After breaking the 2,400 level and closing at all-time high price levels on Wednesday, the S&P 500 continues to strengthen. On May 25, nine out of 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 closed the day positive—the consumer discretionary sector and information technology sector supported the market’s strength.
Support from retailers and economic data
On May 25, Wall Street was supported by strong economic data and a rally in retail sector stocks. Market sentiment improved due to the stronger-than-expected labor market. According to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor, US initial jobless claims for the week ending May 20 rose by 1,000 and reached 234,000. Initial jobless claims were less than the market’s expected reading of 238,000. Jobless claims below the threshold of 300,000 reflect a healthy labor market. By rising less than expected, the four-week moving average of initial jobless claims fell to a 44-year low, which shows more tightening in the labor market.
The market is also supported by upbeat economic data in the retail sector. In Part 2, we’ll discuss how stocks performed in the retail sector. On May 25, the S&P 500 opened the day higher and rose to fresh all-time high price levels. The S&P 500 VIX Index (CBOE Volatility Index) measures uncertainty in the market. On May 25, it fell 0.3% to 9.9—a two-week low. The VIX index is measured on a scale of 1–100 with 20 as the historical average. It’s also called the “fear index.” Generally, it moves opposite to stocks’ movements—it rises when the S&P 500 falls.
NASDAQ and Dow
Like the S&P 500 on Thursday, the NASDAQ Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average opened the day higher. On May 25, NASDAQ rose 0.69% and ended the day at 6,205.26—a record high price level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.34% and closed at 21,082.95. In the next part, we’ll discuss the top and bottom market movers on May 25.