Stocks had a rough week. Following the politically driven decline in prices since Wednesday afternoon, each of the major large-cap indexes remains well below its respective previous-week closing levels. The Dow Industrials dropped 0.8%, the S&P 500 0.7% and the NASDAQ by 0.4%. Utilities and late bidding in energy saw these two sectors outperform, while consumer discretionary stocks ebbed. While the bulls got a boost from a rosy Consumer Confidence Survey reading (97.6) from the University of Michigan, continued negative movement on Friday underscored the recent uncertainty that has characterized trading over the past several weeks. Ongoing uncertainty in the White House has tempered investor’s initial enthusiasm on President Trumps original agenda. As these controversies mounted in recent months, traders have appeared to grow weary over the possibility that corporate tax rates, infrastructure spending and financial deregulation can be implemented before next year’s midterm election season. Terrorist attacks in Barcelona also weighed on traders’ minds.
Earnings reporting season has come and gone, and the news has been supportive. More than 70% of the companies in the S&P 500 Index have exceeded profit expectations for the second quarter. True, there have been disappointments, and these have been dealt with harshly, especially some brick-and-mortar retail plays. On balance, however, the performance has been sufficiently positive to keep Wall Street’s bulls on board.
Here is the answer to last week’s trivia question: The ticker symbol DOOR is attributed to what NYSE listed company? Avon, Masonite International, Domino’s Pizza or ADT. Answer: Door manufacturer Masonite International Corp.
Today’s Trivia Question: Radarange, the first commercial microwave oven discovered in 1947 and sold to consumers by Amana beginning in 1967, was invented by Amana’s then parent company? Litton Industries, General Electric, Panasonic or Raytheon.