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Earnings season is slowing down, but there were still key events for investors to focus on this week. Below is an overview of the final week of February.
On Monday morning, we saw disappointing earnings from British bank HSBC (HSBC ).
Existing home sales fell 4.9% in January to their lowest point in nine months. According to the report, the decline was primarily due to drops in the Northeast and the West.
The market dipped as oil prices declined; crude oil fell 2.8% to $49.45 and Brent crude oil declined 2.2% to $58.90.
The Dow dipped 0.1%, the S&P dropped 0.03% and the Nasdaq rose 0.1%.
There were several notable earnings releases on Tuesday morning.
The spotlight was on Janet Yellen on Tuesday, as she noted that the decision to raise interest rates will be determined on a meeting-to-meeting basis. For investors concerned about rising rates, check out One Way to Avoid Rate Hike Fears.
After hours, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ) reported lower first quarter results and a weak outlook for the year. Shares fell in after hours and continued to fall on Wednesday.
The Dow rose 0.5%, the S&P increased 0.3% and the Nasdaq rose 0.1%.
On Wednesday morning, a few big retailers released financial results.
The New Homes Sales report was released, indicating that sales had fallen in January, but the average price remained steady.
Janet Yellen continued her two-day testimony, reiterating that the Fed may boost interest rates later this year if the economy improves. Check out the highlights here.
After hours, we saw impressive quarters from L Brands (LB) and Avago Technologies (AVGO ).
The Dow rose 0.1%, the S&P dipped 0.1% and the Nasdaq declined 0.02%.
There were several notable reports on Thursday morning. Earnings news included retailer Kohl’s (KSS ) reporting higher-than-expected fourth quarter results.
In economic news, weekly jobless claims surged to 313,000, and missed estimates of 290,000. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that the Consumer Price Index dropped 0.7% in January – its first drop since 2009.
The Dow dipped 0.06%, the S&P dropped 0.14% and the Nasdaq increased 0.42%.
While there were not many earnings releases this morning, the focus of the final trading day of February was on the GDP report.
Fourth quarter GDP rose 2.2%, down from the initial estimates of a 2.6% increase. In the third quarter of 2014, we saw GDP grow of 5%.
Earnings season is coming to a close, but there are still a few notable earnings releases next week including Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS ), Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS ), Costco (COST ) and Kroger (KR ).
Next week, there will also be a few noteworthy economic reports including the Employment Situation and the International Trade report.
Did you know that many companies pay their dividends monthly, rather than quarterly? Consult our Monthly Dividend Stocks page for a full list of these stocks, which can prove very useful for income-minded investors.
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