S&P 500 Futures Reach Record Territory as Irma Threat Fades

U.S. stocks advanced toward a record Monday, as a weakening Hurricane Irma sparked a rally in so-called riskier assets.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index surged 1.1% to 2,488.11, its first record close in over a month. All 11 sectors tracked by the large-cap index finished in positive territory, including four that rose 1% or more.

Financials stocks led the rally, as banks surged and insurance companies extended Friday’s recovery. The sector finished 1.7% higher.

Shares of information technology rose 1.5% on average, and materials climbed 1.4%.

Energy stocks advanced 1% as U.S. crude futures mounted a comeback. Consumer stocks posted solid gains and healthcare also finished higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also notched new record highs, climbing 1.2% to 22,057.37. The Nasdaq gained 1.1% to close at 6,432.27.

The CBOE VIX – Wall Street’s barometer of investor fear – plunged more than 11% on Monday. The volatility gauge rose to multi-week highs last week in the shadow of Hurricane Irma.

Irma smashed into Florida over the weekend, causing torrential downpours and signifcant flooding that left millions without power. However, the storm’s impact is expected to be much less severe than initially feared, with preliminary estimates showing likely damages of less than $50 billion. Last week, it was estimated that Irma’s total cost could reach $200 billion.

There were no economic reports scheduled for Monday. The U.S. government will report on the latest consumer inflation and retail sales data toward the end of the week. The figures could provide clues about the direction Federal Reserve officials take next week when they meet to discuss monetary policy.

S&P 500 Index

sp500

Sam Bourgi is a financial market analyst for economiccalendar.com. He has more than six years of progressive experience in economic and financial analysis, research consulting and sectoral analysis. As a published author in government, peer-reviewed, online and industry sources, he has developed a fundamental approach to the financial markets with a broad focus on stock indices, commodities and the technology sector. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Windsor and Master’s degree from McMaster University.