US Stock Markets Ended Dec. 4, 2020

 
Last week the S&P 500 Index added to its upward trend returning 1.72% as expectations of additional federal stimulus created positive support for stocks. Optimism regarding the nearing of potential Covid vaccines has helped push stocks higher in the past few weeks. The index returned 10.95% in November, the best month since April's 12.82%. The index is up 16.50% YTD and 67.45% from the March 23rd bottom. U.S. initial jobless claims of 712K were much lower than the consensus estimate of 775K and the previous week's claims of 778K. Crude oil prices were down early in the week, but turned positive on Wednesday after reports that OPEC members were discussing potentially reversing production cuts slowly over several months. Crude oil closed at $46.26 per barrel on Friday climbing 1.60% for the week. HollyFrontier Corp was the best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index returning 14.52%. The oil, gas and consumable fuel company, along with Devon Energy Corp, Occidental Petroleum Corp, and energy equipment and services companies TechnipFMC Plc and Halliburton Company, helped energy secure the top performing sector as the S&P 500 Energy Index returned 4.50%. Micron Technology Inc., a memory chip manufacturer, returned 14.18% last week. One of the company's plants in Taiwan that produces DRAM chips lost power causing a stop to production for a day. This had a positive effect on the stock and other semiconductor names as the decreased supply would possibly increase prices and revenue for the companies. Micron produces approximately 10% of the worlds supply of DRAM. Salesforce.com Inc., a customer relationship management software developer, was the worst performing stock in the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.79%. The stock dropped after the announcement of their agreement to acquire real-time messaging software company Slack Technologies Inc. The acquisition target was up 5.24% last week and jumped 37.59% on November 25 on rumors the two companies were in talks to finalize a deal. A few earnings announcements expected this week include Adobe Inc., Oracle Corp, Broadcom Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp, and AutoZone Inc.
Posted on Monday, December 7, 2020 @ 8:12 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.