US Stocks Week Ended June 15, 2012
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Markets were mostly up in a week dominated by headlines from Greece and Spain. The pivotal announcement occurred Sunday when it appeared that Greece's pro-bailout party, New Democracy, secured victory in the Greek elections. The New Democracy Party is expected to enact austerity measures demanded by other European nations. This should be received as a positive by global markets heading into this week, but it most likely does not solve many of the ongoing problems. In China, it was announced that home prices fell in 54 of 70 cities followed by the government in May. According to Chinese real estate search engine company, Soufun Holdings, home prices fell .3% to a 16 month low in China. Moving Stateside, the US economy reported disappointing retail sales for the month of May. In addition, the Michigan consumer sentiment index fell significantly. Nevertheless, markets did respond favorably during the week. In individual stocks, Pier 1 Imports met investor expectations earning $.16 EPS, while producing an impressive 7.6% operating margin. Nucor Steel lowered Q2 guidance to a range $.35 to $.40 EPS from a consensus of $.50 EPS. WW Grainger reported favorable sales data for the month of May. Taking out the effect of acquisitions, sales were up 8% during the previous month. Omnicare Incorporated announced the abrupt departure of their CEO, John Figueroa, signaling uncertainty to the market concerning the company's strategy and future. This week, markets should get a boost from the Greek elections, while investors will still be focusing on Spain and its cost of funding. Microsoft will make a major announcement on Monday. While the company has not revealed what it plans to unveil, many believe the company will be announcing the launch of a branded tablet. Finally, companies announcing earnings this week are Adobe Systems, Jefferies Group, La-Z-Boy, and Barnes and Noble.
Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 8:22 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.