S&P 500's strong July is best month since Nov. 2020; consumer discretionary top gainer

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The S&P 500 posted its strongest monthly performance since November 2020, rising 9.11% for July, final figures show. The SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) also added 9.21% for the month. The ETF is -13.26% YTD.

The benchmark index’s performance for July comes after a dismal first half. However, a rally in the later part of the month and especially last week buoyed the S&P 500.

In a month that featured several economic reports and the busiest stretch of the Q2 earnings season, a Fed-inspired rally and strong results from a few corporate heavyweights largely helped investors overlook uncomfortably high inflation data, a GDP print that showed the U.S. economy contracting for a second straight quarter and a volatile macro environment.

All sectors of the S&P 500 ended solidly in the green for July, with the Consumer Discretionary sector a standout gainer. Information Technology and Energy also put up strong showings. See below a breakdown of the eleven sectors and their monthly performance. Additionally, see how the accompanying SPDR Select Sector ETF performed from the close on June 30th to the close of July 29th.

#1: Consumer Discretionary +18.90%, and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) +18.44%.

#2: Information Technology +13.48%, and the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) +13.45%.

#3: Energy +9.61%, and the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) +9.66%.

#4: Industrials +9.46%, and the Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLI) +9.50%.

#5: Real Estate +8.49%, and the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLRE) +8.52%.

#6: Financials +7.01%, and the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) +7.19%.

#7: Materials +6.08%, and the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) +6.16%.

#8: Utilities +5.39%, and the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) +5.45%.

#9: Communication Services +3.50%, and the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC) +3.87%.

#10: Health Care +3.18%, and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) +3.24%.

#11: Consumer Staples +3.13%, and the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) +3.20%.

Below is a chart of the eleven sectors’ year-to-date performance and how they have fared against the S&P 500.