U.S. equities extended their run higher to seven straight weeks, although they needed a late boost from technology stocks to do it. Last week’s gain was just 0.2 percent, but it was enough to keep the streak alive, over which time the S&P 500 has climbed almost 5 percent. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged by 2.2 percent on Friday following better than expected third quarter earnings results from Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Amazon alone rose 13 percent on the day. And while the technology sector captured most of the headlines last week, it was not the only group delivering strong results. In fact, Factset now estimates third quarter earnings growth to be 4.7 percent, up from 1.7 percent just last week.
The S&P 500 made it six straight weeks of gains with a 0.9 percent rise last week. More than half of the increase came on Friday after the Senate passed the budget resolution that moved Congress a step closer to delivering on tax reform. There is a long way yet to go, and there is no assurance that something meaningful will ultimately pass. But the odds have now increased, as one more procedural hurdle has been cleared. The view that tax reform had already been priced into the market was dispelled by Friday’s price action.