Markets up due to strong economic indicators
The benchmark indexes reported healthy gains last week as non-farm payrolls rose more than expected in November. It strengthened the case for an interest rate hike this week. The Senate passing the crucial tax reform bill also provided a strong impetus to US stocks.
The S&P 500 (SPX-INDEX) (SPY) rose 0.35%. Strong economic indicators are strengthening economic optimism before we head into 2018. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI-INDEX) (DIA) rose 0.40%. On the other hand, the technology-driven NASDAQ Composite (COMP-INDEX) (QQQ) fell 0.11%.
Financials lead the gainers
Financials was one of the sectors that led the S&P gainers. The S&P 500 Financial Index rose 1.50% last week. All of the major bank stocks reported positive growth. The gainers included Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC), Morgan Stanley (MS), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). They rose 5.5%, 3.4%, 1.8%, and 1.1%, respectively. Financial ETFs also posted strong gains. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) and the Vanguard Financials ETF (VFH) rose 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively.
US financial stocks hold a lot of promise going into 2018 due to strong economic growth and the expected rise in interest rates.