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Bob Carey
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  Stocks Ended July 22, 2016
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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Last week the S&P 500 Index posted a 0.64% return. After declining 10.27% the first six weeks of the year and posting a 2016 low on February 11, the index has reversed course hitting new all-time highs and returning 7.72% YTD. Though the equity markets were mixed Monday with information technology and materials stocks leading the charge and consumer staples and industrials causing some drag, the index posted a 0.24% gain. Materials and energy stocks declined on Tuesday as the strong dollar put pressure on commodity prices. Most sectors were in negative territory and the S&P 500 Index lost 14 basis points. Positive second quarter earnings news helped stocks climb in early trading on Wednesday. Information technology and health care were the big winners as the S&P 500 Index increased 0.44%. On Thursday, equities gave back most of the previous day's gains as the S&P 500 Index declined 36 basis points. Utilities and health care were the only sectors in positive territory while the industrials sector declined 1.03%. US initial jobless claims of 253K were lower than the consensus estimate of 265K and lower than the previous week's 254K.  Stocks had their best day of the week on Friday as the S&P 500 Index closed at an all-time high of 2,175.03 and returned 0.46%. Crude oil closed the week at $44.19 a barrel, declining 3.83% from the previous week's close. Six of the ten economic sectors had positive performance for the week. The information technology sector was the best performing sector with a 2.02% return. The utilities and health care sectors followed with 1.46% and 1.24% returns, respectively. The energy sector's -1.28% return was the worst performance of all the sectors and was followed by industrials and consumer staples which returned -0.76% and -0.45%, respectively. Chesapeake Energy Corp., a natural gas and oil producer, turned in the best performance in the S&P 500 Index with a 21.95% gain. The next two best performers were eBay Inc. and QUALCOMM Inc. with returns of 15.76% and 11.69%, respectively.
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2016 @ 8:00 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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