US Stocks Ended July 21, 2017

The S&P 500 Index had another week of gains returning 0.56% and hitting a new all-time closing high of 2,473.83 on Wednesday. Equity markets showed resilience through mixed economic data. The NAHB Housing Market Index was reported slightly lower than expected while the US Import Price Index declined in June as expected. US initial jobless claims of 233K were lower than the consensus estimate of 245K and the previous week's 247K. Crude oil declined 1.65% for the week, dropping $0.77 and closing at $45.77 per barrel, ahead of this weekend's OPEC summit. With earnings season well under way, no losses were reported from the 67 S&P 500 companies reporting second quarter 2017 earnings last week. Over 80% beat their earnings estimates, according to Bloomberg. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biotech pharmaceutical company that develops drugs for cystic fibrosis, cancer and neurological disorders, showed the best performance for the week in the S&P 500 Index with a 24.57% return. The stock jumped 20.83% on Wednesday after announcing positive results from a study of their triple-drug cocktail for cystic fibrosis patients. The company is expected to report earnings this week. Netflix Inc., an internet subscription service for watching television shows and movies, returned 17.02% last week. The stock reported earnings after the close on Monday beating second quarter subscriber estimates for both international and domestic markets. The company also increased their third quarter subscriber guidance ramping up their growth expectations. Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., an operator of cable television channels such as HGTV, DIY and Food Network, climbed 16.25% last week. Shares of the company jumped 14.73% on Wednesday after news of resumed merger talks with Discovery Communications Inc. This week will give investors more earnings data with 186 S&P 500 Index members confirmed to release second quarter 2017 results.
Posted on Monday, July 24, 2017 @ 8:17 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.