This Week's Stock Top Gainers and Laggards

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The first week of October has come and gone, and the market has made a turn for the better. Friday saw the S&P 500 head down 0.81%, but heading into Friday the index was up 3%. Blue-chip stocks were especially resilient in the latter half of the week. After a brutal Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) rose on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It closed the week up 1.7%.

What's driving indexes higher? As is common in rebounds, the most beaten-down sectors during sell-offs outpace their peers when signs of optimism return.

Top 3 Performing Sectors

S&P Sector

Weekly Price Change

September Price Change

Materials7.9%(13.4%)
Energy4.7%(10.1%)
Industrials3.9%(6.3%)

Bottom 3 Performing Sectors

S&P Sector

Weekly Price Change

September Price Change

Utilities(1.2%)1.0%
Telecommunications(1.0%)(0.2%)
Health Care0.4%(3.3%)

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Sept. 30-Oct. 6. Monthly price change is Aug. 31-Sept. 29.

Not surprisingly, the week's biggest winner came from one of the top three performing sectors. Marathon Petroleum (NYS: MPC) led the S&P 500, heading into Friday with a 23% gain on the week. Positive midweek news helped drive gains. Oil inventories were lower than expected on Wednesday, which helped drive a one-day gain of 5% on West Texas Intermediate futures. Friday pared some of those gains, with Marathon Petroleum closing down 5% that day. But even with the end-of-week decline, the sector performed admirably.

Top 3 Performing S&P 500 Companies

S&P Sector

Weekly Price Change

Marathon Petroleum23.0%
F5 Networks (NAS: FFIV) 20.7%
Yahoo! (NAS: YHOO) 18.8%

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Sept. 30-Oct. 6.

Rounding out the top gainers were Yahoo! and F5 Networks. Yahoo! has been the subject of repeated buyout rumors in the wake of its dismissal of CEO Carol Bartz. Fellow Fool Tim Hanson wrote this week that he expects a buyout from a consortium that includes large Chinese firm Alibaba. Midweek reports from Reuters also reported that Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) had taken an interest in the company, though those reports were later contested. At this point, it appears Mr. Softy's not willing to make another buyout run at its search partner, though it might take a smaller stake in a buyout if a consortium were to buy Yahoo!

Looking at the bottom performers, we find a list is riddled with health-care companies. Boston Scientific (NYS: BSX) , Quest Diagnostics (NYS: DGX) , Merck (NYS: MRK) , and McKesson (NYS: MCK) all were among the bottom 10 performers in the S&P. But despite this week's downturn, the health-care sector has still performed admirably, notching a 1.2% gain this year compared with the S&P 500's 7.4% fall.

Bottom 3 Performing S&P 500 Companies

S&P Sector

Weekly Price Change

Iron Mountain (NYS: IRM) (6.8%)
Northeast Utilities (NYS: NU) (5.1%)
Quest Diagnostics(4.9%)

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Sept. 30-Oct. 6.

That's it for our recap of this week's biggest gainers and laggards. To stay updated on any of the companies listed above, add them to your Watchlist by clicking the "+" sign next to the respective tickers. Don't have a Watchlist yet? You can start one for free

At the time this article was published Eric Bleekerowns shares of any companies listed above. You can follow Eric on Twitter to see all of his technology and market commentary. The Motley Fool owns shares of Yahoo! and Microsoft.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Yahoo!, Microsoft, McKesson, and Quest Diagnostics, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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