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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended December 21, 2018
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

Investors looking for a Santa Claus rally were disappointed last week as the S&P 500 traded down by over 7%. Oil fell below $50to close out the week at just over $45 a barrel. The move in oil is the worst weekly move in almost three years and is raising concern that weakening economic growth coupled with increased US supply will lead to a surplus of barrels next year. A potential government shutdown is also on the table with President Trump using it as leverage to get a budget deal passed in the Senate. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell promised to be more cautious in 2019 after the fed raised the target range for the federal funds rate a quarter point on Wednesday. In the S&P 500, only six companies posted positive returns last week. A bright spot in the index was General Mills Inc. The company posted better than expected profit and the stock surged the most intraday since 1987. Coming off a multi-year low, General Electric had a weekly bounce of just under 1% after an analyst upgrade pointed to near-term liquidity propping up future equity value. The company confidentially filed for an initial public offering of its health care unit, with a public filing expected to happen next spring. One of the worst performing stocks last week was Conagra Brands. Sales from newly acquired Pinnacle Foods fell short of expectations after weak results from several of its brands and a recall. Looking ahead to next week, the barometer on the state of the job market will be released on Thursday along with new home sales.
Posted on Monday, December 24, 2018 @ 8:40 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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