S&P 500’s performance
The S&P 500 rose ~0.4% to 2,809.55 on July 17—the highest closing since February 1. The index rose due to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s bullish comments about strong US economic growth. The expectations of strong second-quarter earnings results also helped the index.
Eight out of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 advanced on July 17. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) rose ~0.4% to $280.47 on July 17. E-mini S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% in early morning trading on July 18.
S&P 500 sectors
The materials, consumer staples, and technology sectors rose 1.3%, 0.8%, and 0.7%, respectively, on July 17. These sectors supported SPY the most during the same day. The energy sector, which accounts for ~6.2% of the S&P 500, fell 0.4% on July 17. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) fell ~0.4% to $75.08 on the same day. XLE represents the energy sector.
Brent oil (BNO) futures rose 0.45% to $72.16 per barrel on July 17. August WTI oil (USO) futures rose 0.03% to $68.08 per barrel on the same day. The expectations of a fall in US crude oil inventories, a strike in Norway, and supply outages in Libya, Venezuela, and Canada helped oil prices. August WTI oil futures fell 0.7% in early morning trading on July 18.
August US natural gas futures (UNG) fell 0.7% to $2.74 per MMBtu (million British thermal unit) on July 17—the lowest closing since May 9. Prices fell due to record production and expectations of less demand for natural gas due to mild weather estimates for the next two weeks. August US natural gas futures rose 0.15% in early morning trading on July 18.
In this series, we’ll discuss oil’s bullish and bearish drivers, US crude oil and gasoline inventories, the US Dollar Index, and Iran’s oil supplies.