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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended Ended January 29, 2021
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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The S&P 500 Index declined 3.29% last week as volatility in equities jumped to the highest level since late October, marking the index's worst performance in three months. Headlines were grabbed by the trading frenzy over heavily shorted stocks such as GameStop Corp and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., which returned 400% and 278% last week respectively. Speculation that hedge funds were degrossing, cutting risky bets and decreasing their long equity positions to cover their short positions, caused downward pressure on equity markets. The SEC said they would be looking into behavior by any regulated entity that demonstrates abusive activity in an effort to protect retail investors. U.S. initial jobless claims of 847K were much lower than the consensus estimate of 875K and the previous week's claims of 900K. Crude oil closed at $52.20 per barrel on Friday, declining 13 bps for the week. All sectors were down for the week with energy putting in the worst performance. Iron Mountain Inc. was the best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index, returning 11.67%. The specialty REIT rallied along with other shorted stocks. Western Digital Corp, a provider of computer hardware and storage, returned 11.28% last week as the company reported beating second quarter adjusted earnings estimates. Other big names that reported beating adjusted earnings estimates include Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp, Facebook Inc., and Visa Inc. Tesla Inc. however, reported an adjusted EPS of $0.80, missing the consensus estimate of $1.03. Teradyne Inc., a manufacturer of semiconductor testing equipment, was the worst performing stock in the S&P 500 Index, returning -17.74%. The stock fell after announcing earnings as investors expected more from the company due to strong demand in smartphone components and industrial automation. Many earnings announcements are expected this week including Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc., Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Pfizer Inc., Merck & Company Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp, and many more.
Posted on Monday, February 1, 2021 @ 9:14 AM • Post Link Share: 
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