The S&P 500 Index in February 2017
The S&P 500 Index (SPY) showed a lot of improvement in February 2017, returning nearly 4.0%. Various US indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and the Nasdaq Composite rose 4.6% and 3.2%, respectively, in February 2017.
Since the US elections in November 2016, the markets have seen a strong movement. The following mainly drove market sentiment:
- optimistic view of the US economy
- President Donald Trump’s proposed policy changes
- expectation of higher fiscal stimulus
In February 2017, various events played a major role. On February 15, 2017, the S&P 500 Index (SPY) hit a new high of 2,351 and closed at 2,349. That day, Trump met with CEOs (chief executive officers) of various sectors such as technology (XLK), healthcare (XLV), and retail (XRT). He told them his cabinet is focusing on promoting economic growth.
Improvement in US economic indicators
US economic indicators are also showing improving numbers. Non-farm payroll in the United States showed a massive improvement in January 2017. It rose to 227,000 compared to 157,000 in December 2016.
The US Consumer Sentiment Index also hit a high of 98.5 in January 2017. The index shows the consumer confidence level in the US economy. The US inflation index also showed a strong improvement in January, rising 0.60%. All these indicators show that the sentiment for the US economy (QQQ) is changing, and it’s driving market movement.
In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the expectation for the S&P 500 Index in March 2017.