The Week In Review



The major averages ticked up between 0.1% and 0.3% on Friday, extending their weekly gains to 1.2%-2.8%. Stocks opened modestly lower as technology shares weighed, but the consumer staples and health care sectors helped turn things around later in the session. The day was pretty quiet in terms of headlines, although the Group of Seven (G7) did kick of its annual summit in Quebec.

President Trump is expected to be on the outside looking in at this year's G7 summit after his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports was met with resistance from U.S. allies. The president further stirred the pot on Friday by saying the G7 -- which used to be the G8 before Russia got thrown out in 2014 for its annexation of Crimea -- should let Russia back into the group. Investors weren't spooked by the tension though, nor were they fazed by reports that Chinese government hackers stole massive amounts of highly sensitive data from a U.S. Navy contractor.

Nearly all S&P 500 sectors advanced on Friday, but gains were modest for the most part. The consumer staples sector was an exception though, adding 1.3%. Monster Beverage (MNST 55.48, +2.65) was the top-performing consumer staples component, rallying 5.0%, following its annual shareholder meeting. The health care sector also showed relative strength, climbing 0.7% in a broad-based rally.

The energy (-0.2%) and utilities (unch) sectors were the only groups to finish Friday in the red, but the top-weighted information technology group also lagged, closing just a tick above its unchanged mark. Within the tech space, Apple (AAPL 191.70, -1.76) lost 0.9% following reports that it has asked its supply chain to prepare around 20% fewer components for iPhones debuting in the second half of 2018, and Broadcom (AVGO 257.97, -6.71) dropped 2.5% despite reporting better-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday evening.

Elsewhere, U.S. Treasuries finished Friday on a flattish note, with the yield on the benchmark 10-yr note ticking up one basis point to 2.94%. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude futures slid 0.3% to $65.76 per barrel, and the U.S. Dollar Index climbed 0.1% to 93.56 to end a four-session losing streak.

Reviewing Friday's economic data, which was limited to Wholesale Inventories for April:

  • April Wholesale Inventories ticked up 0.1% ( consensus +0.2%). The March reading was revised to +0.2% from +0.3%.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that sales growth outpaced inventories growth, which is a positive dynamic that can eventually help wholesalers regain pricing power if it persists.

Investors will not receive any economic data on Monday.

  • Nasdaq Composite +10.8% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +8.9% YTD
  • S&P 500 +3.9% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +2.4% YTD

Week In Review: Third Straight Weekly Advance

The U.S. equity market advanced for the third week in a row, with the benchmark S&P 500 index adding 1.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was particularly strong, adding 2.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite and the Russell 2000 touched new record highs, finishing the week with respective gains of 1.2% and 1.5%.

There were several notable corporate headlines this week, starting on Monday when the executive chairman and former CEO of Starbucks (SBUX), Howard Schultz, announced that he will be stepping down. In talking about his future plans, Mr. Schultz failed to rule out a run for the White House, prompting speculation that he'll challenge President Trump in 2020.

Elsewhere in the consumer discretionary space, Tesla (TSLA) shares spiked on Wednesday after CEO Elon Musk said it's "quite likely" that Tesla will hit its target for producing 5,000 Model 3 electric vehicles per week by the end of June. Retailers soared this week, sending the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) higher by 6.3%, following comments from Evercore ISI Research, which suggested that fears about Amazon's (AMZN) ever-growing footprint may be overblown. Some short-covering activity also likely helped push retail shares higher.

Meanwhile, in the tech space, Facebook (FB) came under scrutiny once again following news that the social media company has data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies, including one flagged as a national security threat by American intelligence officials. Separately, Apple (AAPL) shares dropped on Friday following reports that the company has asked its supply chain to prepare around 20% fewer components for iPhones debuting in the second half of 2018.

In Washington, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. has struck a deal to end crippling sanctions against Chinese telecom giant ZTE that includes a $1 billion penalty and the implementation of a U.S.-chosen compliance team to monitor the company going forward. ZTE will also be required to change its board of directors and its executive team. On a related note, China is reportedly ready to approve Qualcomm's (QCOM) proposed acquisition of NXP Semi (NXPI).

Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) kicked off their annual summit on Friday in the small Canadian resort town of La Malbaie. This year's meeting is expected to be more contentious than usual due to President Trump's decision to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium. French President Emmanuel Macron has threatened to exclude the U.S. from the annual joint statement, symbolizing the strained relationship between the U.S. and its allies.

In Europe, the ECB's Chief Economist, Peter Praet, said the European Central Bank will discuss how to wind down its asset purchase program at next week's policy meeting after officials agreed that inflation is moving towards the central bank's target of 2.0%. The euro responded by rallying against the U.S. dollar, adding nearly 1.0% for the week.

The Fed will also be meeting next week, and it's all but certain that officials will hike interest rates for the second time this year. The question is whether the updated interest-rate projections, which will be released alongside the rate-hike decision on Wednesday, will call for one or two more hikes this year.

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