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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended Dec. 30, 2022
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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Closing the year on 2022, the S&P 500 Index declined 12 basis points during the shortened holiday week which experienced lower trading volume. While the index posted a -5.76% return for December, the previous two positive performing months allowed the index to show a 7.56% return during the fourth quarter, the only positive quarter of the year. After gaining 100% over the previous three years 2019-2021, the S&P 500 Index returned -18.11% in 2022, its worst performance since the 2008 return of -37%. Other major equity index returns for 2022 included the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s -6.86%, the NASDAQ Composite Index’s -32.51%, and the Russell 2000 Index’s -20.46%. Equities confronted headwinds during the year such as high inflation, rising interest rates, global COVID policies, and war in Ukraine. The Federal Reserve’s FOMC raised its upper bound of the Fed Funds Target Rate seven times in 2022, taking it from 25 basis points at the start of the year to 4.5% in its efforts to combat high inflation, with expectations to exceed 5% in the coming year. U.S. initial jobless claims were reported at 225K last week, matching the consensus estimate, but were higher than the previous week’s claims of 216K. Financials was the best performing sector in the S&P 500 Index last week, followed by energy which was the only other sector to post a positive return. Generator producer Generac Holdings Inc. was the best performing stock in the index last week, returning 9.19%. The stock jumped on Wednesday after a Janney Montgomery analyst rated it a buy, indicating the company was undervalued after its large decline. While the stock had gained over 1000% over six years during 2016-2021, it was the worst performer in the S&P 500 Index for 2022, returning -71.40%. Crude oil closed the year at $80.26 per barrel on Friday, a 6.71% gain during 2022. Energy was the best performing sector in the S&P 500 Index for 2022 with energy company Occidental Petroleum Corp taking the top spot with a 119% return. Other top performing energy companies included Hess Corp, Exxon Mobil Corp, Marathon Petroleum Corp, and Schlumberger Limited, all posting over 80% returns on the year. Earnings announcements expected this week include Constellation Brands Inc., Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., Conagra Brands Inc., Lamb Weston Holdings Inc., among others. 

Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 @ 8:16 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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