US Stocks Week Ended February 20, 2015

 
Major US stock indexes closed at all-time highs last week after Greece was able to reach an agreement with creditors on a four month extension on its bailout extension. Europe's FTSE 100 returned .77% while the S&P 500 rose .68% for the week. Currently, the S&P 500 trades a P/E multiple of 18.62 and a dividend yield of 1.94%. Oil futures traded at the NYMEX closed the week at $50.34 per barrel, down from $53.78 the previous week. This caused energy stocks to lag the broader market with the S&P 500 Energy Index falling 2.36% last week. Several industry bellwethers reported earnings last week. John Deere reported a nearly 17% drop in first quarter sales. This was expected by the market as the company announced a downward revision to earnings in early January. Shares in Deere rose 2.65% for the week. Wal-Mart announced its decision to raise the wages of store employees to $9 hour, nearly a quarter higher than the current federal wage of $7.25. Shares in the retailer fell 1.76% last week. Last week brought more bad news for American Express. Year-to-date, shares in the credit card provider have fallen more than 13%. First, the company lost its exclusivity agreement with Costco, and last week, courts ruled that AmEx's rules for merchants violated antitrust laws. Shares in fracking leader, EOG Resources, dropped more than 6% last week. The company announced it would make significant cuts to capital expenditures while communicating to investors that the company did not expect to increase production in 2015. Looking ahead to another busy week of earnings season, Dish Network, Ecolab, Comcast, Toll Brothers and Chesapeake Energy all report results.
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2015 @ 8:46 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.