THE UPWARD MARCH CONTINUES

The major stock market indexes opened higher this morning ( Dow +151 pts; SPX +.5%). Consumer discretionary is the leading sector (+1.2%) on strength in its major constituents Amazon (AMZN) & Home Depot (HD). Semiconductor stocks are also up about 1.3%. Most other sectors are participating, save utilities and real estate. Those two groups recently achieved all-time highs and so some give-back is to be expected. WTI crude oil is down a bit to trade around $58.90/barrel after yesterday’s sharp rally. OPEC decided to continue established production cuts through June. Cuts by OPEC late last year are helping to balance global demand and supply even though US producers are steadily ramping production levels. Bonds are trading lower today as yields tick higher. The 10-year Treasury yield edged back up to 2.61%. We should perhaps expect some rate volatility around the Fed announcement tomorrow.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

WALL STREET MORE OPTIMISTIC

Stocks opened mixed. The Dow is currently down 30 pts but the SPX is flat. Utilities, real estate, and communications services sectors are down somewhere between .6% and .9%. On the other hand, financial and energy sectors are up over 1%. The VIX Index jumped up to 13.5 today—still considered pretty low. Remember, the fear gauge spiked above 35 last December during the bear market correction. Investor fear, as measured by options trading activity, is near a 5-month low. Commodities are trading slightly higher today. WTI crude oil rose to $59/barrel, the highest level in 4 months. Oil has now retraced 50% of its massive plunge during the last quarter of 2018. An OPEC committee recommended deferring a decision on whether to extend current production cuts. Those cuts are what allowed oil to begin recovering in January. Bonds are mixed today, with Treasuries up slightly and corporate bonds a bit lower. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.60%, the lowest level since January 3rd.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

BOND MARKET DEBATE

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +89 pts; SPX +.5%). The best performing sectors include tech (+1.4%) and financials (+.7%). Sub-groups like biotechs and gold miners are also catching a bid. But real estate, energy and communications stocks are down in early trading. REITs just hit an all-time high, so it makes sense that we’d see some give-back here. The VIX Index continues to fall, suggesting traders are complacent about risk over the next 30 days. European markets will close higher by roughly .5% to 1% today. Asian markets also posted gains last night. The dollar is weaker against a basket of foreign currencies, giving a little boost to commodities. Remember, many commodities are priced in US dollars around the world. However, WTI crude oil ($58.40/barrel) is taking a breather today after a monster run year-to-date; same thing with copper (+11% YTD). Bonds are trading higher in price, lower in yield today. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked down to a fresh 2 ½ month low of 2.59%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

ECONOMIC DATA TO THE RESCUE

Stocks surged at the open this morning on better than expected economic data. The Dow is currently up 187 pts and the SPX is up .9%. Tech and healthcare sectors are leading the way, up over 1% in early trading. Banks, transports and biotechs are particularly strong. The VIX Index sank back toward 13.3, indicating waning investor fears. So far, the trading session can be characterized as broadly risk-on. Commodities are trading mostly higher. The Bloomberg Commodity Index is up .5% today, and 6% so far on the year. Crude oil rose to nearly $58/barrel, the highest level since November. Bonds are mostly selling off, with the exception of high-yield (or junk). After dipping to a 2+ month low, the 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.62% today. Since the stock market bottomed on Christmas Eve, the 10-year yield is up only 7 basis points (or .07%). Typically, a huge run-up in stocks is accompanied by a sharp rise in yields. After all, better prospects for stocks usually causes investors to sell bonds. Not this time, and it’s mostly due to the Federal Reserve’s abrupt pause on monetary tightening.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

DOUBLING DOWN ON A DOVISH FED

The major stock market averages are mixed in early trading (Dow -70 pts; SPX +.5%; Nasdaq +.6%). Gold miners, healthcare, and energy exploration stocks are all up about .7% to 1.2%%. On the other hand, airline and aerospace names are trading lower, paced by Boeing (BA) down 6.7% after the Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed. Retailers and consumer staples names are flat to down at the moment. The US dollar is weaker today after a softer inflation report (see below), and not surprisingly, commodities are trading higher. WTI crude oil is back up around $57.22/barrel. Copper is up .5% today and 12% on the year, reflecting optimism over a potential trade deal. Copper is sort of a commodity trader’s referendum on the Chinese economy, since China accounts for half of global copper demand. Bonds are mostly higher today as yields tick lower. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.63%, the lowest in the past 6 weeks.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

STOCKS SAGGING ON SPURIOUS JOBS REPORT

STOCKS SAGGING ON SPURIOUS JOBS REPORT

Stocks gapped down at the open after a disappointing jobs report (see below). The Dow is currently off 148 pts and the SPX is down .77%. The Nasdaq has now been down for five straight sessions. The worst-performing groups include energy (-2.4%), transports (-1%), and healthcare (-.8%). In fact, transports have been down 11 consecutive sessions. Asian markets started the downshift last night. After a massive recovery rally this year, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 4% in the overnight session. As I’ve mentioned, all of this is to expected. We need some consolidation after a sharp rally in stocks. Commodities are also in the red today, led by oil. WTI crude collapsed back to $55/barrel today for no good reason. Bonds are mixed in early trading. Junk bonds are down about .3% today. Long-term Treasuries are up slightly. The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen back to the bottom of its six-week trading range at 2.64%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

WAITING FOR THE NEXT CATALYST

WAITING FOR THE NEXT CATALYST

The major US stock market averages opened slightly lower again this morning (Dow -50 pts; SPX -.4%). We’re in a holding pattern with very little news. Healthcare and energy sectors are faring the worst, down more than 1%. Banks and transports are treading water. European markets are poised to close nearly flat, but China’s stock market continues to power ahead on expectations for a trade deal. In fact, CNBC reports President Trump is “pushing hard” to ink a deal in order to improve his chances of re-election. Commodities are slipping today as the dollar strengthens. WTI crude oil dipped slightly to $56.35/barrel. Bonds are trading a bit higher today as yields tick lower. Long term Treasury bonds are faring the best, with the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) up about .4%. The 10-year Treasury yield, which finally broke out of its tight range last week, is fading back toward 2.69%. That is to be expected—Treasuries should rise when the stock market falls.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

FADING THE TRADE DEAL

FADING THE TRADE DEAL

Stocks gapped up at the open, only to quickly fade. The Dow is currently down 236 points, and the SPX is down 1.1%. All eleven major market sectors are lower, led by healthcare (-1.8%) and tech (-1.4%). As some type of US-China trade deal looks more likely—see below—traders are selling the news. European markets closed mixed but Asian markets rallied overnight. China’s Shanghai Composite Index is up over 20% so far this year. The US dollar is a bit stronger today, and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil rallied back to $56.50/barrel, pretty close to the 2019 high. In fact, most commodity prices are higher this year after suffering declines late last year. Recently, President Trump has said he believes oil prices are too high and the dollar is too strong. I’m not sure why the market is reacting to these remarks, but it does feed day-to-day volatility. Bonds are trading a bit higher as yields tick lower this morning. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.73%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

GOOD NEWS ON THE ECONOMY

GOOD NEWS ON THE ECONOMY

Stocks opened modestly lower today (Dow -21 pts; SPX flat). The stock market has been softish for the last three days. Defensive sectors—real estate, consumer staples, utilities—are performing the best in early trading. Materials and energy sectors are down 1%, giving back some recent outperformance. The GDP report (see below) caused the dollar to strengthen and interest rates to rise. So not surprisingly, most commodities are in the red. WTI crude, however, is holding steady at $57/barrel. Bonds are falling in price, rising in yield. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is down nearly .5% today. The 10-year Treasury note yield backed up to 2.72%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

TRADE DEAL CAUTION

TRADE DEAL CAUTION

The major stock market averages opened lower this morning, but quickly pared losses. At the moment, the Dow is down 92 pts and the SPX is down .17%. Banks and biotechs are up .6% to 1.4% in early trading. In addition, energy exploration stocks are up after EOG Resources (EOG) reported quarterly results. Oil prices are up at 3-month highs following a lower than expected crude inventory report. WTI crude oil is back up over $57/barrel. Most other commodities are up as well; the Bloomberg Commodity Index is up 6.5% so far this year. Is it possible that this index is predicting a rebound in global economic growth later this year? Bonds are falling in price, rising in yield. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.68% this morning. Nothing to see here.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

CROSSCURRENTS GIVE THE FED PAUSE

CROSSCURRENTS GIVE THE FED PAUSE

Stocks opened lower today, but quickly recovered. The Dow and SPX are currently flat. Financials, energy and tech sectors are in the green but most everything else is slightly lower. Copper, iron ore and oil are strong today. WTI crude oil is back up around $55.75/barrel. Copper is now up something like 13% on the year, and that’s usually a sign of economic strength overseas. Strangely, bonds are trading mostly higher as well. Long-term Treasury bonds are up about .2% and junk bonds are up nearly that much. The 10-year Treasury yield fell back to 2.65%. Since the beginning of February, interest rates have been treading water with very little volatility.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

WAITING ON MAR-A-LAGO

WAITING ON MAR-A-LAGO

Stocks gapped up at the open this morning following the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will further delay a scheduled trade tariff hike on Chinese imports. The Dow is currently up 157 pts and the SPX is up .45%. Cyclicals are leading the way—financials, industrials, tech, materials. And yet, the VIX Index is trading back up around 13.8. That’s not a high level, but one would typically expect the VIX to fall as the stock market rises. Commodities are mostly lower in early trading. WTI crude oil is down 3% today to trade around $55.30/barrel after President Trump complained to OPEC that oil prices are too high. I’m shaking my head in disbelief. If this isn’t proof that oil prices are routinely manipulated by traders and politicians, I don’t know what is. Bonds are trading mostly lower. The 10-year Treasury yield is back up around 2.68%. It has been trading between 2.65% and 2.70% for the last three weeks. As I mentioned last week, interest rate volatility has collapsed. By the way, Warrant Buffett says stocks are incredibly cheap if you think interest rates won’t skyrocket upward. If rates are relatively stable around current levels, stocks are attractive relative to bonds.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

OPTIMISM OVER POTENTIAL TRADE DEAL

Stocks opened sharply higher this morning (Dow +188 pts; SPX +%). Every single week in 2019 has been positive for the US stock market. Today, tech, healthcare and communications services are leading. Only consumer staples and financials are in the red. Commodities are trading higher (except gold). WTI crude oil is up around $57.30/barrel. That’s an amazing turnaround when you consider that it traded down to $42 on Christmas Eve. Once again, Treasury bonds and stocks are moving in tandem. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) is up .7% in early trading. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down around 2.65%. Following extremely high volatility late last year, interest rates have settled down at a low level along with low volatility.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

SOFT ECONOMIC DATA IN FOCUS

SOFT ECONOMIC DATA IN FOCUS

Stocks opened lower today but are clawing back (Dow -63 pts; SPX -.16%). The energy sector is leading to the downside (-1.6%), along with biotechs (-1.4%). Defensives—utilities, consumer staples—are faring better. The VIX Index, down under 15, is suggesting low volatility over the next 30 days, despite the US-China trade deadline in March. The dollar is a bit stronger today and commodities are trading mostly lower. WTI crude oil is down around $56.80/barrel. Copper and iron ore are also in the red. The flavor of the day is clearly risk-off. However, the bond market is down as well. Long-term Treasury bonds, which usually trade inverse to stocks, are down nearly 1% today. The 10-year Treasury note yield shot up to 2.69%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

STOCKS IN A HOLDING PATTERN

STOCKS IN A HOLDING PATTERN

The major stock market averages opened roughly unchanged this morning (Dow & SPX flat). The materials sector is leading the way (+1.4) on higher commodity prices and optimism over a potential US-China trade deal. Semiconductors and gold miners are up 1%+, energy stocks are up over .5%, and banks are up .3%. The healthcare sector is lower after CVS Health (CVS) reported quarterly results. REITs are down nearly 1% in early trading. Commodities are trading higher today. Copper and iron ore—which tend to move on China’s economic outlook—are up 12% and 26%, respectively, so far this year. WTI crude oil is back up to nearly $57/barrel. Bonds are mostly lower in price, higher in yield today. The 10-year Treasury yield is up slightly to 2.65%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

STOCKS & BONDS RISING TOGETHER

STOCKS & BONDS RISING TOGETHER

Stocks opened slightly higher this morning (Dow +21 pts; SPX +.2%). Consumer goods sectors are up about .7% after Wal-Mart (WMT) reported strong fourth quarter results. Other than that, cyclical sectors are faring worse than the defensives. Traders are pondering—now that the SPX has risen back above its 200-day moving average—whether the recovery rally can continue, or some consolidation is needed after a really strong run. WTI crude oil is up a little to trade around $55.80/barrel. Copper is up nearly 2% today and nearly 10% so far this year. Bonds are trading modestly higher as interest rates tick lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back down to 2.46% and 2.64%, respectively. The Treasury bond market and stock market essentially don’t agree right now. Stocks are telling you the economic outlook is a little less positive but things are OK. The bond market seems to be less optimistic. But remember, Treasuries are reflecting a more dovish Federal Reserve, and also ultra-low or negative sovereign rates overseas. So lower Treasury yields aren’t necessarily warning of a coming recession. As evidence, look to the junk bond market, which is up over 5% so far this year. If the bond market really believed recession was coming within the next year, you’d see much higher junk yields.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

DON'T BE MISLEAD BY NEWS HEADLINES ON THE ECONOMY

The major stock market averages opened lower today on the some disappointing retail sales data (see below). The Dow is down 107 points and the SPX is down .2%. The consumer staples sector is down over 1% after a weak earnings report from Coca Cola (KO). Financials are down over 1%, and industrials are down .6%. This could be the consolidation we’ve been expecting after a sharp rally in January. Commodities are mixed in early trading. WTI crude oil is unchanged around $54/barrel. Bonds are modestly higher in price, lower in yield. Longer-term Treasury notes—as measured by iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT)—are up about .5% today. TLT is flat on the year, whereas corporate bond ETFs are mostly higher so far in 2019. As you might expect on a day when stock prices are falling, junk bonds are also weak.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

RISING INFLATION SAYS RECESSION NOT IMMINENT

RISING INFLATION SAYS RECESSION NOT IMMINENT

Stocks gapped up at the open this morning, but quickly faded. The Dow is currently up 70 pts and the S&P 500 (SPX) is up .2%. Gains are broad-based, led by energy, semiconductors and transports. Defensive sectors like utilities aren’t really participating. The VIX Index has stabilized below 16 over the last week. Foreign stock markets are acting better—especially China—and that suggests some expectation for resolution of trade concerns. Traders are excited about the fact that the SPX closed above its 200-day moving average for the first time in over two months. The index is now only about 6.5% below its all-time high reached 13 months ago. So risk assets are acting better this year. The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM) is up 4.5% so far in 2019. WTI crude oil is back up over $54/barrel. Iron ore and copper are also climbing. I’ll point out that while falling commodity prices were seen as a very scary sign of falling economic growth in 2018, very few are seeing the commodity recovery as a sign global economic improvement.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

GOVERNMENT FUNDING DEAL?

The major US stock market averages gapped up at the open on a potential cross-party deal to forestall another government shutdown. The Dow is currently up 310 points and the SPX is up 1.2%. Ten of eleven sectors are in the green, led by financials & materials (+1.8%) as well as industrials & consumer discretionary (+1.5%). European markets closed about 1% higher and Asia was up overnight. Hard to believe, but so far in 2019 The Dow is up nearly 9%, the Euro Stoxx 50 Index is up 6%, the Nikkei is up 4% and the Shanghai Composite index is up 7%. To maintain those gains, we’re going to need to see better economic data around the world. The dollar is a little weaker today and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is up 1.5% to trade around $53.20/barrel after a report that Saudi Arabia has cut back oil production. Treasury bonds are down in price, up in yield today. The 5-year Treasury yield is back up to 2.49% and the 10-year yield is up to 2.69%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

V-SHAPED RECOVERY TO PAUSE

V-SHAPED RECOVERY TO PAUSE

Stocks gapped down at the open for the second day in a row following the revelation that US and Chinese negotiators are still very far apart on a potential trade deal. At the moment, the Dow is down 270 pts and the SPX is down .65%. Ten of eleven major market sectors are in the red, led by energy (-2%), financials (-1.1%), and materials (-.8%). The VIX Index jumped back up to 17.3; that’s probably a much more muted reaction than traders were expecting. European stock markets will also close lower for the second consecutive session. The easy culprit for the change in market direction is tenuous trade negotiations. But the fact is that after such a strong January, we’re due for some consolidation. After a growth scare that produced a 20% correction in stock prices, one cannot expect the recovery to be as sharp as it has been since Christmas Eve. Commodities are mixed today. Oil prices roughly unchanged around $52.50/barrel. Copper is also unchanged after rising 8% so far this year. Gold is up very slightly today (+2% on the year). Fixed income markets are mostly higher in price with the notable exception of junk bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen back to 2.64%. That’s a long way from 3.2% just three months ago.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.