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

 
Equities gave back ground last week as the S&P 500 Index returned -1.20%.  Stocks were up early in the week, but began their descent on Tuesday. News from Washington DC may have soured the markets after President Trump released Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Trade war fears rose again with reports that the President may be considering imposing tariffs on products made in China to balance the trade deficit. Equities were under pressure as positive economic data added credence to the expected rate hike to come this week from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting. US economic news showed a large jump in the US Empire State Manufacturing Survey and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index reported its highest level since January 2004. US initial jobless claims of 226K were lower than the consensus estimate of 228K and the previous week's 231K.; Utilities and real estate were the only positive sectors while crude oil prices closed the week at $62.34 per barrel, an increase of 48 basis points for the week. On Monday, President Trump issued an order to block the Broadcom Limited takeover of rival chipmaker QUALCOMM Inc., over national security concerns as Broadcom Limited is incorporated in Singapore. Micron Technology Inc., a manufacturer of memory chips, flash memory and semiconductor components, showed the best performance for the week in the S&P 500 Index with a 10.97% return. The stock jumped as a Nomura analyst predicted memory chip prices will continue their rise and he increased his price target to $100 from $55 per share, with many other analysts following in raising their price targets. Dollar General Corp., a discount retail store chain that operates in 45 states, returned 9.77% last week after reporting earnings and showing an increase in same store sales with a stronger than expected 2018 outlook. The company also announced a $1 billion increase to their share repurchase program and an increase in their quarterly dividend.
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 8:14 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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