US Stock Markets Ended June 19, 2020
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Last week, equities rallied as fears of a second wave of COVID-19 abated. The S&P 500 Index finished up 1.9% as Health Care and Information Technology names helped buoy equities. Since the top of the index on 2/19/2020 Information Technology has been the top sector and Health Care the fourth best sector in the index. That lead to Momentum being the top factor last week and almost on cue Value being the worst performing factor last week. As the equity market continues to adjust to the fallout of the COVID-19 recession, factor volatility remains high. Month over month retail sales grew 17.7% in May, crushing the 8.4% estimates from economists and marked the highest month on record. Understandably this followed April retail sales plummet of 14.7%, the worst month on record. Retail sales roaring back adds more evidence that a V shape recovery is possible as more states continue their efforts to further open. Not everything is opening soon, the Cruise Lines International Association announced cruises out of US ports are suspended until September 15th, this sent Carnival Corp, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean all down over 5% last week. Eli Lilly & Co jumped over 15% on Tuesday after announcing very positive phase 3 results on the breast cancer drug Verzenio. Additional positive cancer drug news came from Jazz Pharmaceuticals as they rallied nearly 9% after the FDA approved Zepzelca for metastatic small cell lung cancer. Looking ahead to next week, headlines on the COVID pandemic are likely to drive equity market returns. There have been several states (Florida, Texas, Arizona and California among others) where cases have been accelerating but further data is needed to determine if there will be an additional wave of hospitalizations. 
Posted on Monday, June 22, 2020 @ 8:22 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.