US Stock Markets Ended Jan. 3, 2020
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The S&P 500 Index closed out 2019 last Tuesday with a 31.48% return. Semiconductor stocks Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Lam Research Corp, and KLA Corp were the top three performing stocks in the index for 2019, returning 148.43%, 119.31%, and 103.99% respectively. The index's 2019 performance was second only to 2013's 32.37% return over the past 10 years. For the decade which also ended last Tuesday, the index posted a 256% return, equivalent to a 13.5%+ average annual return. The S&P 500 Index declined 12 bps for last week's shortened trading week with the observation of the New Year's holiday. Equities showed a positive start to 2020 climbing 0.85% on Thursday. Friday morning brought reports that the United States had carried out a successful drone strike on an Iranian military leader and an Iraqi militia leader, leading to retaliatory threats from Iran and threats of more action by the United States if Iran retaliated. Equities opened lower over geopolitical concerns regarding the threats of an escalating conflict as the index declined 0.70% on Friday. However, defense stocks like Northrup Grumman Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp, and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. all jumped on the news as well as oil stocks like Occidental Petroleum Corp, Concho Resources Inc., and Hess Corp. Crude oil climbed 3.06% on Friday, closing at $63.05 per barrel and gaining 2.15% for the week. U.S. initial jobless claims of 222K were equal to the previous week's claims and similar to the consensus estimate of 220K. Lamb Weston Holdings Inc., a packaged food company, was the best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index last week returning 8.70% after a strong positive earnings report boosted the stock on Friday. Biopharmaceutical company Incyte Corp was the worst performing stock in the index last week, returning -11.87%. The stock declined on Friday on news of a failed late-stage trial. Earnings announcements expected this week include Intuitive Surgical Inc., Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., Constellation Brands Inc., and Lennar Corp.
Posted on Monday, January 6, 2020 @ 8:50 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.