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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended December 14, 2018
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

Last week the S&P 500 Index declined further returning -1.22%. The index has declined 5.72% in the first two weeks of December, establishing a YTD loss for 2018 with only ten trading days remaining in the year. Equity markets showed a volatile week trying to recover from the previous week's 4.55% loss in the S&P 500 Index. Positive news on perceived improving trade relations with China and UK Prime Minister Theresa May receiving a vote of confidence to retain her leadership helped buoy stocks through mid-Wednesday. Negative news that President Trump's former attorney was sentenced to prison, increased concerns over global growth, and the European Central Bank essentially ending its quantitative easing program by capping new purchases, attributed to the index declining the remainder of the week. Financials and energy led the decline in the S&P 500 Index last week. Crude oil prices closed the week at $51.20 per barrel, decreasing 2.68% for the week. Crude has declined approximately $25 per barrel from its 12-month closing high in early October. In economic news, US initial jobless claims of 206K were much lower than the consensus estimate of 226K and the previous week's 231K. Under Armour Inc., a distributor of athletic performance clothes, was the week's worst performing stock in the S&P 500 Index declining more than 19%. The stock declined after the company announced it expects low annual revenue growth for the next few years through 2023. Broadcom Inc., a developer of digital and analog semiconductors, was the week's best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index returning 11.49%. The stock was strong last week after the company beat fourth quarter earnings and revenue expectations, increased their guidance, and declared a dividend increase of over 50% the prior week. Johnson & Johnson, a manufacturer of health care products and pharmaceuticals, declined over 10% last Friday on reports that the company knew its talc Baby Powder product contained the carcinogenic asbestos.
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2018 @ 8:15 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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