Footlocker (FL)

August 18, 2017

Stocks opened lower again today (Dow -40 pts; SPX -.3%). Gold miners and utilities are modestly higher, but most everything else is in the red. Real estate and telecom sectors are down .9%. Yesterday, the VIX Index spiked to 15.5 but today is back down under 15. VIX September futures are also around 15. CNBC points out that we’re not yet seeing a large selloff on big volume and that could be a sign of stability. In fact, a lot of professional investors are on vacation and exchange volume is very light. The dollar is weaker and commodities are mixed today. WTI crude oil is trading slightly lower to $46.95/barrel. Bonds are trading mostly higher in price, lower in yield. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.18%. And remember, at the beginning of the year the 10-year yield was near 2.5%. Since then, falling inflation expectations have resulted in lower yields. Alan Blinder, former Federal Reserve official, characterizes the dip in inflation this year as “mysterious.” Six months ago we had stable inflation, and now we’re seeing falling inflation. “What in the world happened?” He implied our methods for measuring economic activity may be flawed. 


*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 19, 2017

The major stock market averages opened sharply higher again today. The Dow is currently up 91 pts and the SPX is up .7%. Cyclical sectors are surging (industrials +1.24%, energy +1.1%, financials +1.1%, materials +1.1%). The VIX is back down to 12. European markets closed up about .5% and Asian was mostly positive overnight. The dollar is a bit weaker against a basket of foreign currencies, and has been trending lower all year. Commodities are broadly higher today. WTI crude oil has made its way back to $50/barrel today after having fallen below $46 a couple of weeks ago. That’s good for stocks. Bonds are a bit lower in price, higher in yield this morning. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.25%, and that means it has gone nowhere over the past 12 months. I don’t mean to suggest a lack of volatility, though. US interest rates have shown massive volatility over the last year. It’s just that we haven’t seen a sustained up-trend in rates that many predicted.   


*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 21, 2017

Stocks are mixed in early trading (Dow flat; SPX -.1%). Traders are exercising caution in front of the French election. Not surprisingly, utilities and gold miners are in the green. But for the most part, individual stocks are responding to their respective earnings announcements (see below). The VIX Index is up around 14.5 but VIX May futures are trading at 14.3. The fact that traders don’t expect a huge spike in volatility suggests a benign outcome for the French election. WTI crude oil is down around $50.50/barrel and most other commodities are down as well. Bonds are slightly higher in price, lower in yield. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are currently at 1.75% and 2.22%, respectively. Those yields are hovering around 5-month lows. 


*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.