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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended July 20, 2018
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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Equities were relatively unchanged for the third week of July with the S&P 500 Index returning 0.04%. The index climbed through Wednesday, but gave back most of its gains by the close on Thursday. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testified before the US Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, conveying that a gradual rise in the federal funds rate would be most beneficial to the FOMC's long-term employment objectives and price stability, given the continued strengthening of the job market and slight uptick in inflation. Investors reacted positively to his comments as equities showed their best day of the week. US initial jobless claims of 207K were lower than the consensus estimate of 220K and the previous week's 214K. Crude oil prices closed the week at $70.46 per barrel, declining a third consecutive week from its recent closing high on June 29. Over 90% of the 61 companies in the S&P 500 Index that released earnings last week, reported either hitting or beating their expectations. United Continental Holdings Inc., an airline holding company, was the week's best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index. The stock returned 12.22% last week due to their positive second quarter earnings announcement on Tuesday. WW Grainger Inc., a distributor of industrial products, announced better than expected quarterly earnings and jumped 11.16% on Wednesday. The company also increased their sales guidance for 2018. Netflix Inc., an Internet subscription TV streaming service, declined 8.78% last week. The company beat their earnings estimates but missed their expected US and international subscriber growth. Bank of America Inc., The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, US Bancorp, and American Express are some of the large financial companies that reported and beat earnings expectations last week. Among the companies reporting this week are Amazon.com, Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp and many others.
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 8:44 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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