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Stocks Shrug off Inflation Pressure

Despite a growing chorus of concern over rising inflationary pressure, stocks climbed to a new closing high last week. The S&P 500® index rose 0.4 percent, its third straight week of gains, to close at 4247, leaving it higher on the year by 13.1 percent. And the complexion of the market leadership looked quite different from the recent past. Healthcare and Real Estate led the way higher at the sector level and were joined by Technology and Consumer Discretionary. Trailing behind, and all with losses on the week, were Financials, Materials and Industrials. 

Can Investors’ Optimistic Views of the Recovery Last?

U.S. equities rallied on Friday following the May jobs report, falling just shy of a closing record high. The S&P 500® index climbed 0.9 percent on the day to end the week at 4229.89. That left the index fractionally short of its May 7th closing high of 4232.60. It was the growth sectors of the index that led the way higher, rallying strongly after bond yields fell on what was perceived as a benign pace of job growth for those concerned about rising inflationary pressure. 

Investors Grapple With a New Normal

The S&P 500® index rose for the first time in three weeks, climbing 1.2 percent. It was enough of a gain to pull the index to a modest gain of 0.5 percent for the month of May, the fourth straight month of gains for the index. For the week, it was the growthier sectors of the index that led the way, including Consumer Discretionary, Communication Services, and Real Estate. Defensive groups trailed, with Utilities, Healthcare, and Consumer Staples each posting losses. The Russel 1000 Growth index posted a gain of 1.6 percent, outperforming the 0.9 percent gain by its value counterpart. 

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