The markets were closed Monday, honoring Presidents Day, so the week’s action began Tuesday when the stock market started off lower on several mixed earnings announcements. Indices still managed to close the day with gains, as trade talks between the United States and China resumed. The major indices closed in the green zone on Wednesday on a variety of economic news. From a sector perspective, Basic Materials and Industrials showed strength, while Healthcare lagged the broader market. Comments from the January FOMC meeting showed solid economic growth, but Fed officials plan to be patient on any future interest-rate increases. Sentiment reversed Thursday with stocks trading into red territory. Department of Labor reported first-time claims for the week ending Feb. 16 fell to 216,000. Additionally, durable goods orders climbed in December, as orders for products designed to last several years increased by 1.2%. The result was slightly shy of consensus forecasts. In housing news, existing home sales slipped in January, falling 1.2% from December. Sales are down 8.5% from January 2018. Friday the market kicked off trading higher, with stocks recovering from the previous day’s downward direction. The Technology sector was among the strongest performers for the day, while Consumer Staples was among the weakest. Decent earnings reports likely helped to boost sentiment, resulting in the indices moving higher. Furthermore, positive developments out of the U.S. trade talks with China increased the likelihood of a deal being completed. Capping off the week, the Cboe Volatility Index® hit its lowest level in several months.