BUZZ-U.S. stocks weekly: Fed up

Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:09pm EST
 
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** Buffeted by sharp pre and post FOMC swings, the S&P 500 index endures a bumpy down-up-down ride before finishing essentially unchanged for the week

** Busy quadruple witching expiration as financial and VIX options garnered heavy attention in midst of Fed's first rate rise in 9 yrs

** Nevertheless, Utilities powered through Fed lift-off with their best week since late Jul before paring gains into the close, up 3 pct for week

** Solar stocks also a bright spot as US lawmakers reach deal to extend investment tax credits beyond 2016 ; First Solar top SPX gainer for week up 15 pct

** Analysts jumped on German chipmaker Dialog Semi guidance cut and continued to bring down broker forecasts for Apple iPhone sales; AAPL fell to lowest levels since late Aug

** Meanwhile Goldman reversed its long-held "sell" call on Microsoft shares which have risen to 15-year highs

** Materials worst performing group for week down 3 pct; Freeport-McMoRan hits 13-year low

** Energy off another 1 pct for week, and remains deep in the red YTD, down 25 pct, worst performing SPX sector

** Amid recent gyrations, BAML Dec FMS showed investors had cut US equity holdings to 8-yr low as worries mount over impact of Fed rate rise

** However, poll showed high quality and large caps as consensus favorites, as well as first signs of shift from "growth" to "value"

** YTD sector performance for the S&P500 : reut.rs/1k6B7QQ (Messaging: RM: terence.gabriel.tr.com@reuters.net)