US Stocks Week Ended May 18, 2012
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Last week, the S&P 500 Index continued its fall posting the worst performing week of the year with a -4.23% return. While the index performance was up 11.87% from the start of 2012 through the end of April, May has given back a large portion with a performance of -7.16% for the month. Greece was still a major concern for investors last week. Some headlines showed that Greek depositors withdrew EUR700 million from local Greek banks on Monday. The European Central Bank stated that it would curb lending and cease providing liquidity to some Greek banks. With the increasing risk that Greece may exit the euro zone, Fitch downgraded Greece to CCC from B-. The US also had negative economic news adding to the drop in equities. The Philadelphia Fed Index reported a -5.8. The consensus was 10.0 and the previous month was 8.5. A number greater than zero signals expansion in manufacturing in the Philadelphia region. The index of US Leading Indicators fell -0.1%, while consensus was +0.1% and the previous month was a +0.3%. Facebook, a social networking website, began trading on Friday under the ticker FB with an IPO of $38. The stock closed at $38.23 on its first day of trading. All ten economic sectors had negative performance last week. Telecommunication services was the strongest with a -0.27% return for the week. The financials and materials sectors performed the worst of all ten sectors returning -6.99% and -6.55% respectively., a software company, turned in the best performance in the S&P 500 Index with a 5.66% return for the. The next best performer was Wal-Mart Stores with a return of 5.07%. Only 18 companies in the S&P 500 Index had positive performance for the week. This week will bring more earnings news from companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Medtronic, Costco Wholesale, Lowe's, Dell, Campbell Soup and Best Buy.
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 8:58 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.