Weekly recap of the market...from MT Newswires

Week of Jul. 4 through Jul. 8, 2022 The S&P 500 index rose 1.9% last week, led by the communication services and consumer discretionary sectors as investors saw buying opportunities following a 21% drop in the first half of the year. The S&P 500 ended Friday's session at 3,899.38, up from last week's closing level of 3,825.33. The week had just four sessions as the US stock market was closed Monday for the Independence Day holiday. The week's climb came as the S&P 500 rose four sessions in a row through Thursday's close, marking its longest daily winning streak since March. It came close to extending the winning streak to a fifth day on Friday, but ended Friday's session just barely in the red with a 0.1% decline. The weekly gain also came despite mixed economic readings and expectations. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, a voting member of the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee, on Thursday said "it would make a lot of sense" for the policy-setting committee to raise its key interest rate target by 75 basis points at its meeting later this month. Such a move would mark the second month in a row of an increase that large. While the rate increases are intended to tame inflation and thus help the economy, investors have been fearful a recession could be looming. Still, Bullard gave upbeat comments on the economic outlook. He described the labor market as robust and said output is expected to continue to expand through 2022. Friday, the Labor Department reported US jobs rose by more than expected in June while the unemployment rate remained unchanged for the fourth month in a row. Nonfarm employment increased by 372,000 jobs last month following a downwardly revised gain of 384,000 in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. The consensus on Econoday was for a 270,000 rise. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6%, matching the Street's view. The communication services sector had the largest percentage gain last week, climbing 4.9%, followed by a 4.6% rise in consumer discretionary and a 4.3% increase in technology. Other gainers included the health care sector and financials. On the downside, the utilities sector fell 2.9%, followed by a 2.4% drop in energy. Other decliners included materials, real estate, consumer staples and industrials. In communication services, shares of Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META) were among the sector's best-performing stocks last week, climbing 6.8%. The social media company "remains well-positioned to benefit from the evolution of social commerce, commercial aspects, and future monetization potential of the Metaverse," Tigress Financial Partners said in a Thursday note to clients while reiterating a strong buy investment rating on the stock. The gainers in consumer discretionary included shares of Amazon.com (AMZN), which struck a deal that could result in it acquiring a stake of as much as 15% in European food giant Just Eat Takeaway's US arm, Grubhub. Under the deal, a subsidiary of Amazon will receive warrants to purchase a 2% shareholding in Grubhub and could acquire an additional stake of up to 13%. The deal also gives Amazon's US Prime members free food deliveries via Grubhub for one year. Shares of Amazon rose 5.5% on the week. The utilities sector's decliners included FirstEnergy (FE), whose shares fell 5.6%. Goldman Sachs cut its price target on the electric distribution company's stock to $44 per share from $46 while maintaining a buy investment rating on the shares. Next week, the Q2 earnings reporting season will kick off with reports from companies including Delta Air Lines (DAL), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup (C). Economic data expected next week include the June consumer price index on Wednesday, the June producer price index on Thursday and June retail sales on Friday. Provided by MT Newswires


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