INVESTOR SENTIMENT IMPROVING ON TRADE TALKS

INVESTOR SENTIMENT IMPROVING ON TRADE TALKS

INVESTOR SENTIMENT IMPROVING ON TRADE TALKS

The major stock market averages surged in early trading following a report that the Chinese are offering trade concessions (see below). The Dow is currently up 280 pts and the SPX is up 1.2%. The materials & industrials sectors shot up 1.8%. Those groups have perhaps suffered the most from the trade war and may have the most to gain from a trade deal. As sentiment regarding a potential trade deal improves, the VIX Index continues to soften (now down to 17.6). And oil prices continue to recover (up around $53.60/barrel). Bonds are trading as you would expect on a very risk-on day. Treasuries are down in price, up in yield. The 10-year Treasury yield is back up around 2.78%, and wants to test resistance around 2.81%. Corporates, on the other hand, are at long last catching a bid. And for today, the worse the credit quality, the higher the price gain.


*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.

Fourth Quarter Stock & Bond Market Overview For 2018

Fourth Quarter Stock & Bond Market Overview For 2018

Stocks bookended the beginning and end of the year with drops, despite returning over 10% in the two middle quarters.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 dropped, respectively, 3.5% and 4.4% for 2018.  Smaller firms (S&P 600) were worse, dropping 8.5 % last year.  During down markets, defensive styles are usually safe havens – not this time.  Counterintuitively, growth and momentum stocks were the only broad styles not in the red for 2018.  Volatility, as measured by VIX, started the year at about 9 and ended at 21, just north of its historical average of 20.


*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.

EARNINGS & STIMULUS TO THE RESCUE

EARNINGS & STIMULUS TO THE RESCUE

EARNINGS & STIMULUS TO THE RESCUE

The stock market gapped up at the open today on overseas headlines (see below). The Dow is currently up 126 pts and the SPX is up .24%. Banks are up over 2% in early trading after strong earnings reports from Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS). Oil fell back under $52/barrel in early trading, but that could easily turn around through the trading day. Bonds are mixed—corporates are modestly higher on the day but Treasuries are selling off as yields tick higher. The 10-year Treasury yield has rebounded to 2.73% from 2.55% just 2 weeks ago. Remember, higher long-term Treasury yields will likely be viewed by investors as a positive for the economic outlook.


*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.

SHUTDOWN DISRUPTION & FADING VISIBILITY ON THE ECONOMY

SHUTDOWN DISRUPTION & FADING VISIBILITY ON THE ECONOMY

SHUTDOWN DISRUPTION & FADING VISIBILITY ON THE ECONOMY

Stocks opened higher this morning despite the US Trade Representative’s comment that no progress was made in US/China trade talks last week. The Dow is currently up 137 points and the SPX is up 1%. A number of sectors are up more than 1% in early trading, including utilities, communications, tech, healthcare and consumer discretionary. European markets closed higher by about .5% and Asia was up 1% or more last night. The VIX Index has fallen back to 18, which is below the long-term average of 20. The dollar is a bit stronger today and commodities are also higher. WTI crude oil is back up to $51.70/barrel after crashing to $42 last month. Bonds are mixed. Treasuries are unchanged but junk bonds are modestly higher.


*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.

EARNINGS SEASON BEGINS

EARNINGS SEASON BEGINS

EARNINGS SEASON BEGINS

The stock market opened lower this morning after some soft Chinese economic data (see below). The Dow is currently down 98 pts and the SPX is off .5%. Ten of eleven market sectors are lower, led by utilities (-3%), tech (-.9%) and materials (-.7%). One of the only groups working today is the banks, up about 1%. European markets closed down by roughly .5% and most of Asia was lower overnight. The dollar is lower after a report showing US exports to China fell flat. WTI crude oil is down about 1% to trade at $51/barrel. Bonds are trading lower today. Junk bonds (-.3%) are following the stock market. Treasuries are slightly lower as well as yields rise. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.71%.


*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.

RECOVERY CONTINUES IN FITS & STARTS

RECOVERY CONTINUES IN FITS & STARTS

RECOVERY CONTINUES IN FITS & STARTS

Stocks opened lower this morning (Dow -45 pts; SPX -.1%). Most major market sectors are in the red, led by energy and utilities. Semiconductors and banks, on the other hand, are trading higher. Over the last several days, the VIX Index has collapsed—that is, expected near-term volatility has collapsed. European markets closed .5% lower today after we learned that Italy’s economy contracted in the third quarter and industrial production plunged in November. On the other hand, most of Asia was positive overnight. China’s Shanghai Composite has been cautiously advancing since January 3rd—could that signal some optimism over trade? Commodities are trading mixed today. WTI crude is down 2% to $51.60/barrel, hence the dip in energy stocks. But make no mistake, oil’s new trend is up. Bonds are mostly higher today, except junk which is following the stock market pretty closely these days. Interest rates are down across the curve today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back down to 2.52% and 2.70%, respectively.


*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.

IMPROVING SENTIMENT

IMPROVING SENTIMENT

Stocks opened higher again today, as investor sentiment gradually improves. The Dow is currently up 143 pts and the SPX is up .5%. Tech, energy, healthcare and industrials are up nicely in early trading. Utilities, consumer staples, real estate and communications services are in the red. European stock markets will close up by about .5% and Asia was broadly higher overnight. The Shanghai Composite Index, China’s main stock index, closed up .7%. The dollar is down about .5% against a basket of foreign currencies. That’s a big deal. Dollar weakness means emerging markets stocks do better; it means US multi-national exporters do better; it signals that investors believe inflation is well under control and the Fed won’t be aggressive with monetary tightening. It might even signal more optimism (among traders) that the trade war can be resolved. All else equal, commodities generally rise as the dollar weakens. WTI crude oil is up nearly 3% today to trade at $51.25/barrel. Copper and gold are up modestly as well. Bonds are trading slightly higher as well. Both investment-grade and high-yield corporate bond ETFs are up about .2% today. The exception is long-term Treasuries. Whereas the 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are basically flat to slightly lower, the 30-year Treasury yield jumped up to 3.02%. And remember, we want Treasuries to sell off when the stock market is moving higher. I can’t emphasize enough how closely traders are watching the bond market as a signal to whether the stock market recovery can continue.


*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.

January 8, 2019

January 8, 2019

Stocks opened higher yet again today (Dow +165 pts; SPX +.45%). The financial sector is down nearly .6% and the tech sector is pretty flat. But every other sector is in the green, led by communications and energy. WTI crude oil extended its recovery from the late 2018 crash and is now trading up around $49.50/barrel. Most of the bond market is trading higher as well, meaning that interest rates are lower. Junk bonds are up over .3% in early trading (see below). High-grade corporate bonds are up about .2%. Treasury bonds are modestly lower on the day, which is what you would expect. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back up around 2.55% and 2.71%. I expect they’ll head higher from 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.

January 7, 2019

January 7, 2019

Stocks opened modestly higher this morning as China trade talks get underway. The Dow and SPX are current up 91 pts and .6%, respectively. Consumer discretionary (+2%) and energy sectors (+1%) are faring the best in early trading. Worst performing are utilities (-.7%) and consumer staples (-.2%). The dollar is a bit weaker today and that’s giving commodities some breathing room. WTI crude oil is back up over $49/barrel after Dow Jones reported the Saudis would like to push oil prices back up to $80/barrel. Bonds are trading higher along with stocks. You don’t see that very often. It is true that lately when the stock market rises, corporate bonds also rally. But Treasury bonds don’t usually move in tandem with stocks. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.67%. My guess is that investors would like to see Treasuries sell off a bit and give stocks an all-clear signal.


*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.

January 4, 2019

January 4, 2019

The stock market gapped up at the open after an encouraging jobs report (see below). The Dow and SPX are currently up 650 pts and 3%, respectively. Tech—hated by traders yesterday—is the best-performing sector, up over 3.5%. The materials sector is up 3% in early trading. Transports—again, hated yesterday—are up over 3% as well. The VIX Index is back down to 22.7, exactly even with VIX January futures. Traders are wondering why, when the market is now routinely moving more than 2% per day, the VIX isn’t well into the 30s. It may no longer be an accurate reflection of market volatility. European markets will close up over 2% in today’s session. The Chinese stock market has stabilized over the last several days, so that’s good news. After the release of the jobs report this morning, the dollar strengthened and bonds sold off. Opposite of the recent trend, Treasury bonds fell in price but junk bonds rose. The 10-year Treasury Note yield climbed back to 2.66%, surging 10 basis points from yesterday’s level. Bond yields provide different signals depending on the economic & market situation. At this moment, rising yields will signal some relief that perhaps the economic outlook isn’t as dire as the bears think.


*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.

January 3, 2019

January 3, 2019

Stocks opened sharply lower after a profit warning from Apple Inc. (see below). The Dow is currently down 519 pts and the SPX is down 1.5%. Eight of eleven major market sectors are lower, led by tech (-3.6%) and industrials (-2%). The defensive sectors are in the green (real estate, utilities, consumer staples). European markets closed down about 1% and nearly all of Asia was down overnight. Commodities are mixed in early trading. WTI crude oil fell back slightly to trade around $46.30/barrel. Gold is up by .5%. Bonds are mixed in early trading. Corporates (both investment grade and junk) are lower, but Treasuries are moving higher. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are down around 2.40% and 2.58%, respectively. Those are both around 1-year lows. The bond market is telling you there is no need for the Fed to raise rates during the first half of 2019.


*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.

January 2, 2019

January 2, 2019

The major stock market averages gapped down at the open but quickly recovered. The Dow is currently down 14 pts and the SPX is down .37%. Energy stocks are bouncing 2% on higher oil prices. And some key growth industries—banks, semiconductors, retailers—are also in the green today. Defensive sectors are down on the day. The VIX Index is hovering around 25; still considered elevated but well off the highs of 12/24. Commodities are trading mostly higher today; WTI crude oil is back up over $47/barrel. Any recovery in oil prices will be viewed positively by investors. As you know, it has been our belief that oil prices have been manipulated by geopolitics and therefore the 40% slide in oil doesn’t suggest a global economic downturn. Clearly, the bears disagree. Bonds are trading mostly higher today as yields tick lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are down around 2.51% and 2.67%.


*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.

December 31, 2018

December 31, 2018

Stocks opened higher this morning but quickly lost steam. The Dow is currently up 150 pts and the SPX is up .33%. Healthcare is the best performing group in early trading, up about 1%. Retailers and tech stocks are also in the green. On the other hand, utilities & real estate sectors are in the red. The VIX Index fell to 27 this morning; the fear index spiked to 36 on Christmas Eve. Foreign markets were mostly higher in today’s session. Even China’s Shanghai Composite Index picked itself up off the floor. It climbed .4% overnight but is still down something like 28% for the year. It’s no secret that the emerging trade war has dented China’s economic momentum. Commodities are mixed today: copper -1.8%; oil flat; gold flat; iron ore +.2%. But the overall trend has been lower; during 2018 the Bloomberg Commodity Index fell nearly 13%. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.54% and 2.70%, respectively. Bond traders are saying the 2.70% mark is a key psychological support level and if the 10-year falls below that it will likely continue falling toward 2.6%. By the way, for all the massive volatility in the bond market this year, the 10-year yield will have gained a mere 27 basis points (.27%) during 2018.


*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.

December 27, 2018

December 27, 2018

The major stock market averages lurched lower in early trading. The Dow is currently down 359 pts and the SPX is about 1.7% lower. The energy sector—down 2%--is the worst-performing. Most sectors are down more than 1% in early trading. The VIX Index—a common gauge of fear among traders—is back up around 33. European stock markets fell between 1.5% and 3% today. Asian markets were mixed overnight. The dollar is weaker today (and so far this month). WTI crude is trading back down around $45/barrel.


*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.

December 26, 2018

The major stock market averages are attempting to recover from the worst Christmas Eve trading session since the Great Depression. At the moment, the Dow is up 400 pts and the SPX is up 2%. The consumer discretionary sector is up 3.4%, the energy sector is up 3%, healthcare & tech are up over 2%. Utilities are now losing steam after recently hitting all-time highs. The VIX Index, which spiked to 36 on Monday, is back down around 34.7. These levels, indicating heightened fear among traders, were last seen during the February stock market correction. Traders, by the way, tend to invest cash after spikes in the VIX. Most commodities are trading higher today. WTI crude oil is back up to $45.30/barrel. Gold is up .7 % at the moment, but is still down year-to-date. Bonds are mixed in early trading. Junk bonds are rallying today, but are still down around 10% year-to-date. Treasury bonds are selling off after a massive 6-week rally. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.58% and 2.75%, respectively.


*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.

December 20, 2018

December 20, 2018

Stocks sagged at the open again today following another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve (see below). The Dow is currently down 367 pts and the SPX is down 1.5%. This looks like another risk-off day, with cyclical sectors like tech, energy, and consumer discretionary sectors down the most. The utilities sector is up 1% as retail investors look for safety. European markets are down more than 1% and Asian markets were down at least that much overnight. The dollar is weaker today after the Federal Reserve downgraded its outlook for US economic growth (see below). Copper and gold are trading higher, but WTI crude oil fell back to $46.20/barrel. Believe it or not, most of the bond market is trading lower as well. High-grade corporates and junk bonds resumed their slide. Long-term Treasury bonds, however, are moving higher in response to the Fed meeting. The 10-year Treasury note yield is hovering around 2.77%, the lowest level since April.


*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.

December 19, 2018

Stocks surged at the open this morning, but who knows how the session with end? The Dow is currently up 175 pts and the SPX is up .68%. A few market sectors are up about 1%: energy, financials, materials. Most everything is trading higher, save gold miners and semiconductors. European markets are up about .3% to .9%, although Asia was mixed overnight. WTI crude oil, which has fallen out of bed since early October, is up 3% to about $47.65/barrel. OPEC says it will reduce production by about 1.2 million barrels per day but those cuts won’t go into effect until next month. At the moment, production in the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia is near record levels. Bonds are trading modestly higher in front of the Fed meeting today (see below). Since early November, bonds have done very well and that of course means interest rates have fallen. The 2-year Treasury note tends to move along with expectations for Fed rate hikes, and since November 8th the 2-year yield has declined to 2.66% from 3.1%. That probably means bond traders are predicting a pause in 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.

December 18, 2018

December 18, 2018

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow 243 pts; SPX .5%) in an attempt to recover from yesterday’s rout. A number of market sectors are up about 1%: industrials, real estate, materials, communications services and consumer discretionary. Energy stocks are down following oil prices. WTI crude oil fell to a 15-month low after a report that global oil production is rising. European stock markets closed down about .7% and Asian markets were down overnight. China’s Shanghai Composite Index is down 22% so far this year in local currency terms (or about 26% in dollar terms). Commodities are mixed in early trading. As mentioned, WTI crude oil is down around $47/barrel (down 36% since early October. Consensus Wall Street opinion is that global oil demand is just fine, but supply is temporarily too high. As I’ve mentioned before, there is a lot of room for traders and governments to manipulate oil prices. Bonds are mixed in early trading. Treasury bonds are rising but junk bonds are falling in price. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields are back down to 2.67% and 2.83%. Remember last summer when traders were freaking out over rising interest rates? They feared higher mortgage & auto loan rates and worried incessantly that the Federal Reserve would have to keep hiking rates to keep pace. Well, those concerns seem in the distant past now. We’re all wondering what the bond market’s massive volatility is trying to tell us.


*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.

December 17, 2018

December 17, 2018

The major stock market averages fell at the open but quickly pared losses. At the moment, the Dow and SPX are down 104 pts and .5%, respectively. Utilities and real estate sectors are down over 1% in early trading, whereas the financial sector is finally catching a bid. Semiconductors are up 1% as well. The VIX Index is up around 22.5 and VIX January futures are up around 21. That tells us traders are still nervous and expect continued volatility. The dollar is a bit weaker today, but commodities aren’t uniformly higher. WTI crude oil fell back to $50/barrel. Copper is down again—now -20% on the year. That ought to tell you China’s economy is slowing. Bonds are catching a bid as interest rates tick lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields are hovering around 2.71% and 2.86%, respectively.


*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.

December 13, 2018

December 13, 2018

Stocks opened modestly higher again today, but soon faded. The Dow is now up 10 pts on the day and the SPX is down .28%. Transports, retailers and banks are down. REITs and utilities are trading higher along with bonds. Commodities are broadly higher, trying to recover from a rough year. WTI crude is trading over $52/barrel. Year-to-date, copper is still down 19%, gold is down 5%, and oil is down about 10%. The iShares Global Agriculture Producers ETF (VEGI) is down nearly 7%. Despite strong economic growth and corporate earnings, cyclical risk-on sectors like energy, materials and industrials have not fared well in 2018.


*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.