AFTER the S&P 500’s first weekly gain in a month, investors will see this week whether the US stock market’s rally of the last two days is the shape of better things to come – or if this year’s weakness will turn into a full-fledged correction.
At Friday’s close, the S&P 500 was up 0.8 per cent for the week – its first weekly gain since early January.
The 2.6 per cent gain for Thursday and Friday marked the S&P 500’s best two-day performance in four months.
In another check of the US economy’s health, the Commerce Department is expected to report on Thursday that retail sales were flat in January, held down by a drop in receipts at auto dealerships, after gaining 0.2 per cent in December. Even after stripping out autos, retail sales are seen barely rising.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will be in the spotlight this week as she testifies before US lawmakers in her first public comments on monetary policy and the economy after taking the reins at the US central bank. She will appear before the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.
This week’s economic calendar includes jobless claims on Thursday and January’s industrial output on Friday. The preliminary February reading on consumer sentiment will also be released on Friday by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan.
Today McDonald’s will report January sales. Quarterly results are expected this week from Sprint Corp, Cisco Systems Inc, Deere & Co, PepsiCo and MetLife.