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Binary Options - Weekly Review

Week in Review for July 18th – 22nd, 2016:

Markets Close Higher after a Volatile Week

On Friday, stocks closed higher for a 4th week of gains as telecommunication stocks performed well. The rise in telecom shares offset weakness in the industrial sector as traders awaited next week’s Federal Reserve policy statement.

The S&P 500 index advanced 9.86 points, or 0.5%, to close at a new all-time high of 2,175.03. This was helped by 1.3% jumps in both telecom and utilities – sectors typically viewed as defensive. The previous all-time closing high for the index was 2,173.02 on Wednesday. All 10 of the S&P 500’s sectors closed in positive territory, with the worst performer being a fractional gain in industrials sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53.62 points, or 0.3%, to close at 18,570.85, led by gains in Visa, American Express Co., and Microsoft, which offset declines in General Electric and Caterpillar. The gains come after the blue-chip gauge snapped its nine-session win streak on Thursday. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ rose 26.26 points, or 0.5%, to close at 5,100.16, its highest close of 2016.

A number of better-than-expected earnings offered some cause for cheer among traders and provided some support for equities to climb with earnings season a third of the way complete.

At the moment, second quarter profits are on track to contract 4.2% with more than 100 companies in the S&P 500 already out with quarterly results. That compares with an expected fall in profit of 5.3% in the second quarter.

Analysts are suggesting that the next market influencer will likely will be the Federal Reserve policy meeting on July 26th – 27th. Although the central bank isn’t expected to push benchmark rates higher, market participants will review the updated policy statement for clues on the pace and timing of the next rate hike, which could influence the US dollar.

On Friday, Markit’s preliminary reading of its manufacturing purchasing managers index came in at 52.9 for July from 51.3 in the prior period, beating analyst expectations, who were expecting a reading of 51.5. A reading above the 50 level indicates expansion.

Gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,323.40 an ounce for a weekly loss of 0.3% while oil futures settled down 1.3% at $44.19 a barrel, after weekly rig count data showed a fourth increase in a row.

European stocks fell 0.2% a day after the European Central Bank left monetary policy unchanged. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 1.1% lower, as Asian markets fell.

Stock spotlight: Netflix (Ticker: NFLX)

Last week, Netflix reported disappointing 2nd quarter results, due to a rise in subscriber cancellations that began in April. This caused subscriber growth to fall well short of most traders’ expectations. Nevertheless, Netflix executives remain confident about the company's long-term growth.

Analysts quickly began to address the causes behind this decline. First of all, analysts noted that a major long-term opportunity still remains for the company. Since everyone is using internet video and streaming, analysts expect that every American household could be subscribing to Netflix in the next 10 years.

Even though domestic subscriber growth slowed in Q2, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is sticking to his forecast that the company will eventually have 60 -90 million domestic subscribers. Hastings continues to believe that all TV viewing will eventually move to the internet. Netflix is well positioned to attract a large share of TV viewing in the future.

The slowdown in growth also affected Netflix's international markets. Even though Netflix launched in 130 additional countries back in January, international subscriber growth was down 36% year over year in the second quarter.

Nevertheless, Netflix doesn't plan to change its strategy by offering a lower priced option in emerging markets. Instead it wants to set itself apart as a premium service and improve its content to the point that many people will pay about $10/month to subscribe to Netflix.

Additionally, the company believes that its original content continues to work well and will be a source of revenue for the firm. It has experienced a lot of growth in its original films, series and documentaries.

Original content is a critical advantage that Netflix plans to use to drive subscriber growth. Not only does original content help elevate Netflix's brand, it also generates more member viewing per dollar. As a result, Netflix may one day allocate 50% or more of its content budget to originals.

Netflix CFO David Wells pointed out that Netflix has a potential advantage over competitors due to its global scale. If it can create original content that has broad appeal across the world, Netflix will be able to spread the costs of its originals across more viewers.

Despite the somewhat negative growth figures, the company continues to feel optimistic and has aligned its strategic plans for growth internationally.

On the week, Netflix’s stock reached a weekly high of $99.46 on Monday before it traded at a weekly low of $84.42 on Tuesday.

The Week Ahead…

In the week ahead, the majority of traders will be watching for the continuation of earnings season. This coming week, earnings from Apple and Las Vegas Sands will be released. For instance, if Apple announces revenue growth, this is likely to cause a rise in the value of Apple’s stock. From an economic data perspective, a range of US figures will be release in the week ahead. On Tuesday July 26th consumer confidence and new home sales data will be released. If consumer confidence is on the rise, this could send a positive signal of growth in the US economy. As a result, US indices such as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, could rise in response. Then, on Thursday, July 28th, jobless claims data will be announced in the US. Finally, on Friday, July 29th, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and consumer sentiment figures will be released. If declining consumer sentiment data is announced this could cause a drop in the value of US indices such as the NASDAQ an S&P 500.

In Summary

This past week was quite volatile compared to the recent performance of stocks and indices. Despite this uneasiness, market indices were still able to close in record positions. So far earnings haven’t portrayed the rosiest of pictures for the stock market. However, there are still quite a few large stocks that have yet to announce their results. In the weeks ahead, traders will be focused on these revenues as they are likely to set the scene on if indices will continue to reach record levels or if they will start to decline.

Disclaimer: This material is considered a marketing communication and does not contain, or be not be construed as containing investment advice or an investment recommendation or as a form of solicitation for any transactions with financial trading instruments. It should be noted that past performance is not a guarantee of or prediction of future performance. The Company does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation. The Company makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, nor any loss arising from any investment based on a perceived recommendation, forecast or other information supplied by an employee of the Company, a third party or otherwise. This material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements promoting the independence of investment research and it is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice. Any opinions made may be personal to the author and may not reflect the opinions of the Company.

click here for 2013's reviews, here for 2014's.

and here for 2015's.

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