Equity markets extended their rally into an eighth week led by the 4.24-percent gain in the Russell 2000 Index. SPDR Industrials (XLI) and SPDR Healthcare (XLV) were amongst the strongest S&P 500 sectors with returns of 3.59 and 3.25 percent. SPDR Energy (XLE) gained 5.05 percent after crude oil climbed 6 percent.
SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) rose 2.56 percent, slightly behind iShares MSCI EAFE’s (EFA) return of 2.58 percent,
The Nasdaq has now joined the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average in trading above its 200-day moving average. The S&P 500 Index has gained 18.1 percent since bottoming on December 24.
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index jumped to 95.5 in February, well above the 91.2 reading in January. Job openings hit 7.3 million in December, more than 800,000 more openings than unemployed Americans. Internet sales fell 3.9 percent.
Earnings season was mixed; Nvidia (NVDA) gained 6.16 percent on the week after if delivered positive results and guidance, while chip equipment maker Applied Materials (AMAT) sank 1.71 percent. Pepsi (PEP) climbed 2.56 percent on solid earnings, though Coca-Cola (KO) sank 8.61 percent after it forecast slowing sales growth.