Atlanta Federal Reserve GDP Now Forecast

JOBS REPORT TO THE RESCUE

Stocks opened higher this morning after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its March jobs report (see below). The Dow is currently up 34 pts and the SPX is up .38%. Nine of eleven major market sectors are trading higher, led by energy (+1.5%) and healthcare (+.8%). The communications services sector is flat. Small-caps and emerging markets equities are outperforming today. The US dollar is slightly higher in early trading, and commodities are mixed.


*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.

June 28, 2018

Stocks meandered aimlessly at the open (Dow flat; SPX +.15%). Telecoms are up 1.5% today after taking an 12% beating year-to-date. Tech and financials are also up about .5%. On the other hand, energy, healthcare, industrials and materials are down modestly. The VIX Index is heading back up over 18, but VIX July futures are trading down around 17. So the options market is telling us volatility will calm over the next 30 days. European stock markets will close down about 1%, reversing yesterday’s gains. Asia was mixed overnight, but China’s Shanghai Composite Index is now down 21.7% from its January high. Commodities are mixed, with oil up over 1% but gold and copper are sagging. WTI crude oil is trading over $73.70/barrel and is up 9% so far this month. Bonds are trading slightly lower as rates tick up. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields are at 2.72% and 2.84%, 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.

June 15, 2018

Stocks gapped down at the open (Dow -216 pts; SPX -.4%) on renewed trade war fears. The hardest-hit sectors are energy (-1.8%), industrials (-.8%,) and materials (-1.1%). The poster children for trade jitters, Boeing and Caterpillar, are down over 2% in early trading. Real estate, consumer staples and utilities are the only sectors in the green. The VIX Index jumped to 12.5. European markets are poised to close down about .5%. WTI crude oil is down 3% to trade around $64.60/barrel. Most other commodities are lower as well (gold -1.7%; copper -2.9%; ag products -1%). Bonds are responding positively. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields backed down to 2.79% and 2.92%, 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.

November 3, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow & SPX flat; Nasdaq +.3%). Biotechs, utilities, retailers and consumer staples stocks are faring well in early trading. And select names like Apple (AAPL) are up after reporting earnings. But gold miners, banks, REITs, and materials stocks are in the red. We got a raft of economic data, much of which was positive. The VIX Index backed down to 9.7, which suggests a continued low volatility environment for equities. Commodities are mostly lower but WTI crude oil is hanging in there at $54.50/barrel. Bonds are trading modestly lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields edged up to 2.02% and 2.36%, 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.

September 25, 2017

Stocks opened a bit lower as tensions with North Korea escalated over the weekend. The Dow is currently down 90 pts and the SPX is down .47%. Cyclical sectors are down the most (tech -1.6%; materials -.5%; financials -.6%), whereas defensive sectors are faring better (utilities +.3%; consumer staples +.5%). The only exception is energy +.9% as WTI crude oil shot up to $51.50/barrel. Recall that oil was down around $42/barrel just three months ago. Bloomberg reports hedge funds are making bets that oil goes higher in the near term. Gold is trading .6% higher today due also to geopolitical tensions. Wall Street traders are cautioning, however, not to make too much of geopolitical rhetoric. Markets are not in panic mode. Bonds are rising in price, falling in yield today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields backed down to 1.84% and 2.22%, 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.

September 20, 2017

Stocks are mixed in early trading (Dow +16 pts; SPX flat; Nasdaq -.24%). We’ve seen a rotation in the last couple of weeks away from defensive sectors (i.e. utilities, consumer staples) and toward cyclicals (industrials, financials, energy, materials). This seems to be driven by a rebound in interest rates & oil; it’s hard to say how long that will last. This morning, transports are up 1.5%, biotechs are up .7%, and energy stocks are up about .6%. We are seeing some uncharacteristic weakness in semiconductors after Apple (AAPL) admitted lower pre-orders for the new iPhone 8 because consumers are waiting for the iPhone X. 


*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 6, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning, rebounding from yesterday’s dip. The Dow is currently up 66 pts and the SPX is up .16%. Energy producers, transports, and retailers are leading the charge. The VIX Index is up a bit to trade around 12.5 (from 10 a week ago), but with Hurricane Irma and North Korea tensions, you’d think it would be higher. The dollar is weaker today, and off nearly 10% year-to-date. The dollar has been a quiet support to US multi-national companies selling goods abroad. Commodities are mostly higher on the day, with WTI crude oil up around $49.20/barrel. Oil prices have risen from about $42/barrel near the end of June but many energy stocks haven’t really kept pace. They may begin to catch-up. The bond market has strengthened over the past two months as yields have fallen. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.65% and 2.07%, respectively. Speaking of yields, CNBC interviewed Mark Grant of Hilltop Securities yesterday. He said global “central banks now have $19 trillion in assets and they’re adding $300 billion per month. They keep growing it, and that’s driving equity prices up, and bond yields down.” Unless central banks change their policy actions, the trend will continue. Of course, we know that the US Federal Reserve would like to tighten monetary policy, but low inflation & interest rates are making that difficult. 


*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.

May 30, 2017

Stocks opened lower this morning, digesting recent gains. The Dow is currently down 30 pts and the SPX is off .1%. Telecoms are surging today, recovering some of their year-to-date losses. On the other hand, energy and financial sectors are down sharply. The dollar is a bit weaker this morning but most commodities aren’t rising. WTI crude oil is trading down to $49.35/barrel. Bonds are higher in price, lower in yield. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields ticked down to 1.77% and 2.23%, 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.

April 5, 2017

Stocks gapped up at the open (Dow +115 pts; SPX +.5%; Nasdaq +.36%). Ten of eleven major market sectors are in the green, led by the cyclicals (tech, industrials, consumer discretion). The VIX Index is back down to 11.2 after having traded up to 13 a couple of weeks ago. By the way, the VIX (which measures fear among traders) for almost five months. The dollar is flat today and commodities are mostly higher. WTI crude oil is trading up to $51.20/barrel. Bonds initially sold off but are now moving higher on the day. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are currently at 1.88% and 2.36%, respectively. Remember, lower bond yields in this market environment imply lower economic growth expectations. So ideally, we’ll want to see yields float gradually upward in the coming 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.

March 24, 2017

Stocks opened higher but just gave way ( Dow -22 pts; SPX flat). Semiconductors are bouncing back (+1%). Biotechs and utilities are trading higher as well. But it’s been a tough week for stocks, with the SPX down about 1% and small-caps down 2%. The VIX Index is trading down around 12.4—still very low. The dollar is flat today (around 15-month lows) and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is up modestly to trade around $47.80/barrel. Bonds are trading higher as well as yields tick lower. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are currently trading at 1.94% and 2.40%, respectively. Lower yields in the past couple of weeks suggest pessimism about President Trump’s approach to repealing and replacing ObamaCare. The vote on the GOP health bill will take place today, and Bloomberg just forecast that it WILL PASS. 


*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 12, 2016

Stocks rebounded modestly at the open (Dow +12 pts; SPX +.3%), led by the defensive sectors (utilities, real estate, consumer staples). Energy is lagging on lower oil prices. Biotechs are down again, and the Nasdaq Biotech Index is off nearly 20% so far this year. The VIX Index is up to nearly 16, suggesting higher expected volatility in stocks in the next 30 days. WTI crude is trading at $50/barrel. Oil could trade lower in the near term once traders realize the OPEC production freeze deal is more about words than action. The dollar is stronger on the day (but still down slightly on the year). Bonds are selling off again and yields are rising. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 1.79%. And it does look like the 10-year bottomed convincingly back in early July so we could definitely see rates head higher. Remember, the 2016 high for the 10-year is about 2.2%. 


*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 26, 2016

The major stock market averages opened higher this morning in front on Janet Yellen’s Jackson Hole speech. The Dow and SPX are currently up 87 pts & .5%, respectively. This is neither a classic “risk-on” nor a “risk-off” day. In fact, nine of ten major market sectors are up by pretty much the same percentage. The VIX Index is trading around 12.7, but the upcoming election is driving up VIX December futures to around 18. That means some volatility as we exit the year. The dollar is flat on the day and WTI crude oil is trading up a bit to $47.69/barrel. Bonds are broadly unchanged. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are currently trading at 1.14% and 1.55%, respectively. So Ms. Yellen’s speech simply isn’t riling 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.