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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended June 26, 2020
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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The S&P 500 Index returned -2.86% last week. The index has declined 1.03% for June and has returned -5.95% year-to-date. Equities had a positive start to the week, but pessimism set in on Wednesday as the index declined 2.59% over concerns of rising COVID-19 cases and the impact on future economic activity as some states re-evaluate their re-opening strategies and travel restrictions. Cruise lines, energy equipment & services, and airlines led stocks to the downside. Equities climbed on Thursday, recovering a portion of the previous day's losses, as U.S. regulators eased bank reserve requirements and authorized changes to the Volcker Rule resulting in a financials rally. Stocks were under pressure again on Friday as virus cases continued to jump in the South causing concern of increased future restrictions impacting the economy. U.S. initial jobless claims of 1.48 million were higher than the consensus estimate of 1.32 million, but lower than the previous week's claims of 1.51 million. Crude oil closed at $38.49 per barrel on Friday, declining 3.17% for the week. The Gap Inc. was the best performer in the S&P 500 Index, returning 13.23%. The stock jumped on Friday after news of a multiyear partnership deal with rapper Kanye West on a new line of apparel called Yeezy Gap. The stock has been on a decline since early 2018 and was down over 41% year-to-date prior to Friday's announcement. Social-media companies Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. returned -9.51% and -13.05% respectively last week. The stocks declined after Unilever N.V., the food and personal care products giant, announced on Friday they are halting all U.S. advertising on both platforms for the rest of the year citing hate speech and other polarizing posts by users. This raised concerns for the social-media companies that others may also boycott them. American Airlines Group Inc. was the worst performing stock in the S&P 500 Index last week with a -22.63% return with cruise lines not far behind as pressure on travel stocks was evident over virus concerns. Earnings announcements expected this week include Micron Technology Inc., General Mills Inc., FedEx Corp, Constellation Brands Inc., Conagra Brands Inc., and others.
Posted on Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 8:06 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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