BlackRock (BLK)

"TINA" is back

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow +40 pts; SPX flat). Utilities (-.8%) and real estate (-1%) are getting hit because interest rates are up in early trading. On the other hand technology, energy and industrial sectors are in the green. Bonds are trading a bit lower as yields tick higher. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.04%. That number alone makes one think back to the acronym TINA (There Is No Alternative to investing in stocks). Bonds just don’t offer high enough yields to do anything other than (barely) keep up with inflation. And with the Federal Reserve hinting at possibly cutting interest rates later this month, there’s even less implied value in the bond market. And that’s one reason why the stock market is grinding slowly higher despite the trade war and slowing economic growth.


*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.

MIXED SIGNALS ON THE ECONOMY

The major stock market averages opened slightly higher after Apple’s (AAPL) surprise earnings announcement (sell below). The Dow is currently up 39 pts and the SPX is just above flat. Not surprisingly, the tech sector is leading the way, up .8% in early trading. The defensive sectors are giving up yesterday’s gains (except, oddly, for real estate). The energy sector is down .8% on lower oil prices. WTI crude oil fell back to $63.40/barrel following a report showing higher than expected crude stockpiles. Bonds are gaining ground again today as yields tick lower. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.48%.


*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 TO THE RESCUE?

Stocks opened higher this morning. The Dow is current up 55 pts and the SPX is up .12%. Sectors are responding to earnings announcements (see below) and interest rates. Rate sensitive sectors like real estate and utilities are down between .8% and 1.8% in early trading. The banks are up 1%. The VIX is down and commodities are up. Bonds are trading lower. The 10-year Treasury yield jumped to 2.59%. In other words, today’s session fits a risk-on template.


*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 16, 2018

October 16, 2018

The major stock market averages screamed higher in early trading, reversing the prior week’s trend. The Dow is currently up 374 pts and the SPX is up 1.5%. So far, this is the Dow’s best day in two months. All eleven market sectors are in the green, led by tech and healthcare (+2%). Even financials are participating to some extent. The VIX Index gapped down below 19 suggesting traders are increasingly less nervous about the near-term. European stock markets are poised to close up well over 1% and most of Asia was up overnight (except China). The dollar is flat against a basket of foreign currencies after having declined a bit over the last week. Commodities are mixed in early trading. WTI crude oil is unchanged at $71.70/barrel. Gold is up slightly today (& up about 4% over the last two weeks). Bonds are trading modestly lower as yields tick up. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury Note yields are back up around 3.03% and 3.17%, 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 13, 2018

Stocks gapped up at the open but quickly gave way. The Dow is currently down 39 pts and the SPX is flat. Defensive sectors are showing some strength today, as well as energy. But financials (especially banks) are down after some key earnings announcements. Despite that, the VIX Index is down around 17.8. WTI crude oil is up yet again, around $67.409/barrel, to new 3-year highs. The headlines cite rising geopolitical tensions, but whatever the reason, it can’t be supported by fundamentals. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.67% and the 10-year yield is trading at 2.82%. However, the 2-year Treasury yield continues to rise and at 2.36% is the highest since 2008. The yield curve continues to flatten.


*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.

February 20, 2018

The major stock market averages dipped at the open but quickly recovered. The Dow and SPX are currently down 77 pts & up .1%, respectively. The SPX has now recovered 70% of its correction losses. Telecoms, utilities and consumer staples sectors are down over 1% this morning due to interest rate sensitivity and a weak earnings announcement from Wal-Mart (WMT). Semiconductors and banks, on the other hand, are in the green. The VIX Index is hovering around 20, generally regarded as the dividing line between low and high volatility. The only reason that matters is that hedge fund trade algorithms are sometimes programmed to trade on VIX moves relative to 20. Bonds are down in price again as yields head higher. The 5-year Treasury yield is up around 2.67% and the 10-year is up around 2.91%.


*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 12, 2018

Stocks surged at the open (Dow +197 pts; SPX +.46%) on better than expected earnings announcements. Nine of eleven major market sectors are in the green, led by consumer discretion (+.8%) and industrials (+.8%). The KBW Bank Index (BKX) is up about .6% after several big banks reported earnings this morning. Utilities are flat and real estate is down another .7%. The dollar is weaker (now down 1% on the year) and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is trading down .5% to $63.50/barrel, but has been rising for the past four weeks. Bonds are selling off again. The 5-year Treasury is up around 2.35% and the 10-year is back up to 2.56%.


*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, 2017

US stock market averages dipped after posting new highs on Friday. The Dow is currently down 20 pts and the SPX is flat. The tech & utilities sectors (+.4%) are leading the charge, but retailers and transports are also up modestly. On the other hand, biotechs and pharmaceuticals are down over 1% in early trading. The VIX Index is still hovering below 10 indicating low expected volatility. The rest of the world is also rallying. European markets are closing up about .3% and Asian markets were up overnight. Commodities are trading mostly lower, but WTI crude oi is up around $61.50/barrel. That’s a 2.5-year high. Shorter-term bonds are holding steady after selling off sharply last week. The 5-year Treasury yield is sitting at 2.29%, the highest since April 2011. Longer-term bonds are selling off today, with yields moving higher. The 10-year Treasury note yield is up around 2.48%. Investors are closely watching long bonds for any sign of rising inflation expectations.


*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 11, 2017

The major market averages opened mixed this morning (Dow & SPX flat). Gold miners, banks, biotechs, telecoms and basic materials are lower in early trading. Some of the more defensive and interest rate sensitive sectors are in the green (consumer staples, utilities, real estate). The VIX Index is still hovering around 10 and WTI crude oil is still trading between $50 & $51/barrel. Bonds are trading slightly higher as yields take a break from their upward climb. The 5-year Treasury yield is currently around 1.95% and the 10-year yield edged back down to 2.34%.


*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 29, 2017

Stocks opened mixed today (Dow -48 pts; SPX flat; Nasdaq +.2%). We’re in no-man’s-land until earnings season starts in a couple of weeks. Energy stocks are bouncing back (+1%) after taking a beating so far this year. Retailers, gold miners and biotechs are up nicely, but most everything else is lower in early trading. The VIX Index is back down under 12 and VIX April futures are down to 12.8. The dollar is up a bit and yet most commodities are higher. WTI crude oil is up over $49/barrel. Remember, early this year oil prices corrected 12% and are just now beginning to move back up toward $50. Bonds are mostly higher in price, lower in yield. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are down to 1.94% and 2.39%, 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 13, 2016

Stocks opened higher today (Dow +7 pts; SPX +.28%). Financials are powering ahead, up 1.1% in early trading. Biotechs and semiconductors are also up nearly 1%. Utilities, REITs and materials stocks are down modestly. The VIX Index is down again, now trading around 11, giving room for the stock market to run. Oil prices are down a bit to trade around $52.40/barrel, but anything over $50 will likely be conducive to the stock rally. Bond prices are lower on the day as yields tick up. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 1.91% and 2.41%, 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.

October 18, 2016

Stocks jumped at the open on better than expected earnings announcements. The Dow and SPX are currently up 90 pts & .7%, respectively. Healthcare, the supreme lagger this year, is up 1.2% in early trading. REITs, basic materials and tech are also leading. The VIX Index is down to 15.7. European markets are poised to close up 1+% and Asia was up overnight. The dollar is flat and so is oil, hovering around $49.90/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged with the exception of a modest rise in junk. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are trading around 1.25% and 1.76%. 


*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 15, 2016

The major stock market averages rallied this morning to hit fresh intra-day highs. The Dow and SPX are currently up 85 pts & .4%, respectively. Materials, industrials and tech sectors are leading the charge. Utilities, telecoms and consumer staples sectors are in the red in early trading. In terms of industry groups, semiconductors, biotechs and transports are up at least 1% at the moment. This dollar is a bit weaker and oil is higher (WTI crude at $45.50/barrel). The Bloomberg Commodity Index is surging 1.2%. By the way, the dollar is still down for the year, and that is good news after a roughly 20% surge in 2014 & 2015. Most of Europe is poised to close modestly higher and most of Asia was higher overnight. Bonds are selling off a bit. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are currently at 1.12% and 1.54%, respectively. Yields have rebounded somewhat from Brexit lows and are holding steady without much volatility. 


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

July 14, 2016

July 14, 2016

The major stock market averages opened higher yet again (Dow +135 pts; SPX .55%). Financials are leading the way—for a change—after JP Morgan’s earnings announcement. The KBW Bank Index is up 1.9% in early trading. The transports are also up over 1%. That group, by the way, has been outperforming the SPX for most of 2016 and that’s a good sign for the health of the stock market. The dollar is down a bit this morning (and -3% year-to-date) and commodities are mostly higher. WTI crude oil is trading up toward $45.40/barrel. Gold is taking a breather after having surged 25% this year. Bonds are selling off as yields head higher. The 5-year Treasury yield is back up to 1.09% and the 10-year is up to 1.53%. It looks like it wants to move up past 1.6% in the near term. 


*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 13, 2016

Stocks opened modestly higher this morning but quickly faded (Dow -22 pts; SPX -.2%). The Nasdaq is down .3%. Telecoms, utilities and consumer staples sectors are bouncing back from yesterday’s slide. Banks, biotechs, energy companies and retailers are a bit weaker on the day. CNBC is reporting this little rally over the past week or so is the biggest (and was accomplished on the highest trade volume) since 2009. Every trader is on pins and needles trying to figure out whether this is a head-fake or the resumption of a more durable rally for equities. The dollar is weaker today and that’s giving some commodities a boost. Gold continues upward, copper is up 1.2% and iron ore is in the green. On the other hand, WTI crude oil is down around $45.40/barrel. Bonds are up in price as yields edge lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.04% and 1.46%, 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 15, 2016

Stocks opened lower but have turned around. The Dow and SPX are currently flat. Energy and healthcare sectors are in the red. The defensive sectors (consumer staples, utilities, telecom), on the other hand, are in the green. The VIX Index popped up a bit to 14 and VIX futures (May) are up to 17. So we’re seeing a little more skittishness on the part of traders as the stock market rebounds to levels not seen since December. There is a sense that further gains will have to come from better than expected first quarter earnings. The dollar is weaker on the day (and the year), but most commodities are lower. WTI crude oil is down 3% this morning to $40/barrel. Bonds prices are higher today as yields edge lower. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are down to 1.21% and 1.75%, 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.

April 14, 2016

Stocks sank at the open, but quickly recovered (Dow +32 pts; SPX +.14%, Nasdaq flat). Telecoms are faring well (+.5%), as are bank stocks (+.8%) and airlines. Semiconductors, on the other hand, are down 1% in early trading and consumer staples are down as well. The VIX Index is settling nicely down around 13.5. Europe is poised to close up and Asia was higher overnight. WTI crude oil is flat, trading around $41.90/barrel and that’s really key to keeping this rally alive. Brent crude is trading up above $44/barrel. Bonds are selling off again.


*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 29, 2016

Stocks fell in early trading, but quickly pared losses (Dow -31 pts; SPX flat). Energy is the worst performing sector, down 1% as oil prices drift lower. WTI crude oil is off 3% to $38/barrel and Brent crude is trading down just below $39/barrel. Tech and telecom sectors are solidly in the green at the moment. The dollar is a bit weaker this morning, and actually has been in a downtrend since the end of January. That has allowed commodities some breathing room—but not today. Barclays says investors should remain wary of commodity investments because global demand isn’t improving much. Despite a recent turn higher, the Bloomberg Commodity Index is down around levels not seen since 1999. Bonds are trading higher this morning as yields tick lower. The 5-year Treasury yield is down to 1.33% after having traded up to 1.49% at mid-month. The 10-year Treasury yield is trading around 1.86%.


*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.