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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended April 20, 2018
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

U.S. stocks slipped in the final two days of trading but still notched gains for the week, buoyed by generally strong earnings results and energy shares. With earnings season ramping up, positive results across industrials, energy and financials led to increased investor confidence. Shares of General Electric Co. gained after the company reaffirmed fiscal-year guidance and signaled a decision is close on divesting its transportation division. Baker Hughes reported better-than-expected operating margins from an improving upstream market. The five largest U.S. banks finished reporting strong first-quarter results this week driven by robust trading revenue. Despite beating on both the top and bottom lines, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. shares lost ground for the week, after the bank said it would not reduce share count next quarter. American Express Co. reported solid results as expenses for future charge-offs were lower- than-expected and core growth accelerated in loans and billed business. Shares of Netflix Inc. rose sharply after subscribers increased by 7.4 million for the quarter. By contrast, Apple Inc. fell sharply for the week after a number of analysts cut their projections for iPhone sales, adding to concern about the technology firm's main source of profit ahead of upcoming financial results next month. Looking ahead, earnings season will swing into full gear next week with Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com, Inc., Facebook, Inc., Comcast Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. expected to announce results. In addition, first quarter gross domestic product will be released on Friday. With earnings season off to a strong start, continued momentum in profits could lead to improved market sentiment and lower volatility.
Posted on Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 8:29 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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