The Stock Market Endured A Volatile Start To The Week, But A Strong Second Half Helped The Major Averages Secure Gains. The S&P 500 Rose 0.6% While The Nasdaq Composite Outperformed, Gaining 0.9% Since Last Friday.
Trade-related headlines were the focus of the week, which saw the latest round of talks between officials from China and the U.S on Thursday and Friday. The S&P 500 fell below its 50-day moving average early in the week when it was announced that 28 Chinese companies were put on a blacklist that blocks them from doing business with U.S. companies without a special license. The news led to concerns that official discussions on Thursday and Friday would not yield any results.
However, the overall tone improved on Wednesday and Thursday amid a torrent of mostly positive-sounding headlines. The S&P 500 reclaimed its 50-day moving average on Thursday, jumping to a ten-day high on Friday. The Friday session featured news about a partial trade deal being reached, but the details were underwhelming. Also on Friday, the Federal Reserve announced that it will begin regular purchases of Treasury bills at a pace of $60 bln per month on October 15 and continue into the second quarter of 2020 or longer.
Seven out of eleven sectors ended the week with gains, climbing between 0.8% (communication services) and 1.9% (materials). On the downside, countercyclical real estate (-0.6%), consumer staples (-0.9%), and utilities (-1.4%) recorded losses as Treasury yields rose amid an improvement in risk tolerance.
Apple (AAPL) rallied 3.9% to a fresh record high, boosted by news about increased production of components for the iPhone 11. Utility provider PG&E (PCG) lost more than 25.0% for the week on a negative court ruling.