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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Ended August 4, 2017
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

Last week equity markets, measured by the S&P 500, traded higher with a 0.23% return. Investor confidence in the US economy was bolstered by a strong July payroll report and an upward revision to May and June's job number. Average hourly earnings also rose month over month at a 0.3% rate. The Fed will look to these numbers as it contemplates a rate increase during the second half of the year. With inflation low and a despite tight labor market, the Fed may hold off on an increase until 2018. From a global perspective, the second quarter didn't slow down after a strong first quarter. With more than two thirds of US and European companies reporting quarterly results, earnings growth has clocked in just above 10%. One of the largest global companies, Apple, reported earnings on Tuesday that beat analyst expectations. The company, along with the other 29 members, lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an all-time high of over 22,000. Large Caps continue to move the markets as the S&P 500 outperformed the Mid and Small cap indices last week. The top performer in the S&P last week was Illumnia Inc, a life sciences company specializing in gene analysis tools. The company reported higher profits and sales versus analyst estimates and raised 2017 sales guidance. The Materials sector was one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 last week, however two companies CF Industries and FMC Corp went against the grain. Both companies reported better than expected quarterly results and were rewarded with over a 10% return for the week. Looking ahead to next week, inflation will be on the investor's minds when the CPI number is released on Friday.
Posted on Monday, August 7, 2017 @ 8:36 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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