US Stock Markets Ended Feb. 26, 2021
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The S&P 500 Index declined 2.41% last week with only one sector showing positive performance. Equities were led lower by utilities, consumer discretionary, and information technology sectors. Treasury yields continued their recent rapid ascent resulting in volatility in stocks as reflation policies once again tested the strength in the equity bull market. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before Congress pledging to continue a supportive monetary policy and downplaying inflation concerns. U.S. initial jobless claims of 730K were much lower than the consensus estimate of 825K and the previous week's claims of 861K. Crude oil closed at $61.50 per barrel on Friday, jumping 3.81% for the week helping energy post the best and only positive sector performance. Some of the top energy names last week included Marathon Oil Corp, Pioneer Natural Resources Company, Apache Corp, Haliburton Company, NOV Inc., and Valero Energy Corp. The best performance in the S&P 500 Index last week was Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., returning 18.26%. News of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week helped boost travel & leisure stocks such as cruise lines and airlines whose shares were hit hard at the start of COVID-19 and have weathered a tough business season through the pandemic. Other top performing travel & leisure stocks included American Airlines Group Inc., Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, Southwest Airlines Company, United Airlines Holding Inc., Carnival Corp, and Marriott International Inc. The worst performing stock last week in the S&P 500 Index was Viatris Inc., a global healthcare company with many products such as Lipitor and Xanax, returning -18.45%. The stock opened lower on Monday after the company issued 2021 revenue guidance below estimates. The company announces earnings on March 3. Other companies expected to announce earnings this week include Broadcom Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp, Target Corp, Ross Stores Inc., Brown-Forman Corp, Autozone Inc., The Kroger Company, and many more.

Posted on Monday, March 1, 2021 @ 9:02 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.