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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended April 5, 2019
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

The second quarter started off on a positive note as the S&P 500 rallied over 2% last week. The seven-day upward swing is the longest streak since 2017. Stocks are approaching the record high set back in September. Defensive sectors gave up their gains last week as investors turned risk on, leaving Consumer Staples and Utilities in negative territory. Materials had the best week in the S&P 500 led by Dow Inc, Eastman Chemical, and LyondellBasell Industries. However, on Friday JPMorgan initiated coverage on Dow with an underweight rating. The report pushed the stock down over 3.5% to close out the week. Payrolls topped estimates causing equities to rise on Friday. The release eased investor fear about a slowing domestic economy as a strong labor market coupled with low signs of inflation is a good sign for financial markets. Around the globe, central banks are staying patient on their tightening plans. The World Trade Organization cut its global trade growth projection from 3.7% to 2.6%, the lowest level in three years. Adding to the uncertainty, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May asked the European Union to delay Brexit until the end of June. Back in the U.S., President Trump is keeping pressure on Chairman Powell by reiterating his opposing views of the Fed's decision to raise interest rates and shrink its balance sheet. Some have accused the president of damaging the central bank's independence by making comments against Fed policy and announcing his plan to nominate two close political allies in Stephen Moore and Herman Cain. Next week, the Federal Reserve and its members will continue to top headlines as the FOMC meeting minutes from March will be released on Wednesday.
Posted on Monday, April 8, 2019 @ 8:03 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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