US Stock Markets Ended May 3, 2019

US equity markets climbed higher last month as the S&P 500 Index returned 4.05% for April. The index is up 18.25% for the first four months of 2019 giving it the best four-month start in the last 30 years. The S&P 500 Index hit an all-time closing high of 2,945.83 last Wednesday as the index recorded a 22-basis point gain for the week. The Federal Reserve issued a statement on Wednesday leaving rates unchanged and acknowledged that inflation had decreased below their 2% objective. In economic news, US initial jobless claims of 230K matched the previous week's claims but were higher than the consensus estimate of 215K. The US unemployment rate came in at 3.6% for April, the lowest level since December 1969. Nonfarm payrolls gain of 263K was a large increase over the anticipated 190K. Crude oil closed the week at $61.94 per barrel, a decrease of 2.15% for the week. Crude oil prices fell on an unexpected increase in U.S. inventories, contributing to energy being the worst performing sector last week. Marathon Oil Corp, an independent energy company engaged in exploration and production, returned -9.78% last week. The company reported beating earnings estimates on Wednesday, but missed on revenue expectations. Alphabet Inc., internet giant known for Google and the Android operating system, declined 7.50% last Tuesday after releasing earnings. The company's revenue miss had a drag on communication services making it the worst performing sector of the day. Newell Brands Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of housewares and other consumer products, was the week's best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index climbing 16.13%. The stock has been under pressure and declined over 45% in the last twelve months through April, but received a boost last week as Friday's earnings announcement came with positive comments from the CEO on improving results. Incyte Corp, a biopharmaceutical focused on small molecule cancer drugs, increased 10.70% last week as it beat sales and earnings estimates. Many more earnings announcements expected this week.
Posted on Monday, May 6, 2019 @ 8:25 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.