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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended Dec. 13, 2019
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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The S&P 500 Index gained 77 basis points last week. The equity index has posted nine positive weeks in the last ten weeks of trading. With just days remaining from the potential tariff increases, the United States and China trade deal was the focus of many investors last week. News reports with minimal details of a potential phase one trade deal had equities rally to a new closing high on Thursday. As some trade deal details emerged on Friday, conflicting reports caused equities to experience a volatile trading day though the index managed to produce another all-time closing high. The S&P 500 Index has returned 28.89% YTD with just over two weeks remaining in 2019. Crude oil showed a 1.47% increase and closed at $60.07 per barrel. The Federal Open Market Committee decided to maintain their target range leaving rates unchanged. U.S. initial jobless claims of 252K were much higher than the consensus estimate of 214K and the previous week's claims of 203K. Western Digital Corp, a memory and storage device manufacturer, was the best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index last week returning 10.64%. Micron Technology Inc., a memory chip manufacturer, climbed 6.82% last week. Both companies were beneficiaries of positive sell-side reports saying memory prices were hitting their bottom and revealed an optimistic view in buying memory. News of the potential trade deal also served as a catalyst for the two companies as information technology companies tend to be more exposed to trade with China. Other companies sensitive to trade with China include casino stocks Las Vegas Sands Corp and Wynn Resorts Limited, returning 7.62% and 6.66%. Both companies have casinos in Macau, a region of China. The real estate sector lagged the most in the S&P 500 Index returning -2.39%. Welltower Inc. and Healthpeak Properties Inc. both declined 6.09% last week, the two worst performing real estate stocks. Earnings announcements expected this week include NIKE Inc., Micron Technology Inc., FedEx Corp, Carnival Corp, General Mills Inc., Paychex Inc., and a few others.
Posted on Monday, December 16, 2019 @ 8:10 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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