US Stocks Week Ended February 6, 2015

 
Last week, the S&P 500 Index returned 3.12% erasing the 3.00% loss the index posted in January. Energy led the way on Monday as all ten sectors had positive performance and the S&P 500 index returned 1.30%. The S&P 500 Energy Index returned 3.00% as oil prices increased for the third straight day after dropping to $44.45 per barrel the previous week, the lowest closing price since $42.33 on March 11, 2009.  News of a debt restructuring proposal by the Greek government helped US equities open up on Tuesday. Economic news showed lower than expected December factory orders causing markets to decline early, but reversed by midday resulting in the best performance of the week for the index with a 1.45% gain. Energy again led the way as oil increased further. Stocks declined on Wednesday as the S&P 500 Index returned -0.39% on lower than expected employment data released from ADP's private payrolls January report. The Thursday morning release of US initial jobless claims came in at 278K. This was an increase from the previous week's 265K, but lower than the consensus estimate of 290K. The index returned 1.05% as all sectors were up for the day. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released higher than expected jobs numbers on Friday. The S&P 500 Index traded up early and declined later in the day to return -0.32%. Nine of the ten economic sectors had positive performance for the week. The telecommunication services sector was the best performing sector with a 6.95% return. The energy and financials sectors followed with 5.59% and 4.94% returns, respectively. The utilities sector's -3.64% return was the worst performance of all the sectors and was followed by health care and consumer staples which returned 0.76% and 2.22%, respectively. Hospira Inc., a global pharmaceutical developer and manufacturer, turned in the best performance in the S&P 500 Index with a 37.84% gain. The stock jumped on the announcement that they will be acquired by Pfizer Inc. The next two best performers were Denbury Resources Inc. and Frontier Communications Corp. with returns of 28.84% and 18.09%, respectively. This week will bring earnings news from The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., CVS Health Corp., American International Group Inc. and many others.
Posted on Monday, February 9, 2015 @ 8:37 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.