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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended Feb. 21, 2020
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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U.S. Equities had a see-saw week as the S&P 500 Index closed Wednesday at an all-time high, only to close the week with a -1.2% return. Coronavirus fears struck the market and led investors preferring safer assets. Evidence of a flight to safety was found in the 30-Year US Treasury yields hitting an all-time low, gold soaring to $1644 an ounce, highest level since early 2013, along with the Real Estate, Consumer Staples and Utilities leading equity returns last week. Corporate earnings season wound down last week as 50 names in the S&P 500 Index announced quarterly results, bringing the total announcements year-to-date to 429 in the Index. Deere & Co was up over 5.5% last week after announcing an unexpected increase in earnings as a surge in their U.S. farm business offset a slowdown in their construction segment. The company credited a wane in trade tensions for the improving farm capital equipment business. Recently combined ViacomCBS Inc. had a -19.2% return last week after their first post-merger earnings announcement revealed advertising revenue, earnings and cash flow below expectations. WalMart Inc. announced revenue and earnings generally in line with expectations as the stock was up 0.6% last week. The company is a proxy for the strength of the U.S. consumer as same store sales were up 5.7% last year on quarterly revenue of $141b and annual revenue of $524b. The top performing stock in the S&P 500 Index was E*Trade Financial Corp. up over 20.7% after Morgan Stanley agreed to buy the online stock trading platform in a deal valued near $13b. Morgan shares sank 6.1% last week on worries they may have overpaid for E*Trade and potential dilution of their shareholders. Looking ahead to next week, global virus concerns will likely continue to impact markets, potentially giving investors a strong buying opportunity. We continue to encourage buy and hold investing for the long run and potential short-term disruptions can give investors long term opportunities.
Posted on Monday, February 24, 2020 @ 8:24 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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