S&P 500 slips more than 4% for August, with information technology the top loser

After putting up its strongest monthly performance since November 2020 in July, the S&P 500 shed 4.24% for August, final figures show. The SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) also lost 4.08% for the month. The ETF is -16.80% YTD.

One of the primary drivers for the benchmark index’s performance for August was minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s July meeting and hawkish comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole symposium. Both sets of information affirmed the fact that policymakers were committed to raising rates and sustaining a period of below-trend growth in order to combat inflation and restore price stability.

A bout of profit-taking after a period of hefty gains was another driver that weighed on the S&P 500 in August. Investors also parsed earnings reports from bellwether retail companies and a host of economic data released during the month, including notable economic information such as Q2 GDP estimates.

9 of the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 ended in the red for August, with Information Technology the top loser. Losses in the Health Care and Real Estate sectors also dragged the index lower. The Energy sector was a standout gainer, as oil prices continue to remain elevated. See below a breakdown of the eleven sectors and their monthly performance. Additionally, see how the accompanying SPDR Select Sector ETF performed from July 29 close to Aug. 31 close.

#1: Energy +2.18%, and the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) +2.65%.

#2: Utilities +0.07%, and the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) +0.53%.

#3: Consumer Staples -1.88%, and the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) -1.85%.

#4: Financials -2.18%, and the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) -1.96%.

#5: Industrials -3.08%, and the Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLI) -2.83%.

#6: Materials -3.67%, and the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) -3.48%.

#7: Communication Services -4.21%, and the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC) -3.53%.

#8: Consumer Discretionary -4.72%, and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) -4.50%.

#9: Real Estate -5.71%, and the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLRE) -5.62%.

#10: Health Care -5.88%, and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) -5.77%.

#11: Information Technology -6.26%, and the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) -6.21%.

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

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