US Stocks Ended July 14, 2017
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The S&P 500 Index hit a new all-time closing high of 2,459.27 on Friday and returned 1.42% last week, continuing its advance into the second half of 2017. The index returned 9.34% in the first half of 2017, recording the best performance since the index returned 13.82% for the first six months of 2013. Equity markets climbed higher after Wednesday's comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen before the US Congress of a gradual approach for any future rate hike decisions that would need to be data dependent. US initial jobless claims of 247K were higher than the consensus estimate of 245K, but lower than the previous week's 248K. Crude oil advanced 5.22% for the week, increasing $2.31 and closing at $46.54 per barrel. NVIDIA Corp., a technology company that designs and develops three dimensional graphics processors and software, returned 12.39% last week. The stock jumped on Monday and again on Wednesday after a SunTrust technology analyst increased their price target and upgraded them to a buy. NetApp Inc., a provider of storage and data management solutions, climbed 13.10% last week. Shares of the company climbed steadily through most of the week but jumped 5.64% on Friday after being placed on a large investment bank's buy list. NRG Energy Inc., an operator of power-generating facilities, showed the best performance for the week in the S&P 500 Index with a 43.10% return. The stock jumped 29.39% on Wednesday after announcing a plan to transform the company by selling assets and cutting costs to strengthen their balance sheet. In bank earnings news, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Wells Fargo & Co. all beat earnings estimates. Earnings ramp up next week with 68 S&P 500 Index members reporting including Microsoft Corp., Bank of America Corp., and General Electric Co.
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 8:49 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.