EARNINGS SEASON KICKS OFF

Major US stock market averages opened mixed this morning. The Dow is currently 28 pts and the SPX is down .2%. The Nasdaq is also down .2%. Industrials (especially transports) and materials sector stocks are rallying. On the other hand, utilities and real estate are down on a bump in interest rates. Commodities are mixed; gold and iron ore are down, but oil continues to recover. WTI crude oil is hovering around $60/barrel. It was trading down around $51/barrel one month ago. Bonds are selling off a bit today on rising interest rates. It seems like the better-than-expected jobs report back on July 5th marked a turnaround in rates. The 10-year Treasury yield has risen to 2.13% from 1.95% since then.


*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.

MR. POWELL'S WILD RIDE

Stocks gapped up at the open during Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony this morning. The Dow is currently up 78 pts and the SPX is up .33%. But don’t expect the rally to last—and make no mistake, earnings season will trump any Fed rate cut in terms of influencing the direction of the stock market. At the moment, most sectors are in the green, led by energy and tech. Financials are down along with interest rates today. Crude oil, copper and gold are all up. WTI crude jumped 3% to trade around $59.50/barrel, right around the 2-month high. Bonds are rallying after Mr. Powell hinted at a rate cut (see below). The 10-year Treasury yield dipped to 2.04%.


*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 THE FED

Stocks opened lower this morning, continuing to pout after a better than expected jobs report last Friday (see my blog entry titled “Good News is Bad News”). The Dow is currently down 139 pts and the SPX is down .6%. The worst performing sectors today are healthcare (-1%) and communications (-1%). The energy sector is up modestly as oil prices stabilized after OPEC agreed to continue modest production cuts. The market is in suspended animation pending Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s annual congressional testimony on Wednesday & Thursday. Traders will be scrutinizing every word for clues about potential interest rate cuts. Friday’s jobs report sent gold down (-1% so far this month), but most other commodities are a bit higher today. WTI crude oil is back up around $57.90/barrel. It is thought that Saudi Arabia is trying to defend oil at $50/barrel or above. The bond market is mixed today. Long-term US Treasuries edged higher but corporates are down in price. The 10-year Treasury Note yield is hovering around 2.03%, and Barron’s used this stat to assert, “There is little value in the bond market.”


*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 IS BAD NEWS

The major stock market averages opened lower this morning after a stronger than expected jobs report. The Dow is currently down 106 pts and the SPX is down .55%. The financials sectors is up about .25% but all other sectors are lower in early trading. European stock markets closed down by about .6% today. In the wake of the jobs report the dollar strengthened and commodities fell. Gold is down 1.5%, copper is down about 1% and WTI crude oil fell back to $57.28/barrel. In addition, the bond market reacted by selling off. The 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 2.05% from 1.95% in the prior trading session. Whether municipals or corporates of Treasuries, the bond market is down sharply today. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) fell 1.6%.


*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 THE FED

Stocks opened sharply higher this morning (Dow +99 pts; SPX +.6%), probably because recent economic data (see below) encourages traders to believe the Federal Reserve will soon begin lowering interest rates.

Payroll processor ADP says the US economy generated 102,000 new jobs in the month of June. That’s a lot better than May’s 41,000 but it’s also less than economists were forecasting. The fear, of course, is that hiring activity is slowing, whether because economic growth is slowing or because we’re already at full employment. It’s true that there are more open positions than job seekers.

ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Index, which measures business activity in the service sector, fell to 55.1 in June from 56.9 in the prior month. The decline was a bit more than economists were expecting. And while any reading above 50.0 indicates continued expansion of activity, the index is down around a 2-year low. The index’s key forward-looking new orders component fell to 55.8, the lowest since December 2017. In both manufacturing and service sectors, overall business activity as well as hiring, cost inflation and new orders are slowing. A spokesman for ISM noted the trend and said surveys “reflect mixed sentiment about business conditions and the overall economy. A degree of uncertainty exists due to trade and tariffs.” However, business activity “continues to reflect strength.”

Investors are rightly concerned about the trade war’s impact on business investment. And today we learned that corporate capital spending continued to soften in May. New orders for capital equipment excluding defense/aircraft are up only 1% from year-ago levels. That compares with 7% growth a year ago. Still, Bloomberg points out that conditions aren’t as bad as many anticipated. At least business investment is still showing some growth. Perhaps some underlying resilience can be teased out of this report.


*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.

DRIFTING AIMLESSLY, LOOKING FOR A CATALYST

Stocks opened mixed this morning, looking for a catalyst. The Dow is currently down 25 points and the SPX is flat. By the way, the SPX is now up 18% so far this year, trading at a P/E ratio of 17. Most investors believe the index is at fair value and so a meaningful catalyst is necessary to push it higher in the near term. Unlike yesterday, defensive sectors like utilities (+1%) and consumer staples (+.4%) are leading the way. On the other hand, energy stocks are down on oversupply concerns. OPEC decided to extend current oil production limits through March 2020 because the global economy is weakening. Tighter control of crude supply will help prop up oil prices. Today, WTI crude oil fell back to $56.90/barrel. Bonds are trading slightly higher again today as yield creep lower in anticipation of slower economic growth and expected Fed rate cuts. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 1.98%.


*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.

STOCK & BOND TRADERS AT ODDS ON NEAR-TERM OUTLOOK

Stocks jumped at the open after Presidents Trump & Xi agreed to pause further trade tariffs and re-start negotiations. The Dow is currently up 133 pts and the SPX is up .74%. In fact, the SPX touched an all-time high this morning. The best performing groups today are not surprisingly those that were hit hardest by the trade war: semiconductors and retailers. But we’re also seeing a 1% bump in financials despite the fact that interest rates aren’t rising. Commodities are mixed today. Traders are generally shifting to risk, so it’s not surprising to see gold down 1.4%. WTI crude oil climbed to nearly $59/barrel. But strangely, the bond market is not selling off. Bond traders are ignoring the G-20 trade war truce because of weak manufacturing data (see below). The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.02%.


*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.

INCREASING PRESSURE ON CHINA

The major stock market averages gapped up at the open, but quickly faded. The Dow is currently up 47 pts and the SPX is up .29%. Energy is the best performing sector, up 1.1% on higher oil prices. And unlike yesterday, cyclical sectors are faring well but defensives are in the red. There’s just no discernible trend in the market this week. European stock markets closed roughly flat this morning and most of Asia was lower overnight. Hong Kong protests over a proposed extradition law are gaining momentum and have grown violent. Bloomberg reports hundreds of thousands of people are involved. Hong Kong is officially autonomous but China’s communist party exercises effective control. Commodities are trading sharply higher, led by oil. WTI crude oil climbed back to nearly $53/barrel after terror attacks—likely initiated by Iran—on two oil tankers in the Strait Hormuz. Bonds are again moving higher in price, lower in yield. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.10%.


*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? WHAT TRADE DEAL?

Stocks opened slightly lower this morning (Dow -40 pts; SPX -.34%) on trade tensions (see below). Defensive sectors are catching a bid (utilities +1.4%; consumer staples +.2%), but cyclicals like tech and financials are down. Asian markets were down about .5% overnight after Hong Kong police used tear gas to break up a huge protest against a new legislative bill allowing Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China. WTI crude oil fell back to $51.90/barrel after a US crude inventory report suggested oversupply. Bonds are in rally mode today as yields drop. The 10-year Treasury yield backed down to 2.12%.

President Trump indicated he is delaying a trade deal with China until that country’s officials reaffirm terms negotiated earlier this year. The president is referring to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s claim that China reneged on trade commitments right before the deal was supposed to have been completed. “It’s me right now that’s holding up the deal. And we’re going to either do a great deal with China or we’re not going to do a deal at all.” Mr. Trump and Xi Jinping are expected to meet at the upcoming G-20 Summit, but that is by no means assured. A firm deal between the two men is unlikely.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) slowed to 1.8% in May from 2.0% in the prior month. Retail inflation is clearly slowing. This report corroborates yesterday’s wholesale inflation report. Core goods prices are falling, but services prices continue to rise. Energy-related goods are down, but restaurant inflation is up around 3%. There are some crosscurrents here. We know that an economy at full employment tends to increase inflation, and of course rising trade tariffs are inflationary as well. But slowing global economic growth—the US stepped down to 2.3% this year from 3% last year—is deflationary. The Federal Reserve’s official view is that slowing inflation is a temporary trend, but this report will add pressure to cut interest rates.

Speaking of full employment, real hourly earnings for US workers rose 1.3% from year-ago levels in May. That’s a pick-up from the prior month. That doesn’t sound like much, but remember, “real” means adjusted for inflation. So 1.3% + 1.8% CPI = 3.1%. Other gauges of wage growth are even higher. April’s Personal Income growth report (from the Bureau of Economic Analysis) came in at 3.9%.


*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.

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM FOR THE MOMENT

Stocks opened modestly higher this morning, edging closer to April highs. The Dow is currently up 58 pts and the SPX is flat. Banks, retailers, semiconductors and energy are all up about .5% in early trading. On the other hand, utilities, industrials and healthcare are down. VIX July futures are trading around 17, suggesting traders don’t expect a near-term volatility spike. Expected Treasury bond market volatility has collapsed this month as well. Commodities are mostly higher today, save gold. WTI crude oil bounced back to $53.50/barrel after bottoming around $51.70 a week ago. The bond market is mixed today. Treasuries are selling off a bit after a monster 6-week run. The 10-year Treasury yield notched up to 2.16%. Corporates are faring better in early trading, with the SPDR High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) up about .3%.


*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.

MEXICO TRADE RELIEF

Stocks opened higher today after US & Mexican negotiators reached a tentative arrangement to avoid new trade tariffs. The Dow is currently up 174 pts and the SPX is up 1%. Consumer discretionary, financials and technology sectors are all up 1.5% or more in early trading. The VIX Index—a common gauge of fear among traders—sank back to 16. European stock markets closed up by about .5% and most Asian markets were up over 1% last night. In the wake of the Mexico headline, the dollar strengthened and gold & bonds fell. WTI crude oil is trading flat just under $54/barrel. Most areas of the bond market are down today, except for junk bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield climbed back to 2.14%.


*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.

BAD NEWS IS GOOD NEWS

Stocks surged higher today in spite of a weak jobs report. The Dow is currently up 299 points and the SPX is up 1.1%. The best performing sectors are tech (+2%), consumer discretionary (+1.5%) and communications services (+1.4%). Financials is the lone sector in the red—bank stocks are down on lower interest rates. The VIX Index is up slightly to trade around 16. European stock markets closed up about 1% and Most of Asia was higher overnight. Commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil rebounded to $54/barrel after taking a massive beating over the last six weeks. The bond market is rejoicing this morning on falling interest rates. Treasuries are up across the board, and even junk bonds are rallying. The 10-year Treasury yield dipped to 2.09% and is now at levels last seen in September 2017.


*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.

FED TO THE RESCUE

The major stock market averages opened a bit higher this morning (Dow +50 pts; SPX +.25%). This week has been one of recovery, especially after a couple of Federal Reserve officials hinted that they’d loosen monetary if necessary to keep the business cycle alive. Energy is the best performing sector in early trading, up 1.2% despite the fact that oil prices are down again. Some kind of bounce is to expected since energy has absolutely cratered over the past six weeks on oversupply concerns. Today, WTI crude oil is down .6% to trade around $51.44/barrel. Gold is now up 4% on the year as a safe-haven trade. Bonds are trading higher this morning as yields dip again. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) shot up 1% today as the 10-year Treasury bond yield fell back to 2.09%. The reason for continued bond market gains is also the Fed (see below).


*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.

RELIEF RALLY

Stocks opened higher today on some ever-so-slightly encouraging trade headlines. The Dow is currently up 390 points and the SPX is up 1.5%. The best performing sectors—financials and tech—are up over 2% in early trading. Real estate and utilities are in the red. The VIX Index sank back to 17 and somehow traders are in the mood to buy stocks, saying we’re “oversold.” European markets closed up by about .5% to 1%. Commodities are mostly trading higher, save gold. WTI crude oil fell at the open but recovered to $53.30/barrel. The bond market is broadly lower today. The 10-year Treasury note yield rebounded to 2.14% this morning after falling to a 20-month low. By the way, 2019’s downshift in bond rates and inflation have stoked speculation that the Federal Reserve will be cutting its policy short-term interest rate before long. Fed officials are obviously noncommittal but Chair Jerome Powell said in a speech today that the Fed will “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.” That’s exactly what investors want to hear.


*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.

ANOTHER TRADE SETBACK?

Stocks gapped down at the open today (Dow -232 pts; SPX -.9%) after President Trump threatened new trade tariffs on Mexico. Ten of eleven major market sectors are down, led by communications services (-1.3%) and consumer staples (-1.1%). A number of key industry groups are down more than 1%, such as biotechs, retailers and transports. Not surprisingly, gold and gold mining stocks are up on the day. The VIX Index—a common measure of fear among traders—climbed back to 18.3. European markets closed down about 1% and Asia was mostly lower overnight. Interestingly, in the wake of higher trade tensions, China’s Shanghai Composite Index and the S&P 500 Index are down about the same in May, -5%. So we’re certainly not seeing any panic in global stock markets. Commodities are mostly lower in early trading. Gold is up about .9% but oil, copper and iron ire are falling in price. WTI crude oil is down 1.3% to trade at $55.35/barrel. Bonds are mostly higher—especially safe-haven Treasuries. After the Mexico tariff threat, the 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.17%, the lowest since September 2017.


*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 FRICTION TAKING A TOLL

The major stock market averages opened lower again today on trade tensions (Dow -278 pts; SPX -.9%). All eleven market sectors are down, led by Energy, healthcare, consumer discretionary, and communications (all down about 1%). European stock markets closed down over 1% as well, and most Asian markets closed lower last night. The one exception seems to have been the Shanghai Composite, which closed slightly higher on the session. Commodities are mixed today. Corn futures surged as flooding threatened crops. Copper rose .9% today after falling about 8% so far this month. WTI crude oil fell 2.7% to trade around $57.50/barrel. Bonds are trading mostly higher, especially safe-haven Treasuries. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to its lowest level since September 2017.


*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 SAG IN FRONT OF HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Stocks gapped up at the open but quickly lost momentum. The Dow is currently up 26 points and the SPX is up .25%. Most sectors are bouncing back a little after yesterday’s rout. But the energy sector continues to struggle under the weight of rising crude inventories. The market is of course wandering aimlessly on Tweets and headlines regarding trade. European markets closed up by about .6% and most of Asia was modestly higher overnight. Commodities are having their worst week so far this year, dented by trade & global growth fears. Copper is down 1.6% today (and nearly 9% so far this month) on China jitters. WTI crude oil is flat, trading around $60/barrel. Bonds aren’t moving much today after strong gains earlier this week. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.32%.


*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 DOWN WITH HEADLINES

Stocks sank at the open, as is their custom this month. The Dow is currently down 367 pts and the SPX is down 1.5%. Energy is the worst performing sector, down 3.5% (see below). Most other sectors are down about 1% except the defensives (utilities, consumer staples, real estate). VIX Index June futures are trading up around 17, but that’s not considered elevated. There’s no real panic in the market, just a slow bleed on trade headlines. European stock markets closed down about 1.5% today and Asia was uniformly down overnight. The bond market is catching a bid—especially safe-haven Treasury bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield is down to 2.32%, the lowest level since November 2017.


*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 WAR II HERE TO STAY

Stocks opened lower again this morning (Dow -71 pts; SPX -.26%). But remember, the recent pattern has been a lower open with late afternoon recovery. At the moment, the energy sector is down 1.2% on concerns that China will reduce purchases of US natural gas. Tech, industrials and consumer discretionary sectors are down as well on trade tensions. Defensive sectors are in the green as traders shift into low volatility plays. The VIX Index is pretty low (14.8) considering current geopolitical tension. Commodities are mostly lower, led by oil. WTI crude fell back to $61.75/barrel. Copper is flat on the day, as is gold. In fact, gold has done nothing since the trade war reignited. Remember when gold used to be a dependable safe-haven play? Bonds are trading higher as yields edge lower. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.39%. All types of bonds—investment grade, junk, asset-backed, Treasuries, long-term, short-term—have done pretty well this year because interest rates are down.


*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.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, HAVE A NICE WEEKEND

Stocks dropped at the open but quickly recovered after a positive consumer sentiment report. The Dow is currently flat and the SPX is down .28%. Utilities and healthcare sectors are up modestly. Most retailers are catching a bid as well. On the other hand, semiconductors, energy and industrials are in the red. European markets closed down about .4% and China’s markets dived more than 2% last night. Emerging markets funds have really underperformed this month on rising trade tensions. Commodities are mostly lower today. WTI crude oil is flat at about $62.90/barrel. Remember, oil is reacting to Iran’s terrorism, not to the US-China trade dispute. Bonds aren’t moving much, except at the long end. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.39%. Bond traders are watching to see if the 10-year can hold above near-term support at 2.37%.


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