The S&P 500 index rose 1.5% last week, the benchmark’s first weekly advance since August, as the real estate sector, financials and utilities led a broad climb.
The S&P 500 ended the week at 3,348.44, up from last Friday’s close of 3,298.46.
Wednesday, the index closed out the month of September with a 3.9% drop but was still up 8.5% for the third quarter.
October and Q4 appeared to start on a positive note Thursday, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.5% in that day’s session. However, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced early Friday that they tested positive for COVID-19.
The development added a new level of uncertainty for the market at a time when investors were already uneasy about how the rest of the pandemic, as well as the presidential election, will play out. The S&P 500 fell 1.0% in Friday’s session, wiping out Thursday’s gain.
The real estate sector had the largest increase of the week, up 5.1%, followed by gains of 3.4% and 3.5% in utilities and financials, respectively. Just one sector was in the red for the week: energy, which shed 2.9%.
Prologis (PLD) was among the week’s gainers in real estate as Goldman Sachs reinstated its investment rating on the stock at buy with a price target of $126. The shares rose 6.7%.
In the utilities sector, shares of Duke Energy (DUK) climbed 11% this week amid a report the company may still be open to further talks after rejecting a recent takeover approach from NextEra Energy (NEE).
In financials, Charles Schwab (SCHW) shares rose 7.8% this week as filings said the company expects to close its proposed acquisition of TD Ameritrade on Oct. 6.
On the downside, the energy sector’s drop came as crude oil futures also fell this week. The decliners included Chevron (CVX), down 0.9%, and Exxon Mobil (XOM), down 4.8%.
Next week, the market will get readings on service-sector business activity Monday, the trade deficit Tuesday, consumer credit Wednesday and wholesale inventories Friday. Minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting will also be released Wednesday.