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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Ended April 21, 2017
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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The stock market moved higher last week by 0.87% as measured by the S&P 500. Industrial stocks, led by the railroads, were the best performers for the week. The turnaround at CSX is gaining steam after a positive earnings release, followed by analyst upgrades, helped the stock climb and close out the week with a +9.37% return. The company noted core pricing gains that also sent peer railroads prices higher (Norfolk Southern +4.3%, Union Pacific +3.3%). On Sunday, voters in France went to the polls to select two candidates for the presidential runoff. Emmanuel Macron, a pro-growth centrist, and nationalist Marine Le Pen were selected in the closely watched race. In domestic affairs, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced plans to reform taxes have progressed. The plan would be the biggest overhaul to the tax code since President Ronald Reagan. The progress comes as the administration struggles to repeal the Affordable Care Act and present a budget that appeases both sides of the aisle. Oil prices slid during the week from $53.18 at last week's close to $49.62 on Friday. Energy companies followed and were the worst performing sector in the S&P 500 at -2.13%. Lam Research Corp., a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, delivered the best performance in the S&P 500 during the week with an 11.83% return. On Tuesday the company reported higher than expected profits and announced an accelerated stock buyback pact with BNP Paribas and Citi. The toymaker Mattel Inc reported on Thursday that its comeback plan for Barbie was not working as expected. The company posted a greater than expected loss which sent the stock tumbling Friday and closed out the week as the worst performing stock in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, 194 companies in the S&P 500 are slated to release quarterly results.
Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017 @ 8:04 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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