Netflix (NFLX)

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.

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 SEASON KICKOFF

The major stock market averages gapped up at the open. The Dow is currently up 200 pts and the SPX is up .4%. The financial sector surged 1.5% on better than expected quarterly results by Wells Fargo (WFC) and JP Morgan (JPM), which kicked off earnings season today. Most other sectors are also trading higher, except real estate and healthcare. Commodities are mixed—oil is moving higher but copper and iron are in the red. Gold is flat today, and so far this year. WTI crude is back up over $64/barrel. Chevron (CVX) announced a deal to acquire Anadarko (APC), and investors are wondering if this is the beginning of a wave of consolidation in the industry. Bonds are trading mostly lower as yields tick higher. The 10-year Treasury yield is back up around 2.54%. If earnings season proves better than Wall Street is forecasting, you can bet interest rates & bond yields will move higher.


*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 19, 2018

November 19, 2018

Stocks sank at the open this morning (Dow -385 pts; SPX -1.47%). The tech sector is down over 3% and a host of other sectors are down more than 1% (consumer discretionary, healthcare, industrials, communications). Only the utilities sectors is managing a small gain. The VIX Index is headed back up toward 20. But remember, it recently spiked to around 25. European markets closed down about .8% whereas most of Asia was up overnight. The dollar is down a bit today so the Bloomberg Commodity Index is rising modestly. WTI crude oil is up modestly to trade at $56.50/barrel. Bonds are not surprisingly catching a bid. That’s been the case since 11/8. In fact, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury ETF (TLT) is up 2% since then. The 10-year Treasury Note yield, now at 3.07%, has fallen from 3.24% in less than 2 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.

November 5, 2018

November 5, 2018

The major stock market averages are higher this morning in front of the mid-term elections. The Dow is currently up 158 pts and the SPX is up .3%. Several sectors are up more than 1%: real estate, utilities, financials, consumer staples and energy. On the other hand, communications services, tech and consumer discretionary sectors are all down .6% to 1%. The FAANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix & Google) are selling off and boring value stocks are catching a bid. The VIX Index is back up around 20, but VIX December futures are trading down around 19. So traders are perhaps expecting a little more volatility around the election. The US dollar is modestly weaker today and the Bloomberg Commodity Index is up .4%. WTI crude is bouncing up toward $64/barrel after a massive month-long slide. Bonds are trading slightly higher today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 3.02% and 3.19%, respectively. We’re not hearing much chatter about the yield curve lately. That’s because the curve is steepening at the same time rates are rising. This is seen as a normal reaction to strong economic growth. The CEO of Federal Realty (FRT) says interest rates are only rising because the economy is doing well. “I gotta tell you, things look pretty good.”


*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 17, 2018

October 17, 2018

Stocks fell at the open but quickly turned around. At the moment, the Dow is flat and the SPX is up .13%. The market continues to flip-flop from one day to the next. For the most part, cyclical sectors—energy, tech, discretionary, materials—are leading to the downside while defensives—telecom, healthcare and staples—are trading higher. And wonder of all wonders, the financial sectors is actually showing some signs of life (+1.3%). European stock markets closed down about .5% whereas Asia was mostly higher overnight. Japan’s Nikkei, by the way, has clawed back to flat for the year. Commodities are mixed in early trading. After climbing to $76/barrel early this month, WTI crude oil has fallen back to $70/barrel. Bonds are modestly lower in price, and less risky Treasury bonds are unchanged while corporate bonds are in the red. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields are hovering around 3.02% and 3.16%, respectively. Year-to-date, the entire bond market has been a loser because inflation and interest rates have trended gradually higher.


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

August 31, 2018

August 31, 2018

The major stock market indexes are mixed in early trading (Dow -55 pts; SPX -.13%; Nasdaq +.1%). Retailers, semiconductors and REITs are moving up, but most other groups are in the red. Banks and oil companies are some of the worst-performing groups, and year-to-date they’ve been flattish. Trade volume is pretty light in front of the three-day weekend. European stock markets are down about 1% and Asian markets were down overnight. Over the last 24 hours we’ve seen headlines saying President Trump is leaning toward imposing trade tariffs on another $200bil in Chinese imports, and he’s also doing his part to cast doubt on the trade talks between US and Canadian officials this week. Today is the deadline for negotiating a new NAFTA deal with Canada. That country’s foreign affairs minister said the two sides are “not there yet.” That haze of political uncertainty will keep a lid on stock market gains for now.


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

July 11, 2018

Stocks sank at the open this morning as the Trump Administration proposed an additional 10% tariff on $200bil of imported Chinese goods. The Dow is currently down 157 pts and the SPX is down .6%. Semiconductors are down more than 2% in early trading. The worst performing sectors are energy, materials and industrials—all down over 1%. Only utilities are in the green. European stock markets are poised to close down over 1% and Asia was down over 1% last night. Most commodities are also trading lower. WTI crude oil is back down to $72.60/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields are currently at 2.75% and 2.85%, 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 26, 2018

The major stock market averages opened up this morning after a beating yesterday. The Dow is currently up 55 pts and the SPX is up .23%. Most sectors are rebounding, led by energy (+.8%), tech (+.5%) and real estate (+.5%). European markets will close slightly higher and Asian markets were mostly down overnight. The dollar continues to strengthen as foreign markets soften up. One reason may be that China is devaluing its currency in order to make its exports more competitive overseas. Despite the return of volatility and uncertainty resulting from geopolitical risk, gold is still down 3% this year. WTI crude popped 1.8% to $69.30/barrel after the US State Dept. announced US companies can no longer import Iranian crude. Bonds are rising in price again as yields tick lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back down around 2.75% and 2.88%.


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

August 9, 2017

Stocks opened lower today (Dow -67 pts; SPX -.27%). President Trump and North Korea’s less-than-stable dictator are practicing some nuclear brinksmanship. Real estate & healthcare are the only sectors not in the red. The consumer discretionary sector is down .9% mostly due to Disney (see below). The VIX Index is up a bit to trade around 11.7 and VIX September futures are trading up around 13. Those are still pretty tame levels though. WTI crude oil is up slightly to $49/barrel. Gold is up .8% today (and 10% so far this year). Bonds are higher in price, lower in yield. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are current at 1.78% and 2.22%, respectively. Geopolitical events tend to result in lower bonds yields. 


*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 28, 2017

he major stock market averages gapped up at the open. The Dow and SPX are currently up 134 pts & .75%, respectively. Banks, semiconductors, biotechs and transports are leading the way (all +1% or more). Utilities is the only sector in the red. The dollar is down a bit and most commodities are slightly higher. Oil prices ticked up after a positive gasoline inventory report. WTI crude oil is hovering around $44.70/barrel. Bonds are selling off again for the second consecutive day. The 5-year Treasury yield is up to 1.83% and the 10-year yield is up to 2.22%. Most of the move is reaction to recent comments from central bankers. Yesterday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the banking sector is very strong and she doesn’t expect another financial crisis in our lifetimes. Also, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi essentially declared victory over deflation in Europe. Today, Bank of England (BOE) chief Carney said the BOE may have to start raising interest rates 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.

May 26, 2017

Stocks opened lower this morning, digesting the prior week’s gains. The Dow is down 22 pts and the SPX is off .1%. Banks, semiconductors and energy stocks are leading the indices lower. The VIX Index just dropped under 10, right around the lowest level in at least 10 years. VIX June futures are trading under 12 this morning. So an apparent lack of concern (“complacency”) among traders is a bit of a concern. The dollar is modestly stronger today, yet most commodities are a bit higher. WTI crude oil is up .5% to trade around $49/barrel. Oil prices fell sharply yesterday even as OPEC pledged to extend its oil production freeze. Investors were hoping the cartel would agree to deeper cuts. Bonds are trading slightly higher. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.79% and 2.25%, respectively. And by the way, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is currently 3.95%.


*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 10, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning, but quickly faded. The Dow is up 36 pts and the SPX is up .27%. Semiconductors (+1%) and gold miners (+.5) are up the most in early trading. Banks, biotechs and retailers are essentially flat, and energy stocks continue to slide. The VIX Index continues to languish under 12. The dollar is lower today and commodities are mixed. Gold is flat, copper is up .5% and WTI crude oil is down a bit to trade under $49/barrel. Bonds sold off immediately in response to the jobs report (see below), but since then have turned around. The 5-year Treasury yield is actually down a basis point to 2.11%. Ditto for the 10-year Treasury yield at 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.

July 19, 2016

The major stock market averages opened slightly lower this morning (Dow flat; SPX -.16%). The Nasdaq is down .18%. Eight of ten market sectors are down, led by energy and materials. Industrials and financials are eking out gains. The VIX Index is trading up a bit to 12.5 (considered very low) and VIX August futures have come down quite a bit to 15.6. Since breaching new highs on July 11th, the SPX has risen another 1.1% and the prior highs of May 2015 may now serve as support rather than resistance. I haven’t heard any technical analysts claim a “qualified breakout,” but certainly every day the SPX holds above 2135 the odds increase that this rally will continue. The dollar is up .5% today and commodities are broadly lower. Brexit certainly did encourage the dollar to head higher. WTI crude oil is down modestly just under $45/barrel. Bonds are roughly unchanged; Treasuries are up in price and corporate bonds are down slightly. 


*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 20, 2016

Stocks opened higher again this morning (Dow 40 pts; SPX .2%). Energy, healthcare and tech sectors are leading the way. The defensive sectors (staples, utilities, telecoms) are lagging. Europe is poised to close higher as well. WTI crude oil is trading flat around $41/barrel (remember, oil bottomed at $26/barrel in early February). Bonds are selling off as yields head a bit higher (5- and 10-year Treasury yields are 1.26% and 1.78%, 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.