New Peak in Sight for the S&P 500 Index this Week?
S&P 500 index posts another monthly gain
For the week ending September 29, the S&P 500 index (SPY) closed at 2,519.36—recording gains of 0.68% for the week and 1.93% for the month. This is the tenth positive monthly close in the last 11 months. With the possibility of a market-friendly tax reform, we can’t rule out further progress. Economic data reported in the previous week indicated a minor drop in consumer confidence and new home sales, but these indicators were offset by 3.1% US GDP growth in the second quarter.
The financial sector (XLF) and the energy sector (XLE) remain the top performers this week as well, appreciating by 1.87% and 1.51%, respectively. The Fed rate hike and higher oil prices drove these sectors higher.
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Speculators increased bullish bets on the S&P 500 index
For the week ending September 29, large speculators of the S&P 500 (IVV) index increased the number of net bullish positions from 21,137 to 25,026 contracts. This data was reported by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (or CFTC) through their weekly Commitment of Traders report (or COT), and it could mean that large speculators are positioning for further gains in the index.
Will the S&P 500 Index scale a new peak this week?
Markets should be looking out for employment data on Friday, but before that, we have ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI data this week. The impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma could be seen in the economic data, but markets are likely to remain neutral to the negative data, hoping that the recovery will be quick. Investors are also likely to act according to the incoming quarterly numbers that are to begin this week. Another round of positive quarterly numbers could mean a new peak for the index.
In the next part of this series, we’ll analyze why the US dollar (USDU) could continue to appreciate this week.