S&P 500 Posts 1% Weekly Gain, Led by Consumer Discretionary, Tech; Index Climbs 3.4% for Month

The Standard & Poor’s 500 ended the week with a 1% increase since last Friday, ending the month on a positive note and putting the market benchmark’s increase for November at 3.4%.

The index closed Friday’s session at 3,140.98, up from last week’s closing level of 3,110.29. The percentage increase for November marks the S&P 500’s largest one-month rise since June, when it jumped by more than 6%. It is now up 25% for the year to date, with just one month remaining in 2019.

This week’s move came in only about 3.5 sessions, as the US stock market was closed all day Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday, and closed three hours early on Friday.

The consumer-discretionary sector had the largest percentage gain of the week, up 1.8%, amid optimism for the key holiday-shopping season that kicked off this week. The technology sector had the next-largest gain, up 1.7%. Just two sectors were in the red for the week: energy, off 1.5%, and utilities, down 0.03%.

The positive expectations for holiday sales followed better-than-expected recent quarterly results from retailers including Best Buy (BBY), which raised its full-year guidance earlier this week after the consumer-electronics retailer’s fiscal Q3 results topped analysts’ views. Best Buy’s shares jumped 11% on the week.

Adding to the holiday sales cheer, Adobe Analytics on Friday said consumers have already spent $50.1 billion online for the holiday shopping season from Nov. 1 to Nov. 26, up some 16% from the same period last year. Adobe Analytics is projecting $143.7 billion in online holiday shopping spending this year, which would mark a 14.1% increase from last year, as e-commerce retail continues to outpace overall retail.

Amid the bullish expectations for online shopping this holiday season, shares of Amazon.com rose 3.2% this week.

Gainers in the technology sector this week included Autodesk (ADSK), whose shares rose 8.3% as the design-software and services company reported fiscal Q3 results that beat guidance as strong growth in sales not only outperformed the consensus but it also outweighed a surge in costs.

On the downside, the energy sector’s drop came as crude-oil futures fell this week amid weekly data from the Energy Information Administration that showed an increase in US crude stockpiles.

The energy sector’s decliners included Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), whose shares fell almost 3% since last Friday as Citigroup cut its price target on the stock to $22 per share from $26. The firm kept its investment rating on Cabot’s shares at buy.