US Stocks Ended Feb. 10, 2017

Last week the S&P 500 Index returned 0.87%. Equities continue their 2016 upward trend, pushing past January's highs to a new all-time closing high of 2,316.10 on Friday. The index is up 3.66% YTD. Crude oil dropped 3.08% the first two days of the week on fears of a continuing buildup of motor gasoline inventories which are near their February 2016 highs. This showed weakness in the energy sector which declined 2.25% over Monday and Tuesday. Crude recovered and closed the week at $53.86 a barrel, advancing 0.06% from the previous week's close. Many media outlets were focused this past week on President Trump's travel-ban fight and the confirmation hearings of his cabinet selections. Investors continue to be optimistic of President Trump's intent of creating a pro-growth business environment. The US initial jobless claims of 234K were below the consensus estimate of 249K and the previous week's 246K. 357 companies in the S&P 500 Index have already reported their fourth quarter 2016 earnings with 262 showing higher EPS and 239 reporting positive earnings surprise. Ten of the eleven economic sectors had positive performance for the week with the industrials sector showing the best performance returning 1.65%. Hasbro Inc., a designer and manufacturer of toys and games, had the best performance in the S&P 500 Index for the week with an 18.15% return. The consumer discretionary stock jumped 14.14% on Monday after reporting and beating fourth quarter earnings estimates. Activision Blizzard Inc., an entertainment software developer and publisher, also helped the sector after reporting earnings on Thursday night. The stock jumped 18.88% on Friday. Arconic Inc., a lightweight material provider to the aerospace and automotive industry, climbed 14.36%. Pressure continued to increase on the company from hedge fund Elliott Management, which owns over 12% of the stock, to fire the CEO for poor past performance. This week will bring earnings news from Cisco Systems Inc., PepsiCo Inc., The Kraft Heinz Co., Charter Communications Inc. and others.
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 8:06 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.