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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Week Ended May 4, 2012
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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Last week, the S&P 500 Index opened up the month of May with the worst performance of the year. The return for the week came in at -2.41%. Four out of the five days were down with the momentum increasing as Friday's performance was the worst for the week at -1.61%. Friday's drop was mainly due to the disappointing jobs data in the US with nonfarm payrolls for April coming in at 115K, well below the consensus of 160K. This is the smallest increase in payrolls in six months. The March payroll number was revised upward to 154K from 120K. Also, European services and manufacturing output shrank more than expected adding downward pressure on stocks. The EC Composite PMI Output Index signaled contraction in services and manufacturing output coming in at 46.7 for April (readings below 50 indicate contraction). In other US economic news, initial jobless claims decreased the past week to 365K from 388K the prior week with a consensus of 379K. Initial jobless claims increased the prior three weeks of April. Telecommunication services' was the only positive performing sector for the week up 0.19%. The information technology sector performed the worst of all ten sectors returning -3.71%. Other very weak performing sectors were materials and energy returning -3.49% and -3.34% respectively. Sunoco, a petroleum refiner and chemical manufacturer, turned in the best performance in the S&P 500 with a 22.78% return for the week. This increase is attributed to Monday's offer to purchase Sunoco by Energy Transfer Partners LP at $50 a share. The next best performer was TripAdvisor with a return of 9.03%. Whole Foods Market, Masco Corp and Scripps Network Interactive were the only other stocks to return over 5.00% for the week. This week will bring more earnings news from companies such as Cisco Systems, The Walt Disney Co, New Corp, Express Scripts Holding Co and Priceline.com.
Posted on Monday, May 7, 2012 @ 10:22 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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