Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, July 15, 2021.
U.S. equity futures were slightly higher on Sunday evening after the major averages capped their best week so far this year.
All of the major averages were coming off their best weeks of the year so far, also striking a positive chord to begin November trading. The Dow ended the week at 34,061.32, up by 5.07% in its most winning week since October 2022. The S&P advanced 5.85% to 4,358.34 and the Nasdaq Composite finished the week higher by 6.61% at 13,478.28. It was the best week since November 2022 for both indexes.
“Oversold conditions, solid earnings, hope for an end to the Federal Reserve’s rate-hiking campaign, and a sizable pullback in interest rates have brought buyers back into the market,” said LPL Financial’s Adam Turnquist.
A soft monthly jobs report also drove bond yields lower, giving a boost to equities.
Although the week ahead will be light on economic data and company earnings, seasonal tailwinds could help further the recovery in stocks. November is the best-performing month for the S&P 500, according to the Stock Traders’ Almanac. Turnquist noted it also kicks off the best six-month return period for the market since 1950. The S&P 500 has generated an average return of 7% from November through April since then, he said.
Earnings season is winding down, with 400 S&P 500 companies having already reported their quarterly financial results. Investors this week are still looking forward to updates this week from Walt Disney, Wynn and MGM Resorts, Occidental Petroleum and D.R. Horton.
Meanwhile, traders will also be watching Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who is scheduled to speak twice in the coming days. Last week the central bank kept rates unchanged for a second straight meeting as bond yields tumbled, and investors are hoping its rate-hiking campaign may be over.
“If you look at the totality of the data that has come in over the last several weeks, you see an overall very strong picture,” Bharat Ramamurti, former deputy director of the National Economic Council, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Friday. “I would be surprised if the Fed was going to raise rates again this year and this may well be the top of the hiking cycle.”
Fed Governor Lisa D. Cook is scheduled to speak on Monday. Several other Fed officials are making public remarks later in the week as well, including New York Federal Reserve President and CEO John Williams, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic, Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin and Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan.