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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended June 1, 2018
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

The observance of Memorial Day last Monday resulted in a shortened trading week. The S&P 500 Index returned 0.54%, but displayed some volatility over the four days of trading. The index closed the month of May returning 2.41%, showing its best performance since January's 5.73%. Equities were pressured on Tuesday as Italian political news raised concerns over their sovereign debt and the effects it would have globally. The financials sector felt the most weight as the S&P 500 Financials Index returned -3.37%. Stocks rallied Wednesday after Italy was able to issue sovereign debt. Equities encountered more resistance on Thursday as trade war concerns began to rise again after the US announced it would enact its steel and aluminum tariffs. In economic news, US Nonfarm Payrolls showed 223K new jobs in May, much higher than the expected 190K. The US unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, the lowest rate since April 2000. US initial jobless claims of 221K were lower than the consensus estimate of 228K and the previous week's 234K. Crude oil prices were down 3.05% last week closing at $65.81 per barrel. Nektar Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company that develops drugs for oncology and other therapeutic areas, was the week's best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index. The stock jumped 12.56% on Friday prior to presenting their new drug at an annual oncology conference. General Motors Co. announced on Thursday that their self-driving program will receive a $2.25 billion investment over two tranches from Softbank Vision Fund, sending their stock up 12.87%. TripAdvisor Inc., an online travel research company, returned 11.58% last week. While the company's stock price saw pressure in late 2017 for multiple reasons including increased competition, the stock has recently been on a positive move and has returned 42.37% since its large earnings surprise announcement on May 8.
Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018 @ 8:12 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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