The Week In Review



Stocks were range-bound on Friday, drifting near their flat lines from open to close. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended with losses of 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively, while the Dow eked out a very slim victory, adding less than 0.1%. Small caps showed relative strength once again, pushing the Russell 2000 up 0.1% and to its third consecutive record close.

Friday's outing left the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, and the Dow with weekly losses of around 0.5% apiece. The Russell 2000 finished the week up 1.2%.

There were several notable post-earnings movers on Friday, mostly to the downside. Shares of Nordstrom (JWN 45.36, -5.55) slid 10.9% after the high-end retailer missed quarterly estimates for same-store sales, and Applied Materials (AMAT 49.51, -4.45) shares dropped 8.3% after the company, which supplies tools used by chipmakers, cut its revenue guidance. Shares of Campbell Soup (CPB 34.37, -4.85) also took a beating, tumbling 12.4%, after the company slashed its earnings guidance, announced the immediate retirement of its CEO, and said it'll be launching a months-long strategic review.

However, on the upside, Deere (DE 155.25, +8.44) shares rallied 5.8% after the company's upbeat revenue guidance overshadowed an earnings miss. The industrial sector, which houses Deere, finished at the top of Friday's sector standings with a gain of 0.6%. The health care and materials groups also showed relative strength, adding 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively.

Within the health care space, Amgen (AMGN 176.30, +1.65) shares rallied 0.9% after the company won FDA approval for the first drug designed to prevent migraines.

The financials and energy sectors were the worst-performing groups, losing 0.9% and 0.8%, respectively. Financials slid in tandem with Treasury yields, which retreated from multi-year highs. The benchmark 10-yr yield slid four basis points to 3.07%. Similarly, energy struggled as crude futures ticked down from a three-and-a-half year high. WTI crude futures slipped 0.3% to $71.25/bbl.

In U.S.-China trade news, Beijing denied Thursday reports that it has offered to slash its trade surplus with the U.S. by up to $200 billion. On a related note, shares of Dutch semiconductor company NXP (NXPI 111.02, +4.31) jumped 4.0% after a Chinese official said approval of the company's proposed merger with U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM 57.51, +0.56) is looking "more optimistic." The deal has been approved by eight of the nine required global regulators, with Chinese approval still pending.

Across the pond, two anti-establishment parties in Italy, the 5 Star Movement and the League, have agreed on a governing platform and are expected to nominate a prime minister in time for Monday's meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. Italy's MIB lost 1.5% on Friday while other major European indices finished just a tick lower.

Investors did not receive any notable economic data on Friday.

  • Nasdaq Composite +6.5% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +5.9% YTD
  • S&P 500 +1.5% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average UNCH YTD

Week In Review: Stocks Stumble As Yields Rise

The stock market stumbled this week, giving back about a quarter of last week's advance, with the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, and the Dow losing between 0.5% and 0.7%. However, shares of smaller, domestically-focused companies outperformed, sending the Russell 2000 higher by 1.2%. The Russell 2000 closed at a new record high in each of the last three sessions of the week.

Beijing sent a delegation to Washington this week for a second round of trade talks after the first round failed to move the needle earlier this month. There was some optimism ahead of this week's negotiations after President Trump announced over the weekend that he's working to get Chinese phone company ZTE, which is suffering due to U.S. sanctions, "back into business." However, the optimism faded after the president acknowledged on Thursday that he's doubtful a deal can be reached.

In other international developments, Italy's major stock index tumbled 2.9% this week and its 10-yr yield shot higher by 35 basis points as two anti-establishment parties, the 5 Star Movement and the League, neared forming a governing coalition that will almost certainly clash with the European Union. Separately, U.S. officials said the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are still nowhere near a deal on NAFTA.

On Wall Street, Treasury yields were in focus after they spiked to multi-year highs on Tuesday. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note hit 3.11%, its highest level since July 2011, before slipping to 3.07% on Friday. Still, that represents a gain of 10 basis points for the week. The rise in "risk free" returns lured some buyers away from the equity market, putting Wall Street's May rally on hold.

Tuesday's spike in Treasury yields coincided with the release of the Retail Sales report for April, even though the report came in as expected, showing a month-over-month increase of 0.3%.

On a related note, retailers dominated the earnings front this week, with Walmart (WMT), Home Depot (HD), Macy's (M), Nordstrom (JWN), and J.C. Penney (JCP) reporting their quarterly results. All five companies beat earnings estimates, but Walmart, Home Depot, Nordstrom, and J.C. Penney fell short on same-store sales, sending their shares lower. Shares of Macy's, conversely, soared after the company beat same-store sales estimates and raised its guidance for the fiscal year.

Apart from earnings, shares of CBS (CBS) dropped sharply on Thursday after a judge ruled against the company in its attempt to dilute its controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, who is attempting to force a CBS-Viacom (VIAB) merger. The Redstone family controls both CBS and Viacom through its holding company, National Amusements.

As for the sector standings, decliners outnumbered advancers seven to four this week. The rate-sensitive utilities (-3.2%) and real estate (-3.2%) sectors were the worst-performing groups, largely due to the rise in Treasury yields. The heavily-weighted technology (-1.5%) and financials (-1.1%) spaces also struggled. On the upside, the energy (+1.5%) and materials (+1.6%) sectors were the top performers.

Following this week's decline, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are up 1.5% and 6.5% for the year, respectively, and the Dow is now flat.

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