Stocks Ended Aug. 12, 2016
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Equity markets hovered near record-highs and were little changed for the week as investors pivot their focus to economic data as earnings season nears the end. Better-than-expected earnings, improving economic data and continued optimism the Federal Reserve will remain supportive have led to a series of record-highs for the S&P 500 over the past month. In economic news, consumer confidence remained strong as the University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment rose slightly to 90.4, but missed consensus expectations. After wholesale prices gained 0.5% last month, the Producer Price Index unexpectedly declined 0.4% in July, reflecting the lasting impact of lower commodity prices and muted global growth. Retail sales were unchanged in July, below the consensus expected gain of 0.4%. As we near the tail end of earnings season, a number of department stores reported earnings results that beat low expectations. Macy's, Inc. gained over 16% for the week as the department store announced plans to shutter about 100 of their 728 locations and same-store-sales declined by 2%, better than the 4.6% drop expected by analysts. Shares of Nordstrom Inc. also surged for the week, helped by its off-price channel and its anniversary sale. Walt Disney Co. announced it will pay $1 billion for a one-third stake in BAMTech, a technology and streaming business formed by Major League Baseball, as earnings revealed a continued slide in ESPN subscribers. Looking ahead to next week, Home Depot Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc, and Cisco Systems Inc. will release earnings. Key economic data points will be the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes from July, housing data and U.S. consumer prices.
Posted on Monday, August 15, 2016 @ 8:28 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.