US Stock Markets Ended Dec. 20, 2019
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Stocks closed out another week at all-time highs. The S&P 500 reached 3221 to bring the year to date total return to just over 31%. With stocks at record highs, the news out of Washington is hitting new lows. On Wednesday, President Trump became the third president to be impeached in our country's 243-year history. Despite the political dealings on impeachment, U.S. lawmakers were able to pass spending bills to avoid a partial government shutdown. On Friday, Speaker Pelosi invited the president to deliver the State of the Union address on February 4th, potentially during the Senate trial. The official start date of the Senate trial is in negotiation between the House and Senate leaders due to a standoff over the trial procedure. Moving to the trade front, the signing of the first phase of the trade deal with China is set for January. Through the noise in Washington, U.S. companies showed signs of potential themes in 2020. Yield sensitive sectors lead the market as Utilities and Real Estate were the best performing groups in the S&P 500. Conagra Brands reported earnings last week and the stock popped over 15% to close out the week up 23.5%. Other trade-sensitive stocks, such as US Steel, Navistar, and Cummins all announced job cuts and downgrades to their 2020 outlooks in a sign that the postponed trade deals are hurting the industries they were designed to protect. Looking ahead to next week, Monday's releases include durable goods orders and home sales data followed by Christmas amid what will likely be very light trading volume.
Posted on Monday, December 23, 2019 @ 8:49 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.