US Stock Markets Ended April 23, 2021
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The S&P 500 Index lost 11 basis points last week after rising over 7% during the previous four straight weeks of gains. The index posted a new all-time closing high the previous Friday, April 16. Equities have continued to climb from their pandemic lows in March of 2020, as government stimulus, monetary policy, and COVID-19 vaccinations have contributed to their strength. This continued strength and new highs coupled with concerns over increasing valuations led to some of last week's trading volatility as investors took profits early in the week, but then bought lower after two days of declines. However, the sharpest move down came mid-day Thursday over news of a potential plan by the Biden administration to raise the capital gains tax rate to 39.6% on the wealthy, reaching a 43.4% tax with the inclusion of the Obamacare surtax. All sectors were down as the S&P 500 Index declined -0.91%, the largest one-day loss in over a month. Friday saw equities rebound with a 1.10% gain in the index as investors, who were still processing the previous days' tax news, digested positive economic data. U.S. initial jobless claims declined further to 547K, beating consensus estimates of 610K and the previous week's claims of 576K. This is the lowest weekly level reported since mid-March 2020. Crude oil closed at $62.14 per barrel on Friday, declining 1.57% for the week. The best performing stock in the S&P 500 Index last week was Equifax Inc., a top credit bureau that provides consumer credit scores, returning 20.28%. The stock opened higher on Thursday on their positive earnings announcement which revealed they recorded $1.2 billion in revenue for the first quarter, their highest ever quarterly revenue. Kansas City Southern (KSU), a rail freight transportation company, saw its stock price jump over 15% on Tuesday as Canadian National Railway Company offered a competing bid to acquire the company. KSU announced in March that they had agreed to be acquired by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited. Intel Corp opened down on Friday after their earnings release. The company beat expectations, but the earnings release revealed a larger than 20% drop in data-center sales. The stock declined 8.51% last week. Earnings announcements are in full swing and companies expected this week include Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., Tesla Inc., Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc., Comcast Corp, and many more.
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2021 @ 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.