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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Ended March 17, 2017
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

The Dow Jones Industrial average closed at 20,914 this week. The index registered a slight gain from last week, but off the high of 21,115 that was touched on March 1st. The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark lending rate a quarter point and disseminated the expectation of two more increases in 2017. Equity markets were expecting more than two increases. This move by the Fed caused Utilities and Real Estate stocks to move higher while Financials were the only sector to turn negative on Wednesday. Financials stocks had comeback on Thursday, but ultimately fell lower on Friday along with Health Care to both close lower than last week. Despite the uncertainty in the political landscape, US companies continue to exceed profit and sales estimates as earnings season is nearing its end. In the S&P 500 about 80% of the companies have reported results that have exceeded earnings expectations. The stock market took its cue from the rallying bond markets to close out the week after stocks peaked on Wednesday following the Fed rate announcement. Most of the selling came from large cap names as the smaller stocks in the Russell 2000 were up almost 2% for the week. Mid Cap names represented by the S&P 400 also turned in a good week with a 1.23% gain and the large caps in the S&P 500 were up 0.28%. Wynn Resorts Ltd, a casino and hotel company, had the best return in the S&P 500 with 10.69% gain. The company jumped on rumors of a takeover by Las Vegas Sands Corp. NVIDIA Corp and Oracle Corp were the next best performers in the index. NVIDIA announced it was working with Paccar, maker of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, on artificial intelligence for self-driving trucks. Oracle moved higher after reporting a 62% growth in sales of cloud-based services that compete with Amazon.com and Salesforce.com.
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 8:35 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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