Stocks Ended Aug. 19, 2016

Last week the S&P 500 Index moved within a 25 point range but closed flat for the week with a 6 basis point return. The index is currently up 8.39% for 2016 and 0.67% for the month of August. The index started the week in positive territory returning 0.29% on Monday and posting a new all-time closing high of 2,190.15. Materials and industrials showed strength while utilities and telecommunication services were the weakest sectors in the trading day. Equity markets soured on Tuesday on mixed economic data and weakness in foreign markets. Housing starts increased, building permits declined and the US Consumer Price Index came in flat for July. The S&P 500 Index posted a -0.53% return, the worst performance for the week with energy being the only positive sector for the day. Utilities showed strength on Wednesday with most sectors in the green and little economic news to digest. While the index gapped down at the open, it reversed early and climbed the remainder of the day returning 0.21%. July Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes were released and indicated little urgency for a rate hike. On Thursday, equities moved up slightly returning 0.22% with energy and utilities outperforming other sectors. US initial jobless claims of 262K were lower than the consensus estimate of 265K and lower than the previous week's 266K. Stocks opened down on Friday as European markets showed weakness. The S&P 500 Index climbed back throughout the day, but was cut short from even returning -0.13%. Crude oil closed the week at $48.52 a barrel, increasing 9.06% from the previous week's close. Five of the ten economic sectors had positive performance for the week. The energy sector was the best performing sector with a 2.16% return. The materials and industrials sectors followed with 1.28% and 0.78% returns, respectively. The telecommunications services sector's -3.84% return was the worst performance of all the sectors and was followed by utilities and consumer discretionary which returned -1.26% and -0.67%, respectively. Urban Outfitters Inc., an operator of fashion and accessory retail stores, turned in the best performance in the S&P 500 Index with a 23.36% gain. The next two best performers were NetApp Inc. and Chesapeake Energy Corp. with returns of 22.00% and 21.31%, respectively.
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2016 @ 8:08 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.