ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

WELCOME ENCOURAGEMENT ON THE ECONOMY

Stocks gapped up at the open, continuing yesterday’s rally. The Dow is currently up 440 pts and the SPX is up 1.3%. The more cyclically sensitive sectors—industrials, financials, energy, tech—are up well over 2% in early trading. On the other hand, defensive sectors near all-time highs are selling off today (i.e. utilities, real estate). The VIX Index fell back to 16 and VIX October futures fell to 18. In other words, traders aren’t expecting a massive jolt of market volatility over the next 30-60 days. The reaction in commodity markets isn’t surprising: gold fell and copper rose. Even oil, which has had a hard time lately, is back up around $57.40/barrel in early trading. Bonds (except for high-yield “junk”) are selling off. The 10-year Treasury yield jumped back to 1.58% as the price fell. And by the way, over the last couple of trading sessions the yield curve turned positive.


*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.

WAITING ON THE FED

Stocks opened sharply higher this morning (Dow +99 pts; SPX +.6%), probably because recent economic data (see below) encourages traders to believe the Federal Reserve will soon begin lowering interest rates.

Payroll processor ADP says the US economy generated 102,000 new jobs in the month of June. That’s a lot better than May’s 41,000 but it’s also less than economists were forecasting. The fear, of course, is that hiring activity is slowing, whether because economic growth is slowing or because we’re already at full employment. It’s true that there are more open positions than job seekers.

ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Index, which measures business activity in the service sector, fell to 55.1 in June from 56.9 in the prior month. The decline was a bit more than economists were expecting. And while any reading above 50.0 indicates continued expansion of activity, the index is down around a 2-year low. The index’s key forward-looking new orders component fell to 55.8, the lowest since December 2017. In both manufacturing and service sectors, overall business activity as well as hiring, cost inflation and new orders are slowing. A spokesman for ISM noted the trend and said surveys “reflect mixed sentiment about business conditions and the overall economy. A degree of uncertainty exists due to trade and tariffs.” However, business activity “continues to reflect strength.”

Investors are rightly concerned about the trade war’s impact on business investment. And today we learned that corporate capital spending continued to soften in May. New orders for capital equipment excluding defense/aircraft are up only 1% from year-ago levels. That compares with 7% growth a year ago. Still, Bloomberg points out that conditions aren’t as bad as many anticipated. At least business investment is still showing some growth. Perhaps some underlying resilience can be teased out of this report.


*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.

January 7, 2019

January 7, 2019

Stocks opened modestly higher this morning as China trade talks get underway. The Dow and SPX are current up 91 pts and .6%, respectively. Consumer discretionary (+2%) and energy sectors (+1%) are faring the best in early trading. Worst performing are utilities (-.7%) and consumer staples (-.2%). The dollar is a bit weaker today and that’s giving commodities some breathing room. WTI crude oil is back up over $49/barrel after Dow Jones reported the Saudis would like to push oil prices back up to $80/barrel. Bonds are trading higher along with stocks. You don’t see that very often. It is true that lately when the stock market rises, corporate bonds also rally. But Treasury bonds don’t usually move in tandem with stocks. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.67%. My guess is that investors would like to see Treasuries sell off a bit and give stocks an all-clear signal.


*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 6, 2018

December 6, 2018

Stocks sank at the open despite better than expected economic data. For the first couple of hours, most major market sectors were down more than 3% before bouncing off the lows. This could be the correction’s capitulation flush. While the Dow was down about 770 points, it is now down 436 pts. The SPX is currently down 1.7%. The more defensive sectors (consumer staples, utilities) also dumped at the open but are trying to claw their way back. Foreign markets aren’t serving as a safe haven. European markets closed down more than 3%. Asian markets were down roughly 2% overnight. The dollar is weaker, but that’s not helping commodities, most of which are trading lower. WTI crude oil fell back to $50.60/barrel, but quickly bounced back over $51. Bonds are catching a bid as you might expect. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up .6%. High-grade corporate bonds, which have lagged lately, are up as well today. Junk bonds continue to struggle. The 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields are down around 2.71% and 2.85%, respectively. The difference between those two yields, 14 basis points, is very small and that’s spooking equity markets. Looking back at the last two months, any volatility in rates has been greeted with fear. The market doesn’t like it when rates rise, and neither does it approve when rates fall. Both are somehow begin viewed as bad news.


*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 5, 2018

Stocks opened higher this morning but are now fading. The Dow and SPX are currently up 73 pts and .3%, respectively. Consumer staples, healthcare and tech sectors are leading the way (+.5%). Industrials and telecoms are lagging. The VIX Index is back down around 15.6 as some trade war fears fade. WTI crude oil is down slightly around $73.96/barrel. Bonds are trading roughly unchanged. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.72% and the 10-year is currently at 2.83%.


*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 4, 2018

Stocks gapped down at the open after China announced the expected retaliatory trade tariffs on US goods. The Dow is currently down 49 pts and the SPX is flat. The Dow initially opened down 1.5% but is paring losses, probably because this headline shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Don’t be surprised, therefore, if we end the session in the green. At the moment, consumer staples, consumer discretion and telecoms are faring the best. Industrials and energy sectors are performing the worst, down over .8%. The VIX Index is up to bit to trade around 22.3. VIX April futures, at 21.5, show backwardation. Oil is down a bit after a higher than expected crude inventory report from Cushing, OK. WTI crude is now trading at $63.30/barrel. Most other commodities (except gold) are down as well. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.60% and 2.78%, 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.

February 5, 2018

Stocks gapped down at the open following Friday’s dip. The SPX is currently down .8% and the Dow is down 250 pts. Energy, Financials, Consumer Staples and Healthcare sectors are down more than 1% in early trading. Only Utilities are trading modestly higher. The SPX is now down 4.7% from its all-time high back on Jan. 26th. So this is not yet a “correction,” typically defined as a 10% decline. The VIX Index is up around 18 and VIX March futures are trading down around 15, so that suggests we’re approaching the bottom a short-term market pullback. Commodities are mixed. Copper and gold are trading higher—gold is now up 2.5% on the year). WTI crude oil is trading down 1.8% to $64.28/barrel.


*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 5, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow flat; SPX +.28%). The tech sector is bouncing back (+1%), and banks are rising on tax reform expectations. On the other hand, utilities and telecoms are in the red. The VIX Index is back down around 10.8 and VIX December futures are trading down to 11.45. So yesterday’s mini volatility spike is fading. The dollar is a bit stronger today (but still down 8% this year) and commodities are lower. WTI crude oil is flat around $57.50/barrel. Copper is down 4% after Bloomberg News reported China is poised to slow investment in infrastructure next year. Chinese leaders managed to boost economic growth in 2017 with a 20% increase in spending on roads, bridges, subways, etc. Economists are expecting that growth rate to fall in half near year. Bonds are following the trend of recent days. Shorter term bonds are selling off but longer term bonds are holding steady. The 5-year Treasury note yield is up around 1.26%, a fresh multi-year high. The 10-year Treasury yield, on the other hand, is unchanged at 2.37%. The difference between the 2-year and 10-year yields is the smallest since late 2007. 


*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 3, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow & SPX flat; Nasdaq +.3%). Biotechs, utilities, retailers and consumer staples stocks are faring well in early trading. And select names like Apple (AAPL) are up after reporting earnings. But gold miners, banks, REITs, and materials stocks are in the red. We got a raft of economic data, much of which was positive. The VIX Index backed down to 9.7, which suggests a continued low volatility environment for equities. Commodities are mostly lower but WTI crude oil is hanging in there at $54.50/barrel. Bonds are trading modestly lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields edged up to 2.02% and 2.36%, 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 4, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow +20 pts; SPX flat). Gold miners, biotechs and consumer staples stocks are modestly higher. In addition, interest rate sensitive sectors like real estate and utilities are rebounding a bit. On the other hand, technology, banks and industrials are modestly lower. WTI crude oil is flat on the day around $50.40/barrel. Bonds are slightly lower as yield tick higher. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.93% and 2.34%, 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.

September 6, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning, rebounding from yesterday’s dip. The Dow is currently up 66 pts and the SPX is up .16%. Energy producers, transports, and retailers are leading the charge. The VIX Index is up a bit to trade around 12.5 (from 10 a week ago), but with Hurricane Irma and North Korea tensions, you’d think it would be higher. The dollar is weaker today, and off nearly 10% year-to-date. The dollar has been a quiet support to US multi-national companies selling goods abroad. Commodities are mostly higher on the day, with WTI crude oil up around $49.20/barrel. Oil prices have risen from about $42/barrel near the end of June but many energy stocks haven’t really kept pace. They may begin to catch-up. The bond market has strengthened over the past two months as yields have fallen. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.65% and 2.07%, respectively. Speaking of yields, CNBC interviewed Mark Grant of Hilltop Securities yesterday. He said global “central banks now have $19 trillion in assets and they’re adding $300 billion per month. They keep growing it, and that’s driving equity prices up, and bond yields down.” Unless central banks change their policy actions, the trend will continue. Of course, we know that the US Federal Reserve would like to tighten monetary policy, but low inflation & interest rates are making that difficult. 


*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 3, 2017

The major stock market averages pulled back this morning (Dow flat; SPX -.23%). Ten of eleven sectors are in the red, with energy down .9%, materials down .6% and financials down .5%. Consumer staples is the only stand-out, up .3% in early trading. That’s largely due to a rebound in tobacco stocks. Small-caps, by the way, are really lagging large-caps today (and for most of 2017). The dollar is stronger today after the Bank of England cut its economic growth outlook for the UK. Despite dollar strength, WTI crude oil is trading up toward $50/barrel and it hasn’t been there since late May. Bonds are modestly higher in price, lower in yield today. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.80% and 2.24%, respectively. Both of those levels are short-term support levels. Rates have fallen this year, but let’s keep things in perspective—the 10-year yield was just 1.5% a year ago.


*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 6, 2017

The major stock market averages sagged at the open (Dow -72 pts; SPX -.46%). This is become a familiar pattern; we may end the day in the green anyway. Real estate and telecoms are down more than 1.5% in early trading. The tech sector continues to slide and the PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ) is now down 5.1% from its recent peak. WTI crude oil shot up over $46/barrel this morning as US oil stockpiles shrank more than expected. But the Energy Select SPDR Fund (XLE) is trading slightly lower at the moment. Chevron (CVX) and Exxon (XOM) are down after RBC Capital published a research report downgrading the integrated oil companies. Bonds continue to sell off and yields are moving higher. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked up to 1.96% and the 10-year is up to 2.38%. that’s good news for the bank stocks, which have been gaining momentum over the last 4-5 weeks. 


*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 5, 2017

Stocks opened a bit lower this morning. At the moment, the Dow is down 8 pts and the SPX is down .12%. Oil producers and semiconductors are higher in early trading. Most other groups, however, are modestly lower. The VIX Index is hovering around 10, considered very low, and the VXTLT (long-term Treasury bond volatility) is trading at 10.8. So expected volatility on both stocks and bonds is down quite a bit this year. European markets are down about .3% after last weekend’s terror attack in the UK. Most of Asia was down about the same percentage overnight. 


*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 3, 2017

Stocks opened this morning (Dow -65 pts; SPX -.35%). Nine of eleven sectors are lower in early trading, led by real estate and materials (down 1%). Banks are one of the few groups trading up at the moment. The dollar is a bit stronger and commodities are lower. That probably has something to do with the Fed policy meeting today. We’ll get an announcement around 2pm EST. WTI crude oil opened down .5% but quickly turned around and is now up .5% to $47.70/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged this morning. The 5-year Treasury yield is 1.83% and the 10-year is trading at 2.29%. With the move in the dollar and real estate, one would think bond yields would be higher. Anyway, given the soft economic data we’ve had over the past six weeks, it’s surprising capital markets would be moving as if they expect a hawkish announcement from the Fed today.


*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 5, 2017

Stocks gapped up at the open (Dow +115 pts; SPX +.5%; Nasdaq +.36%). Ten of eleven major market sectors are in the green, led by the cyclicals (tech, industrials, consumer discretion). The VIX Index is back down to 11.2 after having traded up to 13 a couple of weeks ago. By the way, the VIX (which measures fear among traders) for almost five months. The dollar is flat today and commodities are mostly higher. WTI crude oil is trading up to $51.20/barrel. Bonds initially sold off but are now moving higher on the day. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are currently at 1.88% and 2.36%, respectively. Remember, lower bond yields in this market environment imply lower economic growth expectations. So ideally, we’ll want to see yields float gradually upward in the coming months.  


*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 3, 2017

The major stock market averages opened lower this morning (Dow -32 pts; SPX -.14%). Biotechs and banks are up modestly, but the rest of the landscape is flat to down. The VIX Index sank back down to 11.3 today; there really isn’t much fear among investors at the moment. The dollar is weaker and commodities are mixed. Gold is down today but up about 6% so far this year. WTI crude oil is up 1% to trade around $53.20/barrel. Bonds are lower pretty much across the board. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields shot up to 2.05% and 2.51%, respectively. Those yields are at 2-month highs. The 2-year Treasury, which closely follows Federal Reserve rate hike expectations, has jumped to its highest level since late 2008. 


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

January 5, 2016

The major stock market averages opened lower this morning (Dow -72 pts; SPX -.3%). Consumer staples is the only sector hanging onto to a small gain. The banks are off by 1% in early trading. However, quite a few individual stocks are up on the day: Amazon, Aetna, Alphabet, Facebook and Honeywell, for example. The VIX Index—a measure of fear among traders—continues to dive and is now trading under 12. That’s considered very low. The dollar is weaker for the second consecutive session after reached a 14-year high at the end of 2016. Some give-back is normal, but we also understand China is moving to strengthen its currency. Anyway, that’s helping commodities rally. Gold, copper and oil are higher on the day. WTI crude is trading up to $53.80/barrel, hovering around a 1 ½ year high. Bonds are rallying as yields tick lower. The 5-year Treasury yield shot up to 2.09% by mid-December but have since fallen back to 1.88%. The chart pattern for the 10-year Treasury is the same; the current yield is 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.