US Stock Markets Ended Nov. 12, 2021
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After five straight weeks of gains, the S&P 500 Index posted a -0.27% return last week. The index has gained 26.21% YTD with all but two months in 2021, January and September, posting positive returns. Wednesday's release of the October CPI numbers put downward pressure on equities with energy and information technology taking the largest lumps. Both MoM and YoY CPI came in higher than expected, increasing concern that the Federal Reserve may speed up tapering and act sooner than expected in raising rates. Equities recovered some of their losses later in the week with information technology and materials rising the most. Inflation concerns are also affecting consumer sentiment, declining to levels not seen since 2011 and adding another variable for equity investors to consider. U.S. initial jobless claims of 267K were above the 260K expected, but lower than the previous week's 269K. Claims have continued to decline since peaking in early April and are approaching pre-pandemic levels. Crude oil closed at $80.79 per barrel on Friday, declining 59 basis points for the week. The cost of crude has climbed 66.51% YTD, helping energy post the best sector performance thus far in 2021 with the S&P 500 Energy Index returning 57.93% YTD. However, last week materials was the best performing sector with the S&P 500 Materials Index returning 2.57%. Strong performance from materials' stocks included Freeport-McMoRan Inc., CF Industries Holdings Inc., International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., and Newmont Corp. Electric truck maker Rivian Automotive Inc., which IPO'd at $78 per share last week, jumped 66.60% through Friday. The company is now worth more than both Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company with a market capitalization over $100 billion, making it the largest US company without revenue. Johnson & Johnson announced the spin-off of its consumer health business to focus on its pharmaceutical and medical devices businesses, creating two separate companies. Earnings announcements expected this week include NVIDIA Corp, Walmart Inc., The Home Depot Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Lowe's Companies Inc., and many more. 
Posted on Monday, November 15, 2021 @ 8:10 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.