US Stock Markets Ended February 15, 2019

Equities pushed higher by over 2.5% to close out higher for the third consecutive week, measured by the S&P 500. Small cap stocks returned 4.38% and mid cap stocks posted a 3.38% return as measured by the S&P 600 and S&P 400, respectively. Consumer outlook coupled with positive developments in the China trade talks suppressed fears about global growth. On Friday, President Trump announced he will declare a national emergency to secure federal funding for a border wall. The move to circumvent the five to eight-billion-dollar addition to the federal spending bill will keep the government open and avoid another shutdown. The President is expected to sign the bill over the weekend. Amazon has decided to scrap its plans for a New York headquarters. The deal was championed by state officials, but local lawmakers opposed the $790 billion-dollar company's plan to transform their communities. Domestic economic growth was upheld in the energy markets as oil moved to over $55 a barrel to close out the week. The move in crude pushed energy stocks in the S&P 500 higher and the group lead the index for the week. Devon Energy, Marathon Oil, and Apache were some of the top performing energy stocks in the index. Coty Inc., a beauty product manufacturer, was one of the top performers in the S&P 500 after JAB Investments announced it will acquire control of the company. Uncertainty still exists on the global front, but domestic affairs are keeping stocks pushing higher. Looking ahead to next week, housing demand will be evidenced by the mortgage applications number. The minutes from the last FOMC meeting in January will be released on Wednesday and give insight into where the committee sees the US economy.
Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 @ 7:58 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.