Market Roundup: Strongest Opening Week for A Year in More Than a Decade

The major indices kicked off 2018 landing in the green zone on Tuesday. The S&P 500 Index and NASDAQ closed at new record highs while the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.4%. Indices closed well into green territory on Wednesday, as Technology stocks led the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ to new all-time record levels. In economic news, manufacturing activity increased in December. The Institute for Supply Management’s index ticked up to 59.7 from 58.2 in November. The Fed released the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s December meeting showing the decisions behind boosting interest rates a quarter point and an increase to its economic growth forecast for 2018. The Dow closed well over the 25,000 mark on Thursday, possibly notching the fastest 1,000-point gain in its history. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ also traded up to new all-time highs. Faster economic growth around the globe and improving sentiment have likely helped buoy the recent rally. Also on Thursday, the Labor Department showed an uptick in initial jobless claims of 3,000 to 250,000 new claims while the prior week’s level was upwardly revised by 2,000 to 247,000. As of the closing bell Friday, each of the major indexes ascended to new highs, as valuations continue to be propelled higher amidst broad-based, tax-related optimism. Friday also saw a lackluster update from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the employment front. The U.S. economy added 148,000 positions versus the 180,000 estimate for December.

Money Talks – December 30, 2017

This week on “Money Talks,” Troy Harmon, CFA, CVA, is joined by his Research Team including Analysts Nick Antonucci, CVA, and Jacob Keen, to discuss how the market shaped up the last week of the year. The research analysts also discuss their “Dogs of the Year,” the stocks they found painful to watch or those that just made bad decisions all around. Then the guys take a look at what 2018 has to offer the markets. They provide their outlook and opinions on what the year ahead holds, including interest rates, the yield curve, and sectors they like for 2018.

Market Roundup: Last Week of Trading Sees Dow Hit Another High

The last trading week of 2017 saw both red and green zones for the week between the Christmas and New Year holidays. Tuesday started with sluggish performance, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 index, and NASDAQ all closing down for the day. Economic news was limited; however, the S&P Case-Shiller Index showed home prices rose nicely during the month of October, suggesting that the housing market remains in good shape. Indices closed in green territory on Wednesday, as stocks stepped up in late afternoon trading. Healthcare and Technology sectors led advancers while Energy brands dipped on a decline in the price of crude oil. Looking elsewhere, U.S. home sales ticked up in November, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. The report showed a 0.2% jump in sales. The Dow hit an all-time record level for the 71st time this year on Thursday. Both the S&P and NASDAQ also closed in positive territory. Commodities, including gold and copper, and crude oil moved up. For the session, West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 0.5% to settle at $59.91 a barrel. Wall Street began the final trading day of 2017 on an up note, seemingly celebrating a stellar and record-breaking year for the stock market; however, a late selloff caused indices to close in the red zone on Friday.