US Stocks Ended Feb. 24, 2017
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Stocks moved steadily higher for the fifth consecutive week. The S&P 500 is up over 6% for the year and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to another record close at 20,821. The index has posted gains for 10 consecutive days. Large cap stocks drove performance in the market while Mid and Small cap indexes traded flat and lower for the week, respectively. Metals also moved higher as gold closed at $1,255 an ounce, a level not observed since November of last year. The markets have moved higher in the face of an unclear view of the Trump administration's programs. Next week the President will address a joint session of Congress which should set the tone for markets in the following days. Despite the uncertainty with policy, the VIX at 11.47 is relatively low after spiking to 22 before the election last November and slowly moving lower for the past three months. In the S&P 500, Utilities stocks rose the most last week with only one name in the sector declining. Telecommunication Services and REITs also lifted the index. Extra Space Storage led the REIT index after reporting 4Q and full-year results that beat analysts' expectations. HP Inc., a computing company, turned in the best performance in the S&P 500 Index with a 10.66% gain. The company moved higher after reporting higher profits and earnings than the street was expecting. Investor sentiment about the stock had been low as Meg Whitman's replacement Dion Weisler puts his stamp on the 78 year old company. The next two best performers were First Solar Inc and Intuit Inc. with returns of 8.78% and 6.80%, respectively.
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 9:17 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.