The Nasdaq was up 3.12 percent last week, the S&P 500 index up 2.71 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.95 percent. The Russell 2000 Index fell 0.46 percent as energy weighed on the small cap and value indices. The S&P 500 saw its third consecutive positive week of trading, the index’s longest weekly rally since last October, as did the Dow.
SPDR Technology (XLK) was up 3.45 percent as large-cap tech companies won the week. SPDR Consumer Discretionary (XLY) increased 2.18 percent. It was backed by a 5.58 percent rally in Amazon (AMZN) when it defeated a union vote in Alabama.
Large-cap tech companies closed on Friday as SPDR Technology (XLK) rose 0.96 percent and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) rose 0.64 percent. After the release of new intraday records the day before, Friday ended with Microsoft shares (MSFT) rising 1.03 percent and Alphabet shares rising 0.90 percent. Apple shares (APPL) also rose 2.02 percent.
The Dow’s new high was boosted by UnitedHealth (UNH) shares rising 3.1 percent and Honeywell (HON) shares 3.2 percent on Friday.
SPDR Consumer Staples (XLP) lost 0.17 percent on Friday. SPDR Healthcare (XLV) rose 1.1 percent that day.
The financial sector saw bond yields rise and inflation spikes on Friday. SPDR Financial (XLF) rose 0.86 percent that day. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) shares rose 0.75 percent.
The PMIs for services were much stronger than forecast. The ISM Services PMI reached 63.7 percent, well above the value of 55.3 percent in February and above the consensus forecast of 59.2 percent.
The number of vacancies rose to 7.4 million in February from 7.1 million in January, and above the 7.0 million estimate.
Initial jobless claims stayed above 700,000 this week. Continuing claims for the week ended March 27th were 3.73 million, little changed from the previous week. Economists believe the $ 300 unemployment bonus introduced in the last incentive will keep claims high, as it is more lucrative for some workers to accumulate unemployment than to work.
The producer prices rose in March by 1.0 percent and were thus well above the forecast of 0.4 percent. A significant part of the increase was due to higher energy prices. While this is leading to double-digit inflation, the Federal Reserve believes this is a transition caused by supply chain disruptions rather than accelerated price spikes.
The Fed has a dispute with West Texas Intermediate crude oil trading, which fell to $ 59.32 a barrel last week, from its early March high of $ 67.50 a barrel. Headline inflation numbers are likely to peak next month as oil fell to single digits last April (and fell below zero for traders holding futures for settlement). The price of crude oil is currently 300 percent above its level in April last year, but only slightly above the pre-lockdown price.
The US dollar index fell 0.57 percent over the past week. This helped developed markets with iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) up 0.71 percent. However, emerging markets continued their struggles, with iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) down 0.88 percent.
The silver futures fell 1.02 percent to $ 25.33 on Friday. Gold futures rose again during the day, posting a 0.8 percent gain at $ 1,744.80 an ounce through Friday.