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Leigh Baldwin & Co.

112 Albany Street, Cazenovia, NY 13035 | Phone: (315) 655-2964 Toll Free: 1-800-659-8044

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The Week In Review

6/18/18

The S&P 500 ended the week on a positive note by advancing 0.2% on Friday. Energy shares led the broad-based rally thanks to a spike in oil prices, which surged to a four-week high as OPEC wrapped up its latest summit in Vienna. However, financials, technology, and consumer discretionary stocks lagged, keeping gains in check. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 0.9%.

Friday's session was range-bound to say the least. The S&P 500 held a gain between 0.2% and 0.5% throughout the entire session, sticking to a 12-point range. Trading volume was extremely high due to the annual re-balancing of the Russell 1000 and Russell 2000 indices. Roughly 2.2 million shares changed hands at the New York Stock Exchange.

The OPEC summit was the biggest event of the day, as it ended on a somewhat unexpected note. Following a contentious two-day meeting, the oil-producing countries agreed to increase total output by roughly 600,000 barrels per day -- far less than the top end of estimates, which were calling for an increase of up to 1.5 million barrels per day.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures rallied 4.5% to $68.59 per barrel in reaction, helping the energy sector (+2.2%) finish unchallenged atop the sector standings; the next best-performing group -- materials -- added 1.4%. In total, eight of the eleven sectors finished in the green, with financials (-0.5%), technology (-0.4%), and consumer discretionary (-0.1%) being the three laggards. Unfortunately for the bulls, those three groups are heavily-weighted, representing around 50% of the broader market combined.

The financials and consumer discretionary sectors were holding up alright until the afternoon when they dropped to fresh session lows, while technology was weak throughout the session. Within the tech space, software company Red Hat (RHT 142.14, -23.59) tumbled 14.2% after disappointing guidance for its fiscal second quarter overshadowed its better-than-expected Q1 results.

In Washington, President Trump announced a new tariff threat via Twitter on Friday, vowing to slap a 20% tariff on automobiles produced in EU countries if the European Union fails to remove duties on imports of U.S. autos. The U.S. stock market dropped to new lows following the tweet, but didn't stay there for long.

U.S. Treasuries finished Friday on a flattish note, although shorter-dated issues showed relative weakness. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note finished unchanged at 2.90%, while the yield on the 2-yr Treasury note climbed two basis points to 2.55%. The U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.4%, slipping from an 11-month high.

Investors did not receive any notable economic data on Friday.

  • Nasdaq Composite +11.4% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +9.8% YTD
  • S&P 500 +3.0% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.6% YTD

Week In Review: Trade Tensions Weigh

Stocks fell this week as trade tensions helped to keep buyers at bay. The benchmark S&P 500 index ended the week lower by 0.9%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.7%, but did notch a new all-time high on Wednesday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 2.0%.

At the start of the week, investors were still weighing the prospect of a trade war between the U.S. and China after President Trump confirmed last Friday that he has approved a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Beijing responded swiftly to that news, vowing to implement equivalent duties on U.S. goods.

The story added a new chapter on Monday evening when President Trump asked his administration to identify an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that he says will be hit with a 10% tariff should China follow through on its promise to retaliate. In addition, if China retaliates against the new $200 billion list, Mr. Trump said he will place tariffs on yet another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The industrial sector, which is viewed as being in the crosshairs of protectionist trade actions, was the worst-performing S&P 500 group this week, losing 3.4%. Similarly, chipmakers, which derive a large chunk of their revenue from shipments to China, were also under pressure, sending the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index lower by 3.6%.

President Trump issued another tariff threat on Friday, this time targeting the European Union. The president said the U.S. will be imposing a 20% tariff on all automobiles imported from EU countries if the EU fails to remove duties on imports of U.S. automobiles. On a related note, as of Friday, the European Union has officially implemented tariffs on $3.2 billion worth of U.S. goods in retaliation to U.S. tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum that went into effect earlier this month.

Elsewhere, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met in Vienna this week to discuss easing production caps that have been in place for more than 18 months. The meeting was reportedly contentious, but the countries eventually agreed to boost oil output by a less-than-expected 600,000 barrels per day. WTI crude futures rallied to a four-week high on Friday following the news, and the energy sector reclaimed losses registered earlier in the week, finishing with a weekly gain of 1.5%.

In U.S. corporate news, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) will be joining the Dow Jones Industrial Average on June 26, taking the spot of General Electric (GE), which was one of the original Dow components and has been a continuous part of the average for more than a century. The decision follows a disastrous 18-month stretch for GE shares, which have dropped around 60% since the end of 2016.

Separately, media names returned to the spotlight on Wednesday when Walt Disney (DIS) increased its offer for 21st Century Fox's (FOXA) entertainment assets. Disney is now offering $38 per share, up from its previous offer of $28 per share and better than last week's offer from Comcast (CMCSA) of $35 per share.

E-commerce companies, including Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY), Wayfair (W), Overstock.com (OSTK), and Etsy (ETSY), sold off on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can require online retailers to collect sales tax, overturning a 1992 precedent.

Also of note, Intel's (INTC) chief executive, Brian Krzanich, resigned after breaking the company's non-fraternization policy, Oracle (ORCL) shares dropped to a 15-month low after the company's quarterly update provided less insight than usual into its growing cloud business, and Starbucks (SBUX) shares hit a three-year low after the company announced it will be scaling back store growth.

U.S. Treasuries ended the week on a modestly higher note, pushing the benchmark 10-yr yield lower by two basis points to 2.90%.

Headlines provided by briefing.com