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How Large Speculator Positions in S&P 500 Index Trended Last Week

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S&P 500 Index scales another peak

The S&P 500 Index continued its ascent in the previous week buoyed by optimism surrounding US tax reform. The US Senate signed off on its own version of the tax reform bill on Saturday, December 2, leading to a positive opening on Monday and continuation of the year-long rally in the S&P 500 Index. For the week ending December 8, the S&P 500 Index (SPY) closed at 2651.5, appreciating by 0.35%.

Financials (XLF) and industrials (XLI) led the pack last week, as tax reforms are expected to impact these sectors the most. The S&P 500 utilities and real estate (XHB) sectors shed close to 1% last week.

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Speculators increased bullish bets on S&P 500 Index                      

For the week ending December 8, large speculators increased their net bullish positions in the S&P 500 (IVV) from 22,788 contracts to 34,401 contracts, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (or CFTC) in its weekly commitment of traders report. This data is only through Tuesday, and the bullish positions could have increased further as the index rallied through the rest of the week.

Outlook for the S&P 500 Index

There are a few important economic data releases scheduled this week apart from the FOMC meeting. The interest rate hike from the Fed is not likely to have an impact on the index, but inflation, retail sales, and industrial production figures, which are expected to have improved during the Thanksgiving weekend, could lend strength to the index.

In the next part of this series, we will discuss the outlook for the US dollar this week.

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