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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

S&P 500 posts longest weekly winning streak since 2017; ends flat on day

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S&P 500 posts longest weekly winning streak since 2017; ends flat on day © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 13, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The ended little changed on Friday but registered a seventh straight week of gains in its longest weekly winning streak since 2017 after this week’s dovish pivot by the Federal Reserve.

Comments Friday by Fed Bank of New York President John Williams that it was too soon to be talking about rate cuts dampened some of the optimism.

Also, the rate sensitive real estate and utilities sectors gave back some of their big gains tied to the Fed statement.

Stocks rallied this week after the Fed in its policy statement Wednesday signaled lower borrowing costs in 2024.

The Dow Jones Average industrial notched another record high closes on Friday, and an index of semiconductors had its big weeks gains since May.

“What I think we got this week is that (Fed Chair Jerome Powell) doesn’t want to overly punish the economy with (rates) being higher for longer for no good reason,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

“I don’t know if we’re going to get whatever is considered a Santa Claus rally, but it looks like all things being considered, we could drift higher from here.”

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 lost 4.52 points, or 0.10%, to end at 4,715.03 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 52.36 points, or 0.25%, to 14,798.43. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35.59 points, or 0.10%, to 37,276.95.

The day also marked the expiry of quarterly derivatives contracts tied to stocks, index options and futures, also known as “triple witching.”

Shares of Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:) jumped after the retailer topped Wall Street estimates for first-quarter results due to demand for cheaper groceries.

Earlier on Friday, a survey showed domestic business activity picked up in December amid rising orders and demand for workers, which could further help to allay fears of a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the fourth quarter.

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