After starting this week on a weaker note, the S&P 500 regained strength as the week progressed and reached record high price levels on Thursday. On October 11, 2017, eight out of the 11 major sectors closed the day with gains. Strength in the real estate and utilities sectors pushed the market higher. On the other hand, weakness in telecom services and financials sectors limited the market gain.
Last week, the market sentiment was strong amid increased hopes of one more interest rate hike in 2017 and tax reform plans. However, the war of words between President Trump and Republican Senator Bob Corker raised concerns about the tax reform plans. The weaker-than-expected non-farm payrolls data released at the end of last week also weighed on the market sentiment. The market regained strength on Wednesday amid September’s FOMC meeting minutes. The meeting minutes increased the market’s confidence about one more interest rate hike in 2017 despite low inflation, which is below the annual target of 2%.
On October 11, the S&P 500 opened the day with improved sentiment and rose to new record highs. The CBOE Volatility Index (or VIX) measures uncertainty in the market. On October 11, it fell 2.3% to 9.85. The VIX is measured on a scale of one to 100 with 20 is the historical average. The VIX is also called the “fear index.” Usually, it has an inverse relationship with stocks and rises when the S&P 500 falls.
NASDAQ and Dow
Along with the S&P 500, the NASDAQ Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average hit new record highs on Thursday. The NASDAQ closed the day at 6,603.55 with a gain of 0.25%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.18% and closed at 22,872.89.
In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss the S&P 500’s top gainers on October 11.