Equities inched up on the week, setting new highs in the process. The S&P 500 advanced 0.6%, but there was notable rotation under the surface. The energy sector jumped 4.0% as freezing temperatures across the country forced oil shut-ins and boosted demand for natural gas and other related commodities.
Equities posted a strong week as major indices pushed to record highs. The S&P 500 advanced 2.1% with the Energy Sector being a large catalyst. The S&P 500 Energy Sector is up 18.0% year-to-date and far outpacing the 4.2% advance in the S&P 500.
The economy grew by 4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 as indicated by the first reading of GDP in 2021. This comes after growth of 33.4% in the third quarter.
Equities sold off sharply on Wednesday and finished the week slightly in the red. The S&P 500 was down 0.5% for the week. The NASDAQ outpaced small caps by 2.8% on early signs the growth outlook may not be as robust.
The holiday shopping season was weaker than expected. The December retail sales number shows a decline of 0.7% compared to the expected growth of 0.05%. The weakness came amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases over the holidays.
Equities posted a strong week with broad strength across global markets. The S&P 500 advanced 1.7% but was outpaced by both the NASDAQ and Russell 2000. The NASDAQ gained 3.1% with small caps up 2.6%.
The Energy and Financials sectors have started off the new year on the right foot. The Energy sector is up 7.8% in the first three trading days of the year and the Financials sector is up 3.42%.
Equities moved higher on the week to cap off a strong year. The S&P 500 was up 1.2% on the week, whereas the Russell 2000 Index of small caps pulled back 1.3%.
The housing market continues to be hot. In November, 6.690 million existing homes were sold. This number compares favorably to the expected 6.685 million. Construction on 1.547 million homes began in November as measured by the housing starts number, which is also stronger than the expected 1.525 million.
Equities inched up on the week with the S&P 500 gaining 0.80%. Small caps continue to perform well following a stellar November. They gained 2.7% on the week. The NASDAQ also did well with gains outpacing the broader S&P 500, which was held back by a pause in energy stocks.