US Stocks Ended April 28, 2017
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Equity markets continued to surge last week on news of a large tax cut proposal and strong corporate earnings. The S&P 500 Index rallied over 1.5%, bringing the year-to-date return for the index to over 7%. The rally was started by a favorable result in the preliminary French Presidential election. European markets, measured by the STOXX 600, were up over 2% on Monday as the equity markets digested the Le Pen vs Marcon matchup for the final May 7th election. Earnings season kicked into high gear as 193 of the S&P 500 reported earnings. Alphabet Inc., better known as Google, rallied over 3.5% to an all-time high on Friday, after they reported record earnings on favorable mobile search trends, strength in their YouTube brand and continued success in their cloud computing unit. Inc., also reached an all-time high Friday, as its shares were up 0.6% on a positive earnings release, fueled by a heavy investment into Europe, continued push into advertising and success in the retail endeavors. Not to be outdone, Microsoft Corp. also reached an all-time high, as results were helped by strength in their cloud computing business, continued benefit from their LinkedIn acquisition and share buybacks. C.R. Bard Inc., a large-cap health care supply company, was up over 21% on the week after they agreed to be purchased by Becton Dickinson and Co. for over $24b in cash and stock. While markets continue to churn out gains, geopolitical risk in North Korea seems to be close to a tipping point. President Trump and his team held a meeting with all 100 Senators to brief them about the current instability of North Korea. Looking ahead to next week, earnings season continues as 126 more S&P 500 names are expected to report earnings. Those expected to announce include: Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. Inc. among many others.
Posted on Monday, May 1, 2017 @ 8:15 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.