US Stocks Ended Dec. 30, 2016

 
Equities pared their yearly gains in the final trading week of the year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the year 238 points away from 20,000. Stocks edged higher to begin the week on Tuesday after Monday's holiday, but fell on the final three trading days of the year in light trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 20 points shy of reaching 20,000 on Tuesday. Defensive and higher dividend yielding sectors, which have lagged the market since the election, outperformed for the week with the real estate sector providing the only positive return for the week. In economic news, existing home sales declined by 2.5% in November versus expectations of a 0.5% increase. Initial jobless claims were in line with expectations at 265,000 for the week. In stock news, shares of Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and Williams Cos. gained Friday after the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project passed an environmental review. NVIDIA Corp., the top performing stock in the S&P 500 for 2016, fell nearly 3% for the week after a negative research report valued the stock at $90. Looking ahead to the new year, equities will aim for a ninth consecutive year of positive returns. While equity valuations do not seem overly compelling, earnings growth should be the main catalyst for 2017 with the S&P 500 expected to grow earnings by 12% next year.
Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 @ 8:30 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.