First, we would like to thank all of the Veterans that have served our country allowing for the rest of us to go about our day without some of the worries that so many in the world deal with each and every day. We would also like to thank the families of those veterans as they have to deal with varying degrees of sacrifice as well and their support is also imperative to us all.
The major stock market averages posted decent gains last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2%, the NASDAQ Composite added 1.1%, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained .9%. The benchmark S&P 500 finished at a record high last Friday, and has now risen for five consecutive weeks. The Dow has a 3-week winning streak working, while the NASDAQ is on a 6-week win streak.
Stocks have been supported by strong U.S. employment, a friendly Federal Reserve, optimism over a US/China trade deal, and earnings that have largely been coming in better-than-expected. The highlight from the earnings reports last week was Walt Disney, which rose after the company reported both earnings and revenues that were above consensus estimates.
Looking at the total earnings reports so far: For the third-quarter of 2019, with 89% of the companies in the S&P 500 reporting actual results, 75% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive EPS (earnings per share) surprise, which is above the 5-year average of 72%, according to FactSet.
The market is opening a bit lower this morning as optimism surrounding US/China trade faded a bit, with Trump saying he has not agreed to roll back tariffs (trade headlines have moved the market in both directions many times this year), along with increased protests and violence in Hong Kong. Also in the mix is some good old-fashioned profit-taking, after the market hit a record high last week!
All the best – Southport Station Financial Management, LLC