The major stock market averages registered decent gains last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its 4th straight week of gains, adding on 1.2% to a record high of 34,200.67 (its first time above the 34,000 milestone). The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index also closed at another record high, gaining 1.4% to 4,185.47. For its part, the NASDAQ Composite has now advanced three weeks in a row, rising 1.1% last week to 14,052.34, closing in on its all-time high.
The financial sector highlighted the start of earnings season last week with reports that came in ahead of expectations. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, for example, all reported headline earnings numbers that beat consensus estimates.
Also looking good last week was some key economic data. March Retail Sales jumped an impressive 9.8%, versus expectations for an increase of 5.5%. Additionally, a report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed 576,000 Initial Unemployment Claims for the most recent period, which is the best level since March of last year, and better than market forecasts for 710,000 new jobless claims.
Overall, the market and the economy have been benefitting from trillions of dollars of monetary and fiscal policy stimulus, along with optimism surrounding the vaccine rollout and the economic reopening. These items, while simple and straightforward, are extremely powerful and have been the fuel for this Bull Market and the record high in stock prices. Looking to the week ahead, get ready for a busy week of earnings!
Companies scheduled to report this week include – Coca-Cola, International Business Machines, Edwards Lifesciences, Intuitive Surgical, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Verizon Communications, AT&T, Harley-Davidson, American Express, Honeywell International, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, Johnson & Johnson, Netflix, American Electric Power, Phillip Morris International, and Intel. On the economic front, we’ll also get the data on Existing Home Sales and New Home Sales for March.
As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, or if you would like to set up a meeting.
All the best – Southport Station Financial Management, LLC