Despite ongoing trade tensions and concerns about a slowing economy, U.S. equities excelled in the third quarter, with technology, consumer staples, and utilities as the leading sectors for the S&P 500 Index. The energy and health care sectors were the under performers relative to the other 9 sectors.
Equity markets are reacting more sensitively to economic indicators, such as unemployment, manufacturing, and Gross Domestic Production (GDP) data. Earnings growth for U.S. companies is starting to slow for certain sectors, as economic expansion decelerates.
The third quarter revealed that the industrials, materials, and energy sectors lacked relative to consumer staples, utilities, and financials. Economists and analysts examine which sectors are performing relative to others in order to better determine which direction the market might be headed.
Sources: BLS, Bloomberg, Reuters
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