The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up 0.2% this week as advances led by energy, consumer staples and health care managed to slightly outweigh declines led by industrials and consumer-discretionary stocks.
The market benchmark ended the week at 3,145.91, up from last week's closing level of 3,140.98.
The slight move reflected mixed sentiment across the market as investors began the final month of the calendar year still grappling with concerns about the trade dispute between the US and China but also saw strong signs for the US economy from the latest monthly jobs figures.
The trade concerns are intensifying again as a Dec. 15 deadline for new tariffs on consumer goods nears. Investors are questioning whether a deal can be signed before the deadline.
Meanwhile, November nonfarm payrolls released Friday showed some 266,000 jobs were added in the US in November while the unemployment rate was at a 50-year low of 3.5%, with both figures coming in better than economists expected.
The energy sector had the largest percentage increase of the week, up 1.5%, followed by gains of 1.1% in consumer staples and 0.9% for health care. Four sectors were in the red, led by industrials, which fell 1.2%, and consumer discretionary, down 0.6%.
The energy sector's climb came as crude-oil futures climbed amid hopes for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to extend production cuts.
Among the gainers, shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM) rose 2.0% while Chevron (CVX) shares added 0.7% this week.
The consumer-staples sector's gainers included Mondelez (MDLZ), which was named Morgan Stanley's top pick in US food. The firm said it views the company's "recent top-line acceleration as sustainable, aided by successful strategic changes implemented by management, increased reinvestment, as well as a favorable geographic/category footprint." Shares of Mondelez rose 2.5% this week.
In health care, shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) climbed 5.5% as the company said the US Food & Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation to its Orencia in the prevention of moderate to severe acute graft-versus-host disease in patients undergoing stem cell transplants from unrelated donors. Also boosting the shares, Bristol-Myers Squibb's board an increase of 9.8% in the company's quarterly dividend, beginning in the first quarter of 2020.
Shares of Varian Medical Systems (VAR) rose 3.6% this week as UBS lifted its price target on the stock to $160 from $155 while reiterating a buy investment rating on the shares.
On the downside, shares of Boeing (BA) fell 3.3% this week, weighing on the industrial sector amid reports the company said in an October letter to the Securities & Exchange Commission that new regulatory requirements or delays in returning its 737 MAX jetliner to service could cause a halt to production.
Provided by MT Newswires.