Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow)

TRADE WAR IS TAKING A TOLL

Stocks opened modestly higher this morning (Dow +38 pts; SPX +.16%). Defensive sectors—utilities, consumer staples, real estate—are leading way. On the other hand, energy, industrials and tech are flat to down in early trading. The VIX Index is holding its ground at 21.8 and VIX September futures are trading at 20.4. So despite incredibly bearish financial news media coverage, trading aren’t panicking. European markets will close slightly lower, whereas Asian markets were mostly higher overnight. Oil is down in price again; WTI crude is down 1% to trade around $54.60/barrel. The dollar is stronger after hints by an official at the European Central Bank (ECB) that a bigger monetary stimulus package is coming. Bonds are trading uniformly higher today as yields continue to drop. Junk bonds are up about .25% after some better than expected reports on the economy. But Treasuries are also catching a bid. The 10-year Treasury Note yield has fallen to just 1.55%, the lowest since September 2016.


*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.

THE BOND MARKET IS DRIVING THE BUS

Stocks opened sharply lower today (Dow -590 pts; SPX -2.1%). Financials and energy are leading the market lower, down by over 3% in early trading. The only sector in the green is utilities, up .4%. The SPX is still about 1.5% higher than it fell on Monday August 5th, so this is not even the worst day for stocks this month. Machine trading has taken over in reaction to falling yields in the bond market, and also lower trade volume. The VIX Index climbed back to 21, but that’s pretty tame compared with the spike above 35 we saw last December. As opposed to yesterday, everyone wants to be first to call the next recession. Scanning Bloomberg headlines, we see the following:

“Bond Panic Pummels Banks with Global Recession Fears…”

“Countdown to Catastrophe? The Yield Curve and Stock Bull Markets”

“Recession Worries Pile Up for the Battered Global Economy”


*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.

MANIC MARKET FLIPS ON TRADE HEADLINES

Stocks rallied after the Trump Administration delayed some of the new trade tariffs planned for next month. The Dow is currently up 363 pts, the SPX is up 1.3% and the Nasdaq is up almost 1.6%. Not surprisingly, the leading sectors today—consumer discretionary, industrials, tech—are viewed as having the most vulnerability to an escalating trade war. By contrast, the two sectors seen as the safest in an uncertain global trade environment—utilities and real estate—are in the red today. The VIX Index, a common gauge of fear among options traders, fell back to 17.9 from 21 yesterday. European stock markets rallied sharply on the trade tariff news as well. Asian markets, however, were down overnight on civil unrest in Hong Kong. The US dollar continues to strengthen as the Chinese yuan weakens. But better investor sentiment today is propping up commodities. WTI crude oil spiked 3% to $56.80/barrel for no good reason. Bonds are selling off after an enormous 2019 rally. The 10-year Treasury Note yield bounced back to 1.68% this morning. Since investors’ primary concerns at the moment are 1) trade war, and 2) falling interest rates, any day in which rate rise will generally evoke risk-on sentiment.


*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.

HONG KONG JITTERS

The major US stock market averages dived in early trading on continued social unrest in Hong Kong. The Dow is currently down 239 pts and the SPX is down .7%. Ten of eleven market sectors are in the red; financials & energy are the worst performing. As is typical in August, exchange trade volume is pretty low. European markets are poised to close slightly lower today. Strangely enough, most of Asia closed higher last night. Despite intensified pro-democracy protests, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng stock index fell only .4% during the session. The US dollar continued to strengthen vs. China’s yuan and that’s putting some pressure on commodities (i.e. iron ore, copper, agricultural goods). WTI crude oil is unchanged around $54.50/barrel. Bonds are once again powering ahead as yields edge lower. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up 1.5% today (and 17% on the year). High-grade corporates are up about .4%. On the other hand, Junk bonds are down .3%.


*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.

ANOTHER TRUMP SLUMP

The major stock market averages gapped down at the open, but quickly pared losses. The Dow is currently down 350 pts and the SPX is down 1%. Energy & financial sectors continue to slide, down 2% or more in early trading. In fact, the S&P energy sector has fallen nearly 11% since mid-July, right along with oil prices. It seems oil is somewhat over-supplied at the moment. The VIX Index, which spiked to 24.5 on Monday, has settled down toward 21. The index measures fear among traders, and hasn’t been this high since January. Commodities are mostly lower in today’s session, save copper and gold. In fact, gold is now up over 6% this month. Bonds are, in the words of Jim Cramer, trading like a recession is around the corner. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up over 7% this month. Interest rates for Treasuries, municipals, and high-grade corporates are falling. The 10-year Treasury Note yield is down around 1.64%, the lowest since early October 2016.


*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.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TRADE WAR

Stocks gapped down at the open after China surprised the world by devaluing its currency (see below). The Dow is currently down 596 pts and the SPX is down 2.3%. Not surprisingly, cyclical sectors like consumer discretionary, tech and financials are down the most. Stocks more exposed to China are getting hurt (i.e. Apple Inc. down 4%). Utilities is the best performing sector, essentially flat. Gold is up 1% in early trading and gold mining stocks are up more than that. Other commodities, however, are in the red. WTI crude oil is down 1% to trade around $55/barrel. Copper and iron ore are down nearly 1%. The bond market is trading mostly higher—save junk bonds. Treasury bond yields are down across the board as investors all around the world shift to the ultimate safe-haven asset. The 10-year Treasury yield gapped down to 1.77%, the lowest since mid-October 2016.


*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.

AWAITING THE FED

Stocks opened slightly higher this morning but quickly faded. The Dow is currently down 38 pts and the SPX is up .18%. The tech sector surged 1% in early trading, led by semiconductor stocks. In addition, biotechs and transports are modestly higher. Most everything else, however, is in the red. The Dow is now up about 18% this year, and investors are scrutinizing earnings reports to see if the growth outlook will support further stock market gains (see below). The VIX Index—a common measure of fear among traders—is hovering around 14, considered fairly low. And strangely enough, surveys by the American Assn. of Individual Investors (AAII) show improving sentiment among non-professional investors. Taken together, we can conclude that people feel fairly good about the market. Commodities are mixed today. Iran’s geopolitical tantrum is propping up oil prices (WTI crude back up over $56/barrel). But copper and iron ore are lower in price. Bonds are mostly higher in early trading. The 10-year Treasury Note yield fell back to 2.03% today. Long-term Treasury bond funds, such as iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up nearly .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.

"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.

STOCKS DOWN ON MIXED ECONOMIC/EARNINGS REPORTS

Stocks opened lower this morning as investors strain to digest quarterly earnings & economic reports. The Dow is currently down 123 pts and the SPX is down .3%. Financials and consumer staples are in the green, but most everything else is down.

Here’s a quick look at earnings announcements. Morgan Stanley (MS) is flat after reporting better than expected revenue and earnings; the wealth management business stood out. United Health (UNH) is down 2.8% after reporting better than expected second quarter results and boosting its 2019 profit outlook. Netflix (NFLX) fell 11% after reporting only 2.7 million new subscribers compared with Wall Street forecasts closer to 5 million. Danaher (DHR) is up 1.4% after reporting revenue & earnings slightly ahead of estimates. Honeywell (HON) surged 2% even though second quarter revenue fell slightly short of Wall Street forecasts. Investors felt management executed very well despite a weak global economic environment.

CNBC’s latest “Rapid Update” survey shows that economists believe the US economy is tracking to 1.8% growth in the second quarter, and 2% in the third quarter. That’s roughly equivalent to what the Federal Reserve calls long-term potential growth. Reporter Steve Liesman notes the gap between that figure and the Trump Administration’s goal of 3%, and says achieving that goal would require a boost in capital spending by Corporate America. Unfortunately, the trade war with China is clearly restraining capital spending. So while the US economy achieved about 3% growth last year, don’t expect that this year or next.

The Index of Leading US Indicators (LEI) fell in June, suggesting the 6-month outlook for the US economy is softening. This index is actually a set of 10 different economic indicators designed to predict economic conditions. The primary reasons for the drop were weakness in orders for manufacturing equipment and also building permits. It’s important to note that the index isn’t predicting recession, but the US economy has definitely lost some momentum over the last year. The LEI is 1.6% higher than it was a year ago, and that’s on the low end of the 8-year trend.

China’s economy grew by 6.2% in the second quarter of 2019. That sounds pretty strong, but it’s not. The truth is that growth has been decelerating in China for decades. Part of that trend is natural, due to the law of large numbers. But more recently, growth has slowed due to the trade dispute with the US and also slower economic growth in Europe, a major trading partner to China. Government stimulus, mostly debt-fueled , is being thrown at the problem. But Bloomberg notes that total corporate/household/government debt now equals 300% of China’s annual economic output. While the economy is growing at 6.2%, total debt is growing at an unsustainable 11%. This report, by the way, emboldened President Trump to announce that the US and China are no closer to a trade deal despite ongoing negotiations.


*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 SEASON KICKS OFF

Major US stock market averages opened mixed this morning. The Dow is currently 28 pts and the SPX is down .2%. The Nasdaq is also down .2%. Industrials (especially transports) and materials sector stocks are rallying. On the other hand, utilities and real estate are down on a bump in interest rates. Commodities are mixed; gold and iron ore are down, but oil continues to recover. WTI crude oil is hovering around $60/barrel. It was trading down around $51/barrel one month ago. Bonds are selling off a bit today on rising interest rates. It seems like the better-than-expected jobs report back on July 5th marked a turnaround in rates. The 10-year Treasury yield has risen to 2.13% from 1.95% since then.


*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.

WAITING ON THE FED

Stocks opened lower this morning, continuing to pout after a better than expected jobs report last Friday (see my blog entry titled “Good News is Bad News”). The Dow is currently down 139 pts and the SPX is down .6%. The worst performing sectors today are healthcare (-1%) and communications (-1%). The energy sector is up modestly as oil prices stabilized after OPEC agreed to continue modest production cuts. The market is in suspended animation pending Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s annual congressional testimony on Wednesday & Thursday. Traders will be scrutinizing every word for clues about potential interest rate cuts. Friday’s jobs report sent gold down (-1% so far this month), but most other commodities are a bit higher today. WTI crude oil is back up around $57.90/barrel. It is thought that Saudi Arabia is trying to defend oil at $50/barrel or above. The bond market is mixed today. Long-term US Treasuries edged higher but corporates are down in price. The 10-year Treasury Note yield is hovering around 2.03%, and Barron’s used this stat to assert, “There is little value in the bond market.”


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

STOCK & BOND TRADERS AT ODDS ON NEAR-TERM OUTLOOK

Stocks jumped at the open after Presidents Trump & Xi agreed to pause further trade tariffs and re-start negotiations. The Dow is currently up 133 pts and the SPX is up .74%. In fact, the SPX touched an all-time high this morning. The best performing groups today are not surprisingly those that were hit hardest by the trade war: semiconductors and retailers. But we’re also seeing a 1% bump in financials despite the fact that interest rates aren’t rising. Commodities are mixed today. Traders are generally shifting to risk, so it’s not surprising to see gold down 1.4%. WTI crude oil climbed to nearly $59/barrel. But strangely, the bond market is not selling off. Bond traders are ignoring the G-20 trade war truce because of weak manufacturing data (see below). The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.02%.


*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.

FED TO THE RESCUE

The major stock market averages opened a bit higher this morning (Dow +50 pts; SPX +.25%). This week has been one of recovery, especially after a couple of Federal Reserve officials hinted that they’d loosen monetary if necessary to keep the business cycle alive. Energy is the best performing sector in early trading, up 1.2% despite the fact that oil prices are down again. Some kind of bounce is to expected since energy has absolutely cratered over the past six weeks on oversupply concerns. Today, WTI crude oil is down .6% to trade around $51.44/barrel. Gold is now up 4% on the year as a safe-haven trade. Bonds are trading higher this morning as yields dip again. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) shot up 1% today as the 10-year Treasury bond yield fell back to 2.09%. The reason for continued bond market gains is also the Fed (see below).


*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 MIXED, AT THE MERCY OF TRADE HEADLINES

Stocks opened mixed this morning at the mercy of trade-related headlines. The Dow is currently up 70 points and the SPX is flat. The Nasdaq is down slightly The VIX Index back down just a bit to 19. Strangely enough, the utilities sectors is down by more than 1% in early trading. The materials and communications services sectors are down modestly. On the other hand, real estate, industrials and consumer discretionary sectors are up about .3%. Most commodities are trading lower today, save oil. Iron ore is down 1%, copper is down .6%. WTI crude bounced back 1% to trade at $62/barrel on a lower than expected crude inventory report. Bonds are again mixed, with corporates flat and Treasuries up. The 10-year Treasury yield fell back to 2.46%. However, look at junk bonds. The SPDR High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) is actually higher on the day, suggesting the renewed trade fight isn’t the end of the world.


*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.

HEALTHCARE ROUT

Stocks opened a bit lower this morning (Dow -23 pts; SPX -.2%). The healthcare sector is down nearly 2% today and 5.5% so far this month. The direct cause is fear over the rise of socialism in Congress. See yesterday’s update for more details. The real estate sector is down 1% today and 2.7% this month after having climbed over 17% during the first quarter. Semiconductor stocks are up over 1% after Apple (AAPL) and Qualcomm (QCOM) finally settled their legal battle over intellectual property. The energy sector is up about .5% after a report showing lower than expected crude stockpiles in the US. Commodities are mixed. Copper is now up 14% this year and a good portion of that has to do with China stimulating its economy. WTI crude is flat on the day at $64/barrel. Bonds are trading pretty flat as well. The 10-year US Treasury yield is hovering around 2.59%.


*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.

STOCK RALLY EXTENDED, EXPECT TEST OF HIGHS

Stocks opened higher today, extending the recovery rally. The Dow is currently up 75 pts and the SPX is up .5%. The SPX is now only 1.5% away from its all-time closing high back in September 2018. Nine of eleven major market sectors are higher, led by materials, tech and communications services. Only consumer staples and energy sectors are lower on the day…


*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.

THE UPWARD MARCH CONTINUES

The major stock market indexes opened higher this morning ( Dow +151 pts; SPX +.5%). Consumer discretionary is the leading sector (+1.2%) on strength in its major constituents Amazon (AMZN) & Home Depot (HD). Semiconductor stocks are also up about 1.3%. Most other sectors are participating, save utilities and real estate. Those two groups recently achieved all-time highs and so some give-back is to be expected. WTI crude oil is down a bit to trade around $58.90/barrel after yesterday’s sharp rally. OPEC decided to continue established production cuts through June. Cuts by OPEC late last year are helping to balance global demand and supply even though US producers are steadily ramping production levels. Bonds are trading lower today as yields tick higher. The 10-year Treasury yield edged back up to 2.61%. We should perhaps expect some rate volatility around the Fed announcement tomorrow.


*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.

ECONOMIC DATA TO THE RESCUE

Stocks surged at the open this morning on better than expected economic data. The Dow is currently up 187 pts and the SPX is up .9%. Tech and healthcare sectors are leading the way, up over 1% in early trading. Banks, transports and biotechs are particularly strong. The VIX Index sank back toward 13.3, indicating waning investor fears. So far, the trading session can be characterized as broadly risk-on. Commodities are trading mostly higher. The Bloomberg Commodity Index is up .5% today, and 6% so far on the year. Crude oil rose to nearly $58/barrel, the highest level since November. Bonds are mostly selling off, with the exception of high-yield (or junk). After dipping to a 2+ month low, the 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.62% today. Since the stock market bottomed on Christmas Eve, the 10-year yield is up only 7 basis points (or .07%). Typically, a huge run-up in stocks is accompanied by a sharp rise in yields. After all, better prospects for stocks usually causes investors to sell bonds. Not this time, and it’s mostly due to the Federal Reserve’s abrupt pause on monetary tightening.


*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 SAGGING ON SPURIOUS JOBS REPORT

STOCKS SAGGING ON SPURIOUS JOBS REPORT

Stocks gapped down at the open after a disappointing jobs report (see below). The Dow is currently off 148 pts and the SPX is down .77%. The Nasdaq has now been down for five straight sessions. The worst-performing groups include energy (-2.4%), transports (-1%), and healthcare (-.8%). In fact, transports have been down 11 consecutive sessions. Asian markets started the downshift last night. After a massive recovery rally this year, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 4% in the overnight session. As I’ve mentioned, all of this is to expected. We need some consolidation after a sharp rally in stocks. Commodities are also in the red today, led by oil. WTI crude collapsed back to $55/barrel today for no good reason. Bonds are mixed in early trading. Junk bonds are down about .3% today. Long-term Treasuries are up slightly. The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen back to the bottom of its six-week trading range at 2.64%.


*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.