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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Ended May 5, 2017
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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Equities continued their upward trend in May showing a 0.66% return in the S&P 500 Index for the month's first week of trading. Information technology and the financials sectors led the advance, while telecommunication services and energy sectors created a drag on the index. The index returned 7.16% for the first four months of 2017, the best first four months performance since 2013. Last week, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to leave interest rates unchanged, increasing investors' expectations of a rate increase in June. Crude oil retreated 6.30% for the week, declining $3.11 and closing at $46.22 per barrel, as gasoline inventories rose for the third straight week. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the revised GOP health care bill on Thursday as equities markets closed flat for the day after trending lower in early trading. In employment news, 177,000 jobs were added in the month of April according to ADP nonfarm payroll data and a gain of 211,000 nonfarm payrolls were reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Payrolls increased more than expected while the US unemployment rate hit 4.4%, the lowest rate since May 2007. The US initial jobless claims of 238K were lower than the consensus estimate of 248K and the previous week's 257K. Delphi Automotive PLC, a vehicle components manufacturer, jumped 10.91% on Wednesday after announcing increased earnings and sales for the first quarter. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that develops drugs for cancer and other diseases and disorders, jumped 6.70% after reporting better than expected sales in the first quarter with their earnings release on Thursday. The stock showed the best performance for the week in the S&P 500 Index with a 10.43% return. Willis Towers Watson PLC, an insurance broker, increased 6.22% on Thursday.  Higher than expected earnings gave the company a lift for the day. This week will bring earnings news from The Walt Disney Company, The Priceline Group Inc., Allergan PLC and others.
Posted on Monday, May 8, 2017 @ 9:38 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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