US Stock Market Ended February 23, 2019

US equity markets were closed last Monday in observation of the federal holiday Presidents' Day. The S&P 500 Index returned 65 basis points for the shortened trading week, adding to the indexes YTD climb of 11.74%. United States President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met in Washington last Friday and into the weekend for the ongoing trade talks. President Trump announced that the March 1 deadline for a trade agreement could be extended a month to prevent higher American tariffs from starting. Both the President and the Vice Premier gave optimistic comments on a likely future trade deal. Crude oil prices have continued to climb since late December lows and closed the week at $57.26 per barrel, increasing 3.00% for the week. In economic news, US initial jobless claims of 216K were much lower than the previous week's 239K and the consensus estimate of 228K. Utilities and materials showed strength last week while energy and health care showed relative weakness. Optimism over positive trade talks and China being a large copper consumer helped copper futures climb to their highest level since July 2018. Newmont Mining Corp, a materials company that produces and markets gold and copper, returned 9.75% last week. The stock saw momentum as the company announced beating fourth quarter earnings expectations and on reports from Friday that the largest gold producer and rival Barrick Gold was considering a takeover bid. Garmin Ltd., a consumer electronics manufacturer of GPS-enabled products, was the week's best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index climbing 15.99%. The stock opened higher on Tuesday after the company announced positive fourth quarter earnings results beating expectations and proposed a dividend increase. The Kraft Heinz Company, a producer of food products, was the week's worst performing stock in the S&P 500 Index declining 26.61%. The stock opened lower on Friday after releasing disappointing earnings on Thursday night and the announcement of a write down of over $15 billion of goodwill and intangible assets.
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2019 @ 8:06 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.