US Stock Markets Ended Sept. 20, 2019
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The S&P 500 index declined 49 basis points last week. The previous weekends' attack on Aramco's oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia caused the index to open the week lower and oil prices to spike as crude jumped over 14% on Monday. Crude oil showed a volatile trading week as prices tapered off after Monday's spike, finishing the week with a 5.91% increase and closing at $58.09 per barrel. The Federal Open Market Committee met on Wednesday and announced another quarter-point rate reduction. Stocks initially dropped on the announcement but recovered with financials and utilities finishing strong. Stocks descended on Friday on increased trade tensions. Friday also brought quadruple witching, the quarterly occurrence when futures and options for stocks and indexes expire simultaneously. U.S. initial jobless claims of 208K were lower than the consensus estimate of 213K, but higher than the previous week's claims of 204K. Biopharmaceutical company Incyte Corp was the best performing stock in the index. The company which develops small molecule drugs that treat cancer returned 6.25% last week, climbing 3.96% on Friday as health care stocks showed strength. Exploration and production companies ConocoPhillips, Apache Corp, and Cimarex Energy Company were the big winners last week with the spike in crude oil as the companies returned 6.07%, 6.00%, and 5.76% respectively. Consumer discretionary company Chipotle Mexican Grill returned 5.94% last week. The stock jumped on Tuesday after the company announced a premium steak option being added to their menu. The worst performing stock in the S&P 500 Index last week was the package and freight delivery company FedEx Corp, declining 14.54%. The stock was punished on Thursday after their earnings announcement revealed they did not meet expectations. Earnings announcements expected this week include NIKE Inc., Accenture PLC, Micron Technology Inc., Carnival Corp, AutoZone Inc. and many others.
Posted on Monday, September 23, 2019 @ 8:41 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.