CVS Health (CVS)

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.

STOCKS IN A HOLDING PATTERN

STOCKS IN A HOLDING PATTERN

The major stock market averages opened roughly unchanged this morning (Dow & SPX flat). The materials sector is leading the way (+1.4) on higher commodity prices and optimism over a potential US-China trade deal. Semiconductors and gold miners are up 1%+, energy stocks are up over .5%, and banks are up .3%. The healthcare sector is lower after CVS Health (CVS) reported quarterly results. REITs are down nearly 1% in early trading. Commodities are trading higher today. Copper and iron ore—which tend to move on China’s economic outlook—are up 12% and 26%, respectively, so far this year. WTI crude oil is back up to nearly $57/barrel. Bonds are mostly lower in price, higher in yield today. The 10-year Treasury yield is up slightly to 2.65%.


*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 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 31, 2018

August 31, 2018

The major stock market indexes are mixed in early trading (Dow -55 pts; SPX -.13%; Nasdaq +.1%). Retailers, semiconductors and REITs are moving up, but most other groups are in the red. Banks and oil companies are some of the worst-performing groups, and year-to-date they’ve been flattish. Trade volume is pretty light in front of the three-day weekend. European stock markets are down about 1% and Asian markets were down overnight. Over the last 24 hours we’ve seen headlines saying President Trump is leaning toward imposing trade tariffs on another $200bil in Chinese imports, and he’s also doing his part to cast doubt on the trade talks between US and Canadian officials this week. Today is the deadline for negotiating a new NAFTA deal with Canada. That country’s foreign affairs minister said the two sides are “not there yet.” That haze of political uncertainty will keep a lid on stock market gains for now.


*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.

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.

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 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 8, 2017

Stocks opened lower but quickly turned around (Dow +41 pts; SPX +.28%). Banks, semiconductors, retailers and energy producers are leading the charge, whereas biotechs, gold miners and REITs are lower. European markets closed higher by about a quarter of a percent. Most of Asia has traded higher over the last couple of days despite some saber rattling by North Korea. The VIX isn’t showing any signs of panic either. Commodities are mostly higher today, but WTI crude oil is down around $48.30/barrel. Typically, negative geopolitical events result in higher oil prices, but we haven’t seen it yet. Bonds are trading modestly lower this morning. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.84% and 2.29%, respectively. When asked about a bond market price bubble, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, “I wouldn’t personally buy into 10-year sovereign debt anywhere around the world.” That’s because he thinks interest rates will be moving gradually higher.


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

June 30, 2017

Stocks opened modestly higher following yesterday’s rout. The Dow and SPX are currently up 58 pts & .18%, respectively. Most sectors are trying to bounce back, except for financials, healthcare and telecom. The deep cyclical-type groups are weaker today—biotechs, semiconductors, banks. The VIX Index is sitting at 11.5 and VIX are trading at 12.3. The dollar is modestly stronger today against a basket of foreign currencies, but oil prices are rising as well. WTI crude is trading up around $45.40/barrel. Bonds are ever-so-slightly lower in price, higher in yield. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked up to 1.86% and the 10-year yield is up to 2.28%


*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 4, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow -14 pts; SPX flat). Consumer staples (particularly ABC, CVS, GIS) are up .7% at the moment and financials & healthcare sectors are up modestly. On the other hand, telecoms & real estate—interest rate sensitive groups—are falling. The dollar is lower today but most commodities are down as well. Gold is down 1.5%. WTI oil is down over 4.8% to trade around  $45.50/barrel for the first time since November 2016. It just blew through the key short-term support level of $47; the next support level is around $45, and then $42. Bonds are selling off too, strangely, with yields moving sharply higher. The 5-year Treasury yield is up to 1.88% and the 10-year is up around 2.35%. 


*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 2, 2016

Stocks opened sharply lower this morning despite some better-than-expected earnings announcements. The Dow and SPX are currently down 117 pts & .8%, respectively. All ten major market sectors are lower in early trading. Biotechs, semiconductors and transports are all down over 1% at the moment. The dollar is lower and commodities are higher—even oil, which has been in a downtrend lately. WTI crude oil is back up to $40.50/barrel. Bonds are lower as yields move up a bit. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are currently at 1.08% and 1.54%, respectively. Yields look like they want to move up 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.