US Stocks Ended May 26, 2017
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Equities maintain their upward advance with the S&P 500 Index returning 8.81% YTD. Last week, the index claimed a new all-time closing high of 2,415.82 and returned 1.47%. While most sectors were in positive territory, the energy sector struggled and declined 2.14%. Crude oil declined on Thursday as investors were hopeful for deeper production cuts to come out of OPEC's meeting in Vienna, but OPEC deemed that unnecessary and agreed to extend their current cuts for nine additional months. Crude oil retreated 1.05% for the week, declining $0.53 and closing at $49.80 per barrel. The Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes for the month of May were released citing continued strength in the labor market, but real GDP growth slowed in the first quarter. Investor's expectations of a rate increase in June remain high. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index showed a good report for May and has continued to remain at a high level since the November election. US initial jobless claims of 234K were lower than the consensus estimate of 238K, but higher than the previous week's 232K. Best Buy Company Inc., an appliance and consumer electronics retailer, showed the best performance for the week in the S&P 500 Index. The stock jumped 21.48% on Thursday after announcing a 40% earnings surprise for the first quarter. The company attributed the earnings jump to increased revenue in gaming, consumer electronics, high margin appliances and online sales. Intuit Inc., a business and financial management software solutions developer, climbed 10.51% last week. The company reported third quarter results after the close on Wednesday with both revenue and earnings beating expectations. Micron Technology Inc., a memory and semiconductor components manufacturer continued its rally returning 6.97% last week. The stock is up 149% in the last twelve months as increased demand and tighter supply of memory chips has benefited the company. This week will bring earnings news from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, Analog Devices Inc., Dollar General Corp., Palo Alto Networks Inc. and others.
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 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.