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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Week Ended October 28, 2011
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

The equity markets advanced for the fourth week in a row buoyed by news out of Europe that an agreement had been reached for a new bailout deal. Stocks are up about 17% since Oct. 3rd and the S&P 500 is now on pace for its best monthly percentage gain since October 1974. It seems that investors' appetite for risk has begun to return as financial stocks (up nearly 25% in less than four weeks) and small-cap stocks (up about 24% over the same period) have led the rally. Shares of Whirlpool fell sharply after the home appliance maker announced that it will be layingoff 10% of its workforce after weak demand and rising material costs hurt quarterly earnings. Panera Bread raised its year end forecast and announced stock repurchases after quarterly results shot up 29% year over year. Both an announcement that the SEC is investigating Avon Product's disclosures and disappointing earnings results caused the shares to fall over 19% last week. Terrible results from projects in the Atlantic caused earnings to fall below five cents a share for the energy services company McDermott International which in turn caused the company's shares to drop about 23% for the week. Shares of the solar company First Solar finished about even for the week after falling as much as 25% on Tuesday after a surprise announcement that their CEO had been fired but news that the company's founder is returning to the helm caused the shares to recover. Looking ahead to a busy coming week, investors will be watching the two releases on U.S. manufacturing, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke's press conference on Wednesday, and the October employment report on Friday. Archer-Daniels-Midland, Qualcomm, MasterCard, Prudential, Marathon Oil and Starbucks are among the companies due to report earnings this week.
Posted on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 @ 7:44 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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