Dow Jones Industrial Average ("Dow")

October 30, 2018

The major stock market averages opened sharply higher this morning (Dow +220 pts; SPX .8%). Ten of eleven sectors are in the green, led by real estate (+2%) and communications (+1.8%). In addition, semiconductors, transports, retailers, oil producers and biotechs are up nicely. Foreign stock markets are mixed today, with European indexes down about .3% but Japan’s Nikkei was up 1.4% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 1%. The US dollar continues to strengthen (up 2% this month and 5% on the year) and that is putting some pressure on commodities. WTI crude oil is down slightly to trade around $66.60/barrel. Copper is still down over 20% this year. Gold is down .4% today and about 6% on the year. Bonds are trading a bit lower as yields tick upward again. The 5-year Treasury yield is back up to 2.94% and the 10-year is up around 3.10%.

All the heavy hitters are weighing in on this stock market correction. Bob Doll, Nuveen’s Chief Equity Strategist, doesn’t see the correction leading to a bear market. “It would be unlikely to have a bear market while the economy is doing well. Corrections, they can happen anytime unannounced. Bear markets are usually associated with an economic problem, i.e. recession.” Rich Bernstein is “quite shocked” that investors are so worried about peak earnings. “Peak earnings leads one to believe that a profits recession is imminent, that within a quarter or two we’re going to have negative earnings growth.” That is not a realistic expectation. He does concede that we are seeing peak earnings growth of about 24%. That rate of growth is unsustainably high and will be decelerating to about 15% next year. But that is still very good earnings growth and can help sustain further upside in the stock 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.

October 29, 2018

October 29, 2018

Stocks opened higher this morning. The Dow is currently up 105 pts and the SPX is up .7%. Utilities, consumer staples, materials, real estate, healthcare and financials are all up over 1% at the moment. Energy and consumer discretionary sectors are down slightly. The VIX Index, a measure of traders’ fear, fell back to 24 after spiking above 25 on Friday. European stock markets will close up over 1% and Asia was mixed overnight. China’s markets, however, are still under pressure. The Shanghai Composite Index is down over 28% this year in local currency terms. The dollar is a bit stronger today against a basket of foreign currencies, and up nearly 5% in 2018. Wall Streeters are increasingly concerned that a stronger dollar will hurt US businesses selling overseas. A few blue-chip companies have said so in recent days. Commodities are trading lower. WTI crude oil is down .6% to trade at $67.17/barrel. Bonds are selling off today after a pretty strong run over the last week or so. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields ticked up to 2.94% and 3.10%, 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 19, 2018

October 19, 2018

Stocks teeter-tottered up this morning after yesterday’s slide. The Dow and SPX are currently up 150 pts and .3%, respectively. Defensive sectors—consumer staples, utilities—are up nearly 2% in early trading. To a lesser degree, financials and technology are participating as well. European stock markets ended mostly lower. China’s stock markets began the session in the red but ended higher after state-owned investment funds were directed to buy stocks. Commodities are uniformly higher today, with oil beginning to recover from its two-week decline. WTI crude oil is back up around $69.50/barrel. Bonds are selling off a bit as yields head higher. The 5-year Treasury note yield is back up around 3.06% and the 1-year yield ticked up to 3.20%.


*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 30, 2018

August 30, 2018

Stocks opened lower this morning after breaking to fresh highs earlier in the week. The Dow is currently off 112 pts and the SPX is down .28%. The materials sector is down 1.3% in early trading on weakness in gold miners and chemical producers. Banks and transports are down about .5%. Healthcare stocks are roughly flat and utilities are up modestly. The VIX Index—a common gauge of fear among traders—is back up to 12.5 but that’s still a very low level. For context, during the correction last January/February, the VIX spiked briefly to 37. European stock markets will close about .5% lower in today’s session and most of Asia was down overnight. The US dollar is a bit stronger today against a basket of foreign currencies, reacting to strong economic data (see below). Most commodities are not surprisingly trading lower. But WTI crude oil is holding steady at $69.66/barrel. Bonds are higher in price, lower in yield today. The 5-year Treasury note yield backed down to 2.76% and the 10-year yield is at 2.86%.


*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.

August 10, 2018

August 10, 2018

US stock markets gapped down at the open this morning (Dow -168 pts; SPX -.5%). All eleven major market sectors are in the red. The worst performing groups are semiconductors and banks. The VIX Index jumped up to 12.6 today. European stock markets are down over 1% and Asia was mostly lower overnight. Commodities are mixed even though the dollar is much stronger today. WTI crude oil is trading back up around $67.60/barrel. Bonds are higher in price, lower in yield today. This is likely due to two factors: Turkey’s growing crisis (see below) and the CPI report (see below). The 10-year Treasury yield dipped to 2.88%.


*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 9, 2018

August 9, 2018

The major stock market averages opened mixed this morning (Dow -30 pts; SPX flat). It’s still a trader’s market with lots of back-and-forth but no trend. But now we’re in August and there’s no trade volume to speak of. So in some respects the day-to-day commentary doesn’t matter much. Today’s trade action—defensives leading; cyclicals mostly lagging; foreign markets lower—is exactly the opposite of what we saw earlier this week. The VIX Index—which attempts to measure investor fear—is down around 10.8. The dollar is appreciating in value against a basket of foreign currencies, and is now up 3.5% on the year. WTI crude oil is up modestly to trade around $67.10/barrel. Bonds are trading slightly higher today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back down around 2.81% and 2.94%, 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, 2018

August 8, 2018

Stocks opened lower today on escalating trade tensions with China. The Dow is currently down 38 pts and the SPX is flat.  Losses are led by energy as well as the defensive sectors. On the other hand, banks, semiconductors and retailers are higher in early trading. Most European markets are poised to close lower by .3% and China’s stock market gave up the prior session’s gains last night. WTI crude oil sank nearly 4% to trade at $65.50/barrel after Chinese import data revealed modestly lower oil demand over the last few months. Traders are eager to jump to the conclusion that trade tariffs are damaging commodity demand. The fact is that economists are expecting global oil demand to grow 1.5% this year vs. the historical average 1%. So don’t be surprised if oil prices continue the uneven march higher. Bonds are mixed in today’s trade. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up .1% (but is still down 6% this year). Corporate bonds—represented by the iShares IBOXX Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) are down about .1% today. Yields aren’t moving much. The yield curve remains pretty flat; the spread between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields is hovering around .30%.


*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 7, 2018

August 7, 2018

The major stock market averages gapped up at the open today (Dow +150 pts; SPX +.38%). Energy, financials and industrials are leading the way. Utilities, real estate and consumer staples are sagging. And finally we’re seeing a pickup in foreign stock markets (FTSE 100 Index +.9%; Nikkei +.7%; Shanghai Composite +2.7%). Bloomberg says European cyclicals are catching a bid after a strong earnings season; traders may be rotating back into foreign markets. That’s bound to happen at some point, because stock valuations are so much cheaper overseas. Vanguard’s FTSE All-World Ex-US ETF (VEU) has underperformed the SPX by nearly 10 percentage points this year. The VIX Index has cratered this month, now trading at 11. The US dollar is weaker today against a basket of currencies, and that’s giving a lift to commodities. WTI crude is rebounding toward $69.20/barrel after a production cut by Saudi Arabia. Bonds are trading down as yields tick higher. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are currently at 2.83% and 2.96%, 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.

July 31, 2018

July 31, 2018

Stocks opened sharply higher today (Dow +125 pts; SPX .5%) on some positive corporate earnings reports. The real estate sector is up over 2% and industrials are up 1.8% in early trading. The only sectors in the red are financials and energy. European markets are poised to close up about .6% to 1%. The VIX Index fell back to 13.3 and VIX August futures are down around 14.3. Commodities are mixed, with WTI crude oil down to $68.80/barrel. Bonds are trading up as yields dip. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.84% and 2.96%, 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.

July 24, 2018

The major stock market averages surged at the open following a spate of better than expected earnings announcements. The Dow is up 185 pts and the SPX is up .6%. Energy and materials—i.e. commodity-based sectors—are up over 1% in early trading. Only the defensive interest-rate sensitive sectors—utilities, consumer staples, real estate—are down. The VIX Index is sagging back down to 12.2 as investors’ fortunes look slightly more secure this morning. WTI crude oil is up sharply to trade around $68.80/barrel. Copper, gold and iron ore are all up as well. Bonds are mixed this morning. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.82% and the 10-year yield is flat around 2.96%. Short-term bonds are flat but everything else is up 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.

July 13, 2018

July 13, 2018

The major stock market averages fell at the open but quickly recovered. The Dow and SPX are now up 63 pts & .12%, respectively. The telecom sector is down over 1% (see below), but most sectors are modestly higher on the day. Retailers and transports are faring especially well. European markets are poised to close higher by about .25% and most of Asia was higher overnight. The US dollar rose almost 1% this week and is now up 3% on the year. WTI crude oil is trading back up to $70.80/barrel. Bonds are trading flat yet 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.

June 27, 2018

Stocks opened higher (Dow +130 pts; SPX +.35%) following this week’s overreaction to trade rhetoric from the Trump Administration. Ten of eleven market sectors are in the green, led by energy, industrials and materials. Only healthcare is in the red. The VIX Index is back down to 15.5. European markets are poised to close up about 1% despite continued weakness in Asia overnight. Oil shot back up to $72.60/barrel. Bonds are rising in price as well. The 5-year Treasury yield has fallen back to 2.72% from its May high of 2.94%. The 10-year yield is back down to 2.85%. Go figure.


*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 25, 2019

Stocks fell at the open on fresh trade provocations by the Trump Administration. The Dow and SPX are currently down 366 pts and 1.3%, respectively. Again, industrials and materials—which would fare the worst in a trade war—are down about 1%. The tech sector is down nearly 2% as semiconductors are also seen as vulnerable. On the other hand, defensive sectors like utilities and telecoms, are in the green. Asian stock markets continue to fall. The Shanghai Composite is down 20% from its January highs. The US dollar is about 5.5% stronger than it was in mid-April, and the Bloomberg Commodity Index is down 4.5% over the same period. WTI crude oil is down slightly to trade at $68.36/barrel. OPEC agreed to a vague increase in oil production.


*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 12, 2018

Stocks opened modestly higher this morning (Dow flat; SPX +.2%). Most sectors are in the green, led by utilities, consumer discretionary and technology. Asian markets were up in the overnight session following the US/North Korean summit in Singapore (see below). The VIX Index is a bit lower, trading at 12.5. The dollar is unchanged today and oil is up .4% to trade around $66.40/barrel. Bonds are mixed in early trading. Treasuries are down a bit, while corporates and especially junk bonds are trading higher. The SPDR High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) has not done well this year, but over the past two weeks has begun to recover. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are currently up around 2.81% and 2.96%, respectively. Don’t miss the fact that those yields are essentially right on top of one another. The yield curve is still flattening; the difference between the 2-year and 10-year yields is just 43 basis points. The reason is that the Fed is raising short-term interest rates at a faster pace than inflation expectations are pushing up long-term rates.  

Last night marked the first ever meeting between sitting heads of state of the US and North Korea. The result was without much detail but the two sides did agree to reestablish diplomatic relations. President Trump and Kim Jong Un signed a document pledging security guarantees to North Korea in exchange for that government’s commitment to full denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Afterward, Mr. Trump said Kim had promised to halt nuclear testing, which if true, is significant. The president said there will be more meetings to come. Strangely enough, Mr. Trump said in a press conference that he believes Kim will abide by the agreement. If true, he may be the only one with that sentiment.  

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) accelerated to 2.8% y/y growth in May. For some context, CPI is now at the high end of its range over the past six years. Economists generally expected retail price inflation to rise; the trend has been gradually higher over the past year. A big part of the reason is that oil/gasoline prices are rising. We know that commodity price inflation is climbing faster than wages. The Labor Department says real wages—adjusted for inflation—are flat with year-ago levels. This report is not a cause for alarm because the absolute level of inflation is still fairly low. But we do want to see some wage inflation to prop up consumer spending. 

CNBC released results from its most recent survey of professional investors. Respondents now expect the SPX to end the year 2% higher than current levels. Economic growth (GDP) is expected to remain pretty strong. Interest rates will continue to march higher--the 10-year Treasury yield should end the year around 3.23%. Investors still expect either 3 or 4 Fed rate hikes this year. And crucially, 62% believe the Fed will continue raising rates until it chokes off 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.

June 8, 2018

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow & SPX flat) as the G-7 meeting got underway in Canada. Energy, telecom and tech sectors are leading to the downside. Consumer staples and healthcare are up modestly in early trading. Apple (AAPL) is down after another private research firm warned that the company is reducing order volume for iPhone components. I can’t believe after all these years we’re still falling for that one. The US dollar is a bit stronger today and commodities are understandably weaker. WTI crude oil is down .8% to trade around $65.40/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.77% and the 10-year yield is currently at 2.93%.


*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 11, 2018

Stocks opened lower this morning but quickly pared losses. The Dow and SPX are currently down 113 pts and .47%, respectively. Telecoms are down 1.4%, materials are down 1% and financials are down 1%. The energy sector, however, is up nearly 1%. The VIX Index is down a bit to 20.2. European markets are poised to close down modestly. The dollar is a bit weaker today and commodities are trading higher. WTI crude oil is up around $65.96/barrel, the highest in over three years. That’s because President Trump is threatening more missile strikes in Syria. Bonds are trading slightly higher on the day. The 5-year Treasury yields ticked down to 2.61% and the 10-year yield is trading at 2.78%. 


*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 22, 2018

Stocks opened sharply lower this morning (Dow -366 pts; SPX -1.3%) on trade war fears. It looks like the SPX wants to re-test its recent correction low. The tech sector is under pressure again today (-2%) as a result of Facebook’s (FB) user account data leak incident, which made its way back into headlines on Monday. Traders are using this as an excuse to take profits across the entire sector. Make no mistake, fundamentals are in the back seat today and traders are taking the lead. That’s why volatility is exploding so quickly. Everything could turn on a dime, however, so don’t be surprised if stocks end the session in the green. Most sectors are down over 1% in early trading. Only consumer staples, real estate and utilities are in the green. European markets are poised to close down about 2% and Asia was mostly lower overnight. Emerging markets stocks are getting hammered (-3%). WTI crude oil is down 1% to $64.50/barrel. Bonds are performing well as yields plunge. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields are hovering around 2.61% and 2.81%, 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 6, 2018

The major stock market averages opened mixed this morning. The Dow is down 104 pts and the S&P 500 is down .1%. The Nasdaq is up .14%. Utilities are down .8% and biotechs, banks and retailers are in the red. Gold miners, semiconductors and materials stocks are in the green. The VIX Index, which uses stock options to measure investor fear, is holding around 18.5. VIX March futures are at the same level. Whereas the VIX remained below 12 for most of 2017, it has been significantly higher (that is, more normal) this year. The dollar is weaker today (and down 2.7% so far this year) and commodities are mostly higher. WTI crude oil is trading down a bit to $62.30/barrel. Bonds are modestly higher this morning. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields ticked down to 2.63% and 2.86%, respectively. The trend for interest rates has been mostly higher this year, so bonds have traded lower. The popular iShares IBOXX Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) is down 4% this year; the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is down 6.5%.


*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 6, 2018

The major stock market averages are very choppy in early trading. At the moment, the Dow is down 165 pts and the SPX is down .7%. Materials and Consumer Discretionary sectors are in the green, but most of the rest of the market is down again. And European markets, by the way, are poised to close 1.5%. The VIX Index is all over the place, having surged about 90% yesterday and fallen 30% today. It is now trading at 25.8. Not coincidentally, the last time the VIX spiked so high was August 2015 in concert with the last flash crash. Treasury bonds are falling in price as yields resume the march higher. The 5-year and 10-year notes are trading at 2.49% and 2.76%. Junk bonds, however, are faring well today. The SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) is up .25%, and that’s really good news, suggesting investors aren’t worried about credit. 


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