Monday began with a bright outlook. The optimism leading up to the opening bell carried over into the trading day as investors looked positively toward the next round of trade negotiations with China and the upcoming Federal Reserve interest rate announcement set to occur during the week. Corporate earnings also helped SPY climb though the day to a new all-time high of 294.45. As the day neared its end, traders hit the sell button and enjoyed their profits from a record-breaking day.
Losses in the tech sector resulted in an initial downturn for SPY on Tuesday, which dropped about a dollar and a half through the morning. Gains, however, in other sectors such as healthcare, consumer products and utilities helped erase the losses and add a respectable gain to the day. Shortly into the after-hours trading, Apple reported better than anticipated earnings, which significantly boosted the tech sector and sent SPY to a new all-time high of $294.94.
The Federal Reserve rate policy announcement captured traders’ attention for most of Wednesday. Taking cues from a Tweet from the President, many were hopeful that the Fed would lower interest rates. Unfortunately, hopes and reality are often at odds. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell announced what most expected, that rates would remain unchanged, but dashed the hopes of lower rates later into 2019. Upon hearing this news, many traders hit the sell button in the afternoon, sending SPY down into the mid-291’s.
Thursday saw modest gains early in the trading day as SPY climbed up to the high 292’s but was subdued by losses in the tech and energy sectors into the afternoon. SPY fell about $3 before partially recovering and closing the day about 40 cents lower.
Finally, on Friday, labor statistics for April were released shortly before the opening bell and far exceeded expectations. Many more jobs were added to the economy than anticipated and unemployment reached a 49-year low. These reports encouraged traders that the global slowdown is having little impact on the US economy and buyers came to the table, sending SPY climbing about $2 higher by the end of the day.