Markit US Services PMI

STOCKS DOWN WITH HEADLINES

Stocks sank at the open, as is their custom this month. The Dow is currently down 367 pts and the SPX is down 1.5%. Energy is the worst performing sector, down 3.5% (see below). Most other sectors are down about 1% except the defensives (utilities, consumer staples, real estate). VIX Index June futures are trading up around 17, but that’s not considered elevated. There’s no real panic in the market, just a slow bleed on trade headlines. European stock markets closed down about 1.5% today and Asia was uniformly down overnight. The bond market is catching a bid—especially safe-haven Treasury bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield is down to 2.32%, the lowest level since November 2017.


*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.

November 23, 2018

Stocks sank at the open in today’s holiday-shortened trading session. The Dow and SPX are currently down 140 pts and .4%, respectively. The energy sector is down 3.5% on falling oil prices. Energy is now the second-worst performing sector in 2018, behind communications services. On the other hand, transports, biotech & pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and retailers are trading higher today. The dollar is a bit stronger on the day (and up 5% so far this year), which is helping push commodity prices down. The Bloomberg Commodity Index is down 1.6% today. Bonds are trading slightly higher as yields tick downward. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are now trading at 2.87% and 3.05%, respectively. And while junk bonds did very well earlier in the year, the SPDR High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) is down 4.5% since the stock market correction began in early October. All investors will be watching high-yield for signs of an economic slowdown.


*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 23, 2018

August 23, 2018

Stocks opened lower this morning (Dow -100 pts; SPX -.2%). Most market sectors are sagging, led by industrials, financials and materials. Only utilities, telecom, and some pockets of technology are in the green. The financial news media are blaming “trade tensions” as China-US negotiations continue in Washington. Exchange trade volume is very low, so today’s market action doesn’t necessarily represent any conviction on the part of traders. The dollar is stronger against a basket of foreign currencies after a report showing higher wholesale inflation in Europe. That’s putting some pressure on commodities. Copper is down 1%, gold is down .6%, and WTI crude oil is down .4% to $67.60/barrel. Bonds are trading slightly higher today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.71% and 2.82%, 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 22, 2017

Stocks opened slightly lower again today (Dow -29 pts; SPX flat).  Utilities, real estate and healthcare are leading to the downside. Telecoms, industrials and energy are in the green, however, continuing a recent trend. The VIX Index still isn’t registering much fear, trading just under 10. European markets are poised to close slightly higher today. And by the way, just about all the major European stock indexes are up more this year than the SPX or Dow. The dollar is weaker again vs. a basket of foreign currencies, and is down about 10% so far this year. That doesn’t really fit well with the Fed’s expectations for rising interest rates over the next year. In other words, if the economy is improving and interest rates are rising, you would expect a stronger dollar. Part of the reason for the weaker dollar is that foreign economies are faring better this year. Bonds are trading a bit higher today after a two-week drubbing. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields edged back down to 1.87% and 2.26%, respectively. But it really does look like the 10-year yield will move up to test resistance at 2.39% soon. 


*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 25, 2016

Stocks gapped down at the open but quickly recovered (Dow +7 pts; SPX +.1%). Financials, materials and utilities are leading the way. Retailers and transports are in the red. Semiconductors (SOX Index) continue to power ahead, now up 15% this quarter. European markets will close down today and Asia was lower overnight. WTI crude oil is trading up slightly to $47.14/barrel and other commodities are mixed. Copper is down 7% this month and gold is down 2%. Treasury bonds are unchanged but corporate bonds continue to rise. 


*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 26, 2016

Stocks opened lower this morning but quickly turned around (Dow -30 pts; SPX flat). Investors are clearly freaked out about the Federal Reserve meeting, which kicks off today. Interest-rate sensitive sectors (utilities, telecom, REITs) are falling the most in early trading. Industrials and materials are in the green. The dollar is a bit weaker. Unfortunately, WTI crude oil is down under $43/barrel and that’s hurting stocks as well. Bonds are slightly weaker, with yields climbing. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are up to 1.15% and 1.57%, 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.

June 27, 2016

The major stock market averages fell at the open (Dow -255 pts; SPX -1.8%). Materials, financials, energy, tech and industrials are leading the market lower. Telecoms and utilities are the only sectors in the green. Overnight, Asian markets were mixed and at the moment European markets are poised to close down by 2-3%. Today’s dip is largely expected, coming on the heels of a 3.6% dip in the SPX Friday in the wake of the “Brexit” vote. Commodities are mixed, with oil and copper lower and gold up nearly 5%. WTI crude oil is trading down to $46.30/barrel. Bonds continue to head lower as global investors pour money into “safe haven” assets. The 5 and 10-year Treasury yields are down around 1.0% and 1.48%, respectively. That’s the lowest 10-year yield going back to July 2012.


*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 25, 2016

Stocks surged again this morning (Dow +157 pts; SPX +.67%). And again, the cyclical sectors are leading the charge (energy +1.1%; financials +1%; materials +1.2%). At this point, the financials sector has nearly erased its losses for the year. In order for the stock market rally to reaccelerate, we really need the financials to wake up. Utilities is the only sector in the red this morning. The dollar is slightly lower and commodities continue to rally. Copper is up 1.5% in early trading. WTI crude is trading back up around $49/barrel. Jeff Currie of Goldman Sachs says the physical rebalancing of supply/demand in the oil market has begun. But there’s still a lot of oil in storage around the world. So the rebalancing process will be volatile as inventories are worked down. Bonds are roughly unchanged. The 5-year Treasury yield is flat at 1.40%; the 10-year Treasury is hovering around 1.85%. Only the really short-term Treasury bills are falling in price (rising in yield). 


*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 24, 2016

Stocks gapped down at the open, following on yesterday’s weakness. The Dow and SPX are currently down 52 pts & .37%, respectively. Financials, industrials and materials are the worst performing sectors. WTI crude oil is trading down under $39/barrel and most other commodities are also lower. Bonds are selling off a bit as well. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked up to 1.38% and the 10-year yield is up to 1.89%.


*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.