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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended November 16, 2018
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary


Equities were on a see-saw last week. The S&P 500 Index was down -2.8% thru Wednesday, only to pare losses and close last week -1.3%. The discretionary and technology sectors were laggards, while real estate and materials were the only positive returning sectors. Brick and mortar retail stocks were hammered after Nordstrom Inc. (-22% return) and Macy's Inc. (-12% return) announced disappointing earnings results. The worst performing technology stocks last week were Nvidia Corp. (-20%) and NetApp Inc. (-12%). Nvidia announced quarterly revenue and earnings below market expectations, which caused the stock to plummet on Friday. The advanced computer chip maker pointed to waning crypto-currency demand, which slowed sales and grew inventory. NetApp dropped after revenue was reported on the lower end of expectations. The supplier of flash memory appears to have strong end market demand in every category but government spending fell which management claimed was a timing issue. Oil dipped below $60 for the first time since February. After reaching $76 in early October, the commodity plummeted down to $55 on Tuesday, only to stabilize and trade slightly higher to end the week. Global growth concerns, a strong dollar and continued pumping all have contributed to the price drop. As a result, the S&P 500 Energy Index was one of the poorest performing sectors last at a -1.9% return. The worst performing stock in the S&P 500 Index last week was California utility PG&E Corp. (down -36%), which faces significant risks around the potential financial liability from fires in southern California. Edison International, another California utility, was also down -11% last week for similar reasons. Both PG&E and Edison did have large gains on Friday, after California Public Utilities Commission officials indicated that it would apply a cap when evaluating fire related expenses. Looking ahead to next week, investors will be focused on housing starts, consumer confidence and durable goods orders for confirmation of continued economic strength.

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2018 @ 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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