After rising for five consecutive trading weeks, the S&P 500 started this week on a stronger note. It rose in the first three trading days of the week but opened lower on Thursday. On October 19, six out of the 11 major sectors closed the day with gains. Strength in the utilities and healthcare sectors pushed the market higher. Weakness in the IT and consumer staples sectors limited the market’s gains.
The market sentiment is strong this week amid increased optimism about 3Q17 earnings. The higher chances of one more interest rate hike in 2017 are also pushing the market higher. On Thursday, the market opened lower amid the sell-off in the technology sector. The market regained strength as the day progressed and the S&P 500 closed at record highs after recovering the loss. The market regained strength amid the release of a Politico report that Jerome Powell is in the lead for the Fed Chair nomination.
On October 19, the S&P 500 closed at record highs for the fourth consecutive trading day. The CBOE Volatility Index (or VIX) measures uncertainty in the market. On October 19, it fell 1.5% to 9.9. The VIX is measured on a scale of one to 100 with 20 as the historical average. The VIX is also called the “fear index.” It usually has an inverse relationship with stocks and rises when the S&P 500 falls.
NASDAQ and Dow
The NASDAQ Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average opened the day lower on October 19. Amid the sell-off in the technology sector, the tech-heavy NASDAQ closed the day at 6,605.07 with a loss of 0.29%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered the morning losses and closed at 23,163.04 with a gain of 0.02%.
In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss the performance of the S&P 500’s top gainers on October 19.