After closing last week at record highs, it’s reasonable that the equity markets pull back a bit before advancing again. That pull back came abruptly as the session opened in the morning but the markets found some support heading into the afternoon.
There are some interesting questions to answer this week. How much of the economic recovery is already priced into the equity markets? Are investors done with the value trade and moving back to growth, or does value still have more gains ahead? Does the market really see inflation as a threat or is it just necessary and transitionary in the current cycle?
Utilities ( XLU ) is surprisingly the top sector for the day. Topping the list on Tuesday and nearing the top of the list on Friday the sector had steady gains throughout the week. The sector is usually a defensive move for investors. Perhaps investors nervousness grew as the S&P 500 has been setting new all-time highs.
The indexes set more records on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial and S&P 500 closing at new all-time highs again. That gains initially came at open after positive building data drove the materials sector to the top of the sector list. It was not a straight line. The market dipped in the morning and the indexes needed to climb back to close near intraday highs.
Positive economic data gave a kick in the right direction to equity markets, allowing the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial average to close again at all-time highs. The day was owned by the bulls with just a few pullbacks, but still the gains were not felt by everyone, with more stocks declining than advancing.
The cyclicals moved back to the top of the sector list as investors were motivated by positive import/export data and crude oil inventories. The data provided a good reason for investors to rotate back into the cyclical sectors after chasing gains in big tech over the past few weeks.
Bigger than expected inflation didn’t hold back the markets from setting new records today. The S&P 500 set another new record close while the Nasdaq inches toward key support levels. The gains were driven mostly by large mega-caps and not shared broadly across the indexes.
After several days of big gains, its ok for the markets to take a pause. Morning selling turned into buying as treasury auctions showed little trouble and yields remained under control. But the confidence wasn’t enough to hold the indexes near intraday highs as investors turned their attention to inflation data becoming available Tuesday morning.
The story of the week was the strength of big tech as the four largest mega-caps broke out of bases and drove indexes and their respective sectors higher. The week also saw a breakout of growth stocks relative to value stocks after a few months of rotation. It’s still yet to be determined if the trends will stick, but the charts show a positive trend.
The S&P 500 was dominated by three growth sectors for the week, finishing the week with a big 2.71% gain and another new all-time high.