Cautious comments from the top U. S. infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci and Fed chairman Powell dampened the optimism of a quick economic recovery last week. Healthcare stocks fared well in this risk-off setting. Selected non-healthcare companies that had something special made it to the list of the S&P 500’s top 10 winners.
For the week ending May 15, the S&P 500 (SPY) fell 2.1%.
Only one sector, health care (XLV), managed to gain for the week.
Communication services (XLC) and information technology (XLK) held up better than the S&P 500. Energy (XLE) and real estate (XLRE) lagged.
Several states opted to ease stay-at-home orders. Yet, cautious comments from the top U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr. Fauci, and Federal Reserve chairman Powell dampened the optimism of a quick economic recovery.
Healthcare stocks fared well in this risk-off setting, helped by earnings reports as well as positive news on the COVID-19 vaccine and drugs for COVID-19 and other diseases.
Five of the S&P 500’s top 10 winners were health care stocks. Illumina (ILMN), AbbVie (ABBV), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), Humana (HUM), and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) gained between 5% and 8%, each.
Selected non-healthcare companies that had something special also made it to the top 10.
Here are some of them:
1. Semiconductor chip maker NVIDIA (NVDA) +9%
Introduced its latest processor with 20 times higher performance for use in data centers, data analytics, scientific computing, and cloud graphics
2. Food flavor titan McCormick (MKC) +9% and restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) +5%
Benefiting from consumer behavior changes due to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown
3. Gold miner Newmont Mining (NEM) +5%
Riding gold’s coattails as the metal’s spot price rose as high as $1,751.25 an ounce, its highest since November 2012
Looking ahead to the week of May 18
* Investors will look at the impact of reopening on economic activity and the new COVID-19 case count.
* The housing industry will be in the spotlight with April housing starts data and earnings from Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW) on tap.
* Wall Street will pay attention to what Federal Reserve Chairman Powell and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin have to tell the Senate Banking Committee.
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