S&P 500 on Track for Best Week of the Year as Wall Street Fluctuates

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By Jacob Maslow

The S&P 500 is set to have its best week of the year, but optimism for the winning streak was offset by Alcoa Inc.’s (NYSE:AA) disappointing results.

Equities fluctuated after rebounding this month from their largest quarterly decline in over four years. The fluctuation was led by theraw materials and energy sectors, which slipped after seeing gains for eight straight days. Despite the slip, the two sectors are up over 10% for the month of October.

Biotechnology companies rallied, whichpushed healthcare shares ahead on Friday. Meanwhile, Alcoa declined 4.7%.

The S&P 500 was up to 2,017.95, up 0.2%, after closing above 2,000 on Thursday for the first time since August. The index is up 3.4% on the week, the highest gain since December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also added 32.84 points, up to 17,083.59. The Nasdaq saw gains of 0.6%.

Healthcare and industrials were among the S&P 500’s best performers on Friday. Financial and energy companies saw declines.

The release of the Federal Reserve minutes on Thursday showed that policymakers are cautious about raising interest rates despite improvements in the economy. The news supported predictions that a rate hike won’t occur until next year, and sparked a rally for raw materials, energy and industrial companies.

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