Aetna (AET)

November 7, 2018

November 7, 2018

The stock market surged higher in the wake of mid-term elections that turned out exactly as Wall Street expected. Investors are embracing gridlock in Washington. The Dow and SPX are currently up 348 pts and 1.5%, respectively. All eleven major market sectors are in the green, led by tech, healthcare and consumer discretion. Breathing a sigh of relief that the Democrats didn’t take the US Senate, pharmaceutical and biotech stocks are up well over 1-2% in early trading. Banks are only modestly higher, sticking out like a sore thumb. European markets are poised to close up over 1% but most of Asia was down overnight. The US dollar is weaker on the day, but that’s not helping commodities much. WTI crude oil is down 1% to trade around $61.50/barrel (back to April lows). The slide in energy prices will certainly help keep inflation in check in the fourth quarter. Bonds are moving higher in price, lower in yield today. That’s probably because Democratic control of the House may limit President Trump’s ability to push for higher government spending (and deficits).


*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.

September 18, 2018

September 18, 2018

Stocks surged at the open despite escalation of the trade war with China. The Dow is up 118 pts and the SPX is up .58%. Technology and consumer discretionary sectors—thought to be especially vulnerable to a trade war—are leading the way with 1% gains. European markets will close modestly higher and Asia was mostly higher overnight. In fact, China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.8% and copper prices surged more than 3%. That is absolutely not the expected reaction to more trade tariffs. Commodities are higher on the day and the US dollar is trading flat. Iron ore is up over 1% and WTI crude oil is up around $69.60/barrel. Bonds are selling off today as interest rates head higher. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are up around 2.92% and 3.03%, respectively. In addition, the yield curve steepened just a bit.


*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.

August 20, 2018

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +77 pts; SPX +.24%). Most sectors and industry groups are in green, led by energy, materials and industrials. However, semiconductors, gold miners and biotechs are not participating. The VIX Index is down slightly to trade around 12.5. Remember, the VIX is coming off of a mini spike to nearly 15 a week ago. European stock markets are broadly positive today, in the neighborhood of +.8% and most of Asia traded higher overnight. The dollar is flat against a basket of foreign currencies today but has spiked this month. WTI crude oil is up slightly to trade around $66.20/barrel. Copper is sitting near a 13-month low, mostly in sympathy with China’s trade war-induced stock market correction. Save oil, commodities generally haven’t done well this year (Gold -9%, silver -14%, iShares Global Agricultural Producers ETF -2%; iron ore flat). Bonds are up in price, down in yield this morning. The 5-year Treasury yield backed down to 2.70% and the 10-year yield fell to 2.83%. It does appear that yields are range-bound for the near term. In fact, over the last seven months the 10-year has been mostly confined to the range of 2.80% to 3.00%.


*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.

March 13, 2018

The major stock market averages gapped up after a tame inflation report, but then quickly fell back. The Dow and SPX are currently flat. Defensive sectors—utilities, telecom, consumer staples, real estate—are best-performing. Financials, energy and tech are in the red. The VIX Index is back up to nearly 16. European stock markets closed down about .5%. Commodities are mostly higher, but WTI crude oil fell back to $60.40/barrel after a report that US shale oil production is at record highs. Bonds are unchanged today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.63% 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.

March 8, 2018

Stocks opened higher this morning but are fading. At the moment, the Dow is up 28 pts and the SPX is flat. The healthcare sector is leading the after a big M&A announcement (see below). Defensive sectors utilities, real estate and consumer staples are also in the green. But trading this morning can be considered a throw-away because President Trump will announce his decision on tariffs this afternoon. That event will certainly spark some volatility. The VIX Index fell below 17 earlier as traders expect less volatility over the next 30 days. The dollar is stronger and commodities are trading lower. WTI crude oil is down 1% to $60.60/barrel. Copper is now down 7.5% on the year, presumably because China’s manufacturing business activity has lost some momentum. Bonds are trading higher as yields tick lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back down to 2.63% and 2.85%.


*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 4, 2017

The major stock market averages opened higher this morning (Dow +225 pts; SPX +.57%). Over the weekend the US Senate narrowly passed its tax reform bill, clearing the way for a conference committee to iron out differences with the House’s own bill. Value is performing better than growth today. Banks and telecoms are up over 2% in early trading. Retailers and transports are up between 1.5% and 2.5%. None of these groups has led the SPX this year, so we’re seeing a bit of catch-up. The tech sector, up over 30% this year, is taking a breather. European markets are poised to close up over 1% and Asia was mixed overnight. The dollar is stronger against a basket of foreign currencies and commodities are mostly lower. WTI crude oil is down 1% to trade at $57.70/barrel. Shorter-term bonds are selling off this morning. The 5-year Treasury yield rose to 2.15%, the highest since the spring of 2011. The 2-year Treasury yield is up around a nine year high. Longer term bonds, on the other hand, are pretty flat. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.39%. So the yield curve is flattening again and that’s a caution flag. 


*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.

November 30, 2017

Stocks gapped up at the open, reversing yesterday’s decline and setting new highs. The Dow is currently up 181 pts and the SPX is up .67%. The energy sector is rebounding about 1% after a 5% correction earlier this month. Semiconductors are also up 1% after suffering a 5.7% drop over the last few days. Interestingly, European and Asian stock markets were down overnight. And the VIX Index (Dec. futures contract) is trading up near 11.5. The dollar is weaker against a basket of foreign currencies today, mostly due to Euro & Pound strength after Brexit negotiators made constructive progress toward a split. Commodities are mixed; WTI crude is trading up around $57.70/barrel. OPEC meets today in Vienna. Bond yields are slightly higher on the day. The 5-year Treasury yield is up to 2.11% and the 10-year is now at 2.39%.


*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.

October 31, 2017

Stocks opened modestly higher this morning (Dow +12 pts; SPX +.13%). Semiconductors, banks and retailers are all in the green. Biotechs, real estate, gold miners and transports are in the red. The VIX Index sank 3% to trading around 10, so the mini-spike we saw a few days ago appears to have been a false volatility alarm. The stock market hasn’t had a 5% correction all year. Commodities are mostly lower today. WTI crude oil is flat at about $54 (highest since February). Bonds are mostly unchanged. The 5-year Treasury yield is trading at 2.0% and the 10-year yield is currently at 2.37%.


*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.

October 27, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +43 pts; SPX +.8%) due to positive earnings announcements. Tech (+2.7%) and consumer discretionary (+1.3%) sectors are leading the way. That really just means that Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Intel and Apple are up big. Not quite FAANG, but close. The dollar is a bit stronger on the day, and has been moving higher for the last month. WTI crude oil is up 2% to trade around $53.75/barrel—the highest since early March. Saudi Arabia has to prop up prices in advance of Aramco’s IPO. Bonds are rising modestly today after having been hammered since mid-September. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.04% and 2.43%, 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.

August 4, 2017

Stocks opened higher after the monthly jobs report. The Dow is up 20 pts and the SPX is up .15%. Financials, tech and materials are leading the way. And as you would expect on a day when interest rates rise, utilities, telecom and consumer staples are falling behind. The VIX Index is back down under 10 today, and European stock markets are poised to close up 1%+. The dollar is sharply higher, also due to the jobs report. And crude oil is trying to make another run toward $50/barrel. Bonds are modestly lower in price as yield tick higher. The 10-year Treasury yield is sitting at 2.28%. I don’t want to make too much of this; remember, the 10-year yield is right in the middle of its trading range going back several months. 


*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.

April 6, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +63 pts; SPX +.28%). Most sectors are in the green, led by energy and financials. Transports and retailers are up nicely as well. The only sectors trading lower are telecom and utilities. The VIX Index is back down around 12 after a mini-spike to 13 yesterday. Commodities are mixed. Copper and gold are down modestly, but still up on the year. WTI crude oil is back up to $51.60/barrel. Bonds are modestly lower this morning. The 5-year Treasury yield has been hovering around 1.88% for the last few days. The 10-year Treasury yield is trading around 2.36%. 


*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.

February 22, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow +3 pts; SPX -.18%). The Dow very briefly touched a record intra-day high of 20,766. Gold miners and transports are down more than 1%. Energy stocks are also lower in early trading. There are a few stand-outs (TOL +5%, AET +1.4%, FB +1.8%, DOW +3.6%) but most stocks are taking a breather. Most commodities are also lower today. WTI crude oil is down 1.4% to $53.50/barrel. Bonds prices are mostly unchanged. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.90% and 2.42%, 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.

January 31, 2017

Stocks sank at the open again this morning (Dow -164 pts; SPX -.55%). Transports and semiconductors are down over 1.5% in early trading. Biotechs, gold miners and utilities are higher on the day. The dollar is weaker today against a basket of foreign currencies. After hitting a multi-year high in December, it has fallen back about 3.5%. Dollar weakness is helping prop up oil. WTI crude is trading up above $53/barrel this morning. Bonds are rising in price as yields edge lower. The 5-year Treasury shot up to 2.10% last month but is now trading at 1.90%. The 10-year Treasury’s recent high was 2.6% but it is now trading around 2.44%. 


*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.

November 2, 2016

Stocks opened lower today (Dow -42 pts; SPX -.4%). The SPX is now 4% off of its peak and the VIX Index is up to 19. Utilities (-2%), energy (-1.1%) and telecom (-.75%) are the worst performing sectors in early trading. The dollar is falling today but commodities aren’t getting a corresponding bump. WTI crude oil is down to $45/barrel this morning on a higher than expected oil inventory report. Bonds are up in price today (down in yield). The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are back down to 1.27% and 1.81%. The 2-year Treasury back at .82% shows that traders may have built in too much Fed rate hike panic. By the way, the Fed’s monthly meeting wraps up today and results will be announced. 


*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.

August 17, 2016

Stocks opened lower this morning for the second consecutive session. The Dow is off 70 pts and the SPX is down .3%. Nine of ten major market sectors are lower, led by telecoms, consumer discretionary and materials. Only utilities are slightly higher. The VIX Index is up around 13.3 and VIX September futures are trading at 15.4. Volatility is expected to increase as we move into fall. WTI crude oil is modestly lower to $46.30/barrel. Bonds are mostly lower in price, higher in yield. The 5-year Treasury yield is up to 1.17% and the 10-year is flat at 1.57%.   


*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.

July 19, 2016

The major stock market averages opened slightly lower this morning (Dow flat; SPX -.16%). The Nasdaq is down .18%. Eight of ten market sectors are down, led by energy and materials. Industrials and financials are eking out gains. The VIX Index is trading up a bit to 12.5 (considered very low) and VIX August futures have come down quite a bit to 15.6. Since breaching new highs on July 11th, the SPX has risen another 1.1% and the prior highs of May 2015 may now serve as support rather than resistance. I haven’t heard any technical analysts claim a “qualified breakout,” but certainly every day the SPX holds above 2135 the odds increase that this rally will continue. The dollar is up .5% today and commodities are broadly lower. Brexit certainly did encourage the dollar to head higher. WTI crude oil is down modestly just under $45/barrel. Bonds are roughly unchanged; Treasuries are up in price and corporate bonds are down slightly. 


*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.