The S&P 500 started this week on a strong note and gained in the first three trading days. On February 14, the S&P 500 opened the day lower but regained strength and surged to ten-day high price levels. On Wednesday, seven out of 11 major S&P 500 sectors closed the day higher. Stocks rallied in the financials and IT sectors, which pushed the market higher. On the other hand, weakness in the utilities and telecom services sectors limited the market’s up move.
The market sentiment has improved this week. Inflation fears subsided at the beginning of the week. On Wednesday, the release of stronger-than-expected inflation data made the markets open lower. However, the data didn’t keep the market pinned down for the day. The market staged a recovery in the morning session on Wednesday and started to rally. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US core consumer price index grew 0.3% in January—higher than the expected value of 0.2%. On the other hand, retail sales declined 0.3% in January. The market is looking forward to the release of the US core producer price index and industrial production data. The data are scheduled to be released on February 15.
The CBOE Volatility Index (or VIX) measures uncertainty in the market. It fell 22.9% to 19.26 on February 14. The index is measured on a scale of one to 100 with 20 as 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
The NASDAQ Composite Index (COMP-INDEX) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA-INDEX) opened lower on Wednesday but regained strength as the day progressed and closed higher. Amid a rally in the IT sector, the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index gained 1.9% and closed the day at 7,143.62. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.0% and closed Wednesday at 24,893.49.
Next, we’ll discuss how the S&P 500’s top gainers performed on February 14.