Market Perspective for February 14, 2020

The Nasdaq led the markets higher with a gain of 2.19 percent. The S&P 500 Index increased 1.56 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.01 percent.

Amazon (AMZN) helped power the consumer discretionary sector, gaining 2.71 percent. SPDR Consumer Discretionary (XLY) climbed 2.63 percent. SPDR Utilities (XLU) returned 2.61 percent as falling interest rates lifted the sector. The technology sector extended its winning streak on solid earnings from chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA). SPDR Technology (XLK) added 2.27 percent.

Investors bought higher-quality stocks this week. iShares Edge MSCI Minimum Volatility USA (USMV) outperformed the S&P 500 with an advance of 1.86 percent. Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (VIG) rose 1.59 percent.

The National Federation of Independent Business’ small-business confidence index rose to 104.3 in January. Business owners’ top worry is still finding enough qualified workers, while they grew more confident that sales would increase over the year.

Retail sales increased 0.3 percent in January. Sales ex-autos were also up 0.3 percent. The University of Michigan’s advance consumer sentiment survey for February increased to 100.9.

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) rallied 1.94 percent on the week. iShares China Large-Cap (FXI) gained 2.47 percent as Chinese shares also rallied. iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) saw a much smaller increase of 0.30 as the falling euro weighed on returns. The euro tumbled more than 1 percent. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.43 percent.

West Texas Intermediate climbed to $52 per barrel after opening the week at $49. SPDR Energy (XLE) rebounded 1.06 percent.

iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond (HYG) rallied 0.50 percent. Invesco Senior Loan (BKLN) rose 0.29 percent, while Fidelity Corporate Bond (FCOR) 0.17 percent.

Alibaba (BABA), Digital Realty Trust (DLR), Exact Sciences (EXAS), Hasbro (HAS), Chegg (CHGG), Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT) and XPO Logistics (XPO) were among the companies beating earnings over the past few days.


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