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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Ended March 10, 2017
Posted Under: Market Commentary Video
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Last week the S&P 500 Index had its worst week in 2017 returning -0.40%. Though equities were down, the index has had a great start to the year being up 6.42% YTD.; The real estate and energy sectors led the decline with most sectors in negative territory. On Wednesday crude oil dropped $2.86 per barrel or -5.38%, the largest one day percentage decline since February 2, 2016. This sharp drop came on increased inventories as the U.S. Energy Department stated that oil reserves increased by 8 million barrels the previous week. Crude declined 9.08% for the week. Economic news last week showed factory and durable goods orders were up more than expected. The ADP employment data showed an increase of 298k private nonfarm payrolls last month. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported positive nonfarm payrolls for the month. The US initial jobless claims of 243K were higher than the consensus estimate of 238K and the previous week's 223K. As the jobs market continues to strengthen, investors await next week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting with the high expectation of an interest rate increase. Nine of the eleven economic sectors had negative performance for the week with the information technology sector showing the best performance returning 0.55%.H&R Block Inc., a provider of financial products and tax services, had the best performance in the S&P 500 Index for the week with a 14.16% return. The consumer discretionary stock jumped 14.88% on Wednesday after providing a positive update on the 2017 tax season by claiming an increase in market share. Incyte Corp., a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on drugs that inhibit enzymes related to cancer, diabetes and other diseases, jumped 8.13% Friday on reports that Gilead Science Inc. was close to an agreement to acquire them. Signet Jewelers Ltd., a jewelry and watch retail company climbed 8.73% on Thursday after reporting better than expected earnings. This week will bring earnings news from Oracle Corp., Adobe Systems Inc., Dollar General Corp. and others.
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 8:09 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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