This week not only closes out the week but also the month and the quarter. All three major US indexes ended the week up with the Dow rising 1.67%, Nasdaq was up 0.72% and the S&P 500 rose 1.2%. Global markets also had a good week rising an average of 2.08% according to the Dow Global Index (DJWO).
This week didn’t have an increase across all sectors. Utilities and Communication Services both had a decline for the week. Utilities lost 0.71% for the week and Communications Services declined 0.36%. The leading sector for the week were the Industrials which climbed 2.86% and the closely watched Financials were in the middle of the pack with an increase of 1.45%.
The chart below illustrates the weekly moves.
As the quarter closes out, it was a fairly light week of earnings reports but the 29 releases that are tracked by a lot of analysts returned an average of 3.03%, ahead of the major indexes for the week. Of the 29 tracked announcements 21 of them beat expectations. 10 of the stocks declined for the week.
- Red Hat (RHT) announced earnings of $1.16 on Monday against an expected $1.01. Revenues increased 13.8% in the last year and earnings were up over 27%. Shares were up 0.55% which was ahead of the technology sector which gained 0.25%.
- Chinese online financial marketplace Yirendi (YRD) had an 18.43% weekly gain after announcing earnings of $1.32 as compared to an expected $0.60. This was ahead of last years’ $1.11 earnings. Shares increased in spite of a revenue decline of 34.1% versus last year.
- At Home Group (HOME) was the big decline of the week missing expected earnings of $0.48 by a penny at $0.47. This was a decline of $.03 a share from last year. Shares were off 19.44%
- Spice company McCormick (MKC) announced earnings of $1.12 a share against an expectation of $1.04. Shareholders were rewarded with a weekly gain of 5.8%
The big news item of the week centered around the delivery of the Mueller report to the Justice Department, which didn’t really seem to have much of an impact on the market. A 4-page summary of the report has been released.
Lyft had their IPO on Friday, pricing on Thursday at $72 a share, which was at the top of their expected range. The stock closed at $78.29 a share after popping 20% when it opened trading.
Apple had a set of announcements this week that were widely said to have been a bit of a dud. The “big” thing coming out was the announcement of an Apple credit card. The stock was off nearly 0.6% for the week.
The thing with the biggest impact on the markets this week was a calming of the yield curves after some inverted last week. Mortgage interest rates fell last week, Q4 GDP was revised down to 2.2% and business confidence declined in March.
The Upcoming Week
Next week starts off with an announcement on February retail sales by the Census Bureau. Many economists are expecting an increase of 0.3% after January’s increase of 0.2%.
ADP will be releasing their report on March employment on Wednesday. The expectation is for a gain of 170 thousand jobs after last months increase of 183,000. The BLS will be releasing their report on employment on Friday with similar expectations of 175,000 after their February announcement of 20,000. It will be interesting to see how much February will be revised.