallied back on Tuesday and pushed higher through Thursday. Equities received positive news as a $480 billion increase to the debt ceiling was passed by the US Senate allowing the government to continue to operate as usual for a couple more months without a shutdown or default. After a poor August payroll number, hopeful investors looking for strength in employment numbers were disappointed once again as the September non-farm payroll data showed an increase of only 194K jobs which was well under the expectations of 500K. However, U.S. initial jobless claims of 326K were lower than the 348K expected and the previous week's 362K. The unemployment rate also showed positive data as it declined 0.4% to 4.8%, its lowest level since March 2020. The S&P 500 Energy Index was the best performing sector for the week returning 5.02%, as crude oil climbed 4.57% to $79.35 per barrel. Strong energy names included Phillips 66 which returned 13.17%, the best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index, Marathon Oil Corp, APA Corp, Diamondback Energy Inc., and Pioneer Natural Resources Company, all showing double-digit returns for the week. Facebook Inc. shares declined 4.89% on Monday after a whistleblower on national media claimed the company prioritized profits over public safety. The whistleblower testified before Congress seeking changes that would make it safer but may decrease profits. Earnings announcements expected this week include financial names such as JPMorgan & Co., Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co., Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and many more.
Posted on Monday, October 11, 2021 @ 8:11 AM

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.