US Stocks Week Ended May 30, 2014

 
Last week the S&P 500 Index closed with a 1.24% return. Monday was the observance of Memorial Day which had equity markets closed and made last week a four day trading week. Tuesday returned 0.60% pushing the S&P 500 Index to an all-time high. Equities were helped by positive economic data such as durable goods orders that were expected to be down -0.7%, but were actually up 0.8% and the FHFA US House Price Index showed an increase over the previous month which was also higher than expected. After four straight positive trading days and the previous day's new high, Wednesday showed stocks decreasing slightly for a -0.10% return. Thursday closed with a 0.55% return pushing the index to another all-time high. Though 1st quarter GDP was expected to contract by an annual rate of -0.5%, the actual contraction was -1.0%. This was offset by US initial jobless claims of 300K, which was much lower than expected. Claims decreased from the previous week's 326K and were lower than the consensus estimate of 318K. The S&P 500 Index continued its rise on Friday as it closed with a 0.18% return and a value of 1,923.57. This was another new all-time high and the third time for the week. All ten economic sectors had positive performance for the week. The utilities sector was the best performing sector with a 2.38% return. The consumer staples and the information technology sectors followed with 1.75% and 1.40% returns, respectively. The telecommunication services sector's 0.48% return was the worst performance of all the sectors and was followed by consumer discretionary and energy which returned 0.93% and 0.96%, respectively. Exelon Corp., a utility services holding company, turned in the best performance in the S&P 500 Index with a 7.85% gain. The next two best performers were FirstEnergy Corp. and Tyson Foods Inc. with returns of 7.43% and 7.10%, respectively. This week will bring earnings news from Dollar General Corp., PVH Corp., Joy Global Inc., Navistar International Corp. and a few others.
Posted on Monday, June 2, 2014 @ 8:12 AM

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.