S&P 500 Rises 0.4% This Week, Led by Materials, Financials; Telecom, Consumer Staples Slip

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended Friday’s session up 0.4% from a week ago, driven by increases across materials and financial stocks as commodities gained and banks reported third-quarter earnings above expectations.

The market benchmark closed Friday at 2,141.16 versus its week-ago close of 2,132.98. All but three sectors — telecommunications, consumer staples and industrials — rose in the past week.

Gold prices on Thursday climbed to their highest level since Oct. 5, boosting metals-related stocks in the materials sector. Advancers included Hecla Mining (HL), which jumped 13% this week as the company issued preliminarily silver and gold production results for Q3, saying silver production soared 67% to about 4.3 million ounces and gold production jumped 20% to 52,126 ounces. The company also boosted its silver-production estimate for 2016.

The energy sector also rose as US oil prices on Wednesday hit their highest level since July 2015 after data showed weekly stockpiles fell for the sixth time in the past seven weeks. Among gainers, oilfield-services provider Halliburton (HAL) reported it swung to a surprise profit for the third quarter despite weaker-than-expected revenue, pushing shares up 3.1% this week.

In the financial sector, Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs Group (GS) and Bank of America (BAC) all reported third-quarter adjusted earnings above analysts’ expectations this week. Morgan Stanley shares climbed 4.3% since last Friday’s close, while Goldman’s weekly gain amounted to 2.4% and Bank of America rose 4.2% this week.

Telecommunications stocks led one of the few sectors that fell this week. Among the sector’s decliners, Rogers Communications (RCI) on Monday reported weaker-than-expected adjusted third-quarter earnings even as sales topped analyst estimates. Rogers also said Chief Executive Guy Laurence would be stepping down and former Telus (TU) CEO Joseph Natale would take the helm. Rogers shares fell 1.8% this week.

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