WEEK OF SEP. 4 THROUGH SEP. 8, 2023
The S&P 500 index fell 1.3% last week, led by the industrial and materials sectors, as interest-rate concerns weighed on investor sentiment. The market benchmark ended Friday's session at 4,457.49, down from last Friday's closing level of 4,515.77. The weekly move came in just four sessions as the US market was closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.
The early September slump follows a 1.8% drop in August as investors have been pulling back in recent weeks from the optimism that drove strong gains in the first half of the year. Even with the recent declines, the S&P 500 is up 16% for the year to date.
Investors have been focused on the Federal Reserve's next policy moves. The central bank's policy-setting committee isn't expected to raise rates at its meeting this month, but speculation is increasing that it may raise rates at its late October/early November meeting.
The industrial sector had the largest percentage drop this week, falling 2.9%, followed by a 2.4% decline in materials and a 2.3% slip in technology. However, two sectors managed rallies with energy up 1.4% and utilities climbing 0.9%.
The industrial decliners included Rollins (ROL), whose shares fell 8.3% on the week as a secondary stock offering priced at $35 per share, an 8% discount to the stock's prior closing price.
In the materials sector, shares of FMC Corp. (FMC) lost 12% amid a short-seller report that the agricultural sciences company disputed. FMC said the report, published by short-seller Blue Orca Capital, made "misleading and factually inaccurate statements regarding FMC's patents for its diamide insecticide technology and inaccurately speculated on the strength of FMC's business."
Apple (AAPL) shares weighed on the technology sector, falling almost 6%, amid reports that China ordered officials at central government agencies not to bring iPhones into the office or use them for work.
The energy sector's climb came as crude oil futures rose on the week. Gainers included shares of Marathon Petroleum (MPC), which rose 6.4% as analysts at Goldman Sachs, UBS and Wells Fargo raised their price targets on the stock.
This week, economic data will be light earlier in the week, but key inflation readings will follow with the August consumer price index expected on Wednesday and the August producer price index set to be released on Thursday. August retail sales are also due on Thursday, followed by August industrial production and capacity utilization on Friday.