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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Ended Feb. 16, 2018
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

 
After giving up the year's gains to start the month, the S&P 500 returned 4.4% last week to put the index back in positive territory for the year. U.S. stocks had their best week in five years and the dollar rose from a three-year low. Volatility is a key concern for investors, as the steady upward climb of 2017 has not carried over into 2018. News out of Washington rattled the markets late Friday afternoon when U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced an indictment against 13 Russian nationals for interfering with the 2016 election. Political negativity has been outshined in the markets by positive earnings surprises. Of the 77% of S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings this year, 76% have beat earnings expectations. Some of the big movers last week were the biggest laggards of 2017. Under Armour was up over 26% last week after better than expected quarterly sales and high growth rates in international sales expected for 2018. Chipotle Mexican Grill installed a seasoned CEO to its management team. Brian Niccol, formerly of Taco Bell, will join the company and receive a pay package of over $32 million dollars. Investors hope Niccol will turn around the company after multiple missteps the past few years. On Friday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross proposed a 24% tariff on steel imports and 7.7% duty on aluminum. Domestic metal producer's stocks rose on the news. The President will have to consider the risk of retaliation from exporting nations if the tariffs and duties are implemented. Looking ahead to next week, investors' will focus on inflation as the Federal Reserve releases the minutes of the January meeting.
Posted on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 8:16 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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