OPEC

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.

DRIFTING AIMLESSLY, LOOKING FOR A CATALYST

Stocks opened mixed this morning, looking for a catalyst. The Dow is currently down 25 points and the SPX is flat. By the way, the SPX is now up 18% so far this year, trading at a P/E ratio of 17. Most investors believe the index is at fair value and so a meaningful catalyst is necessary to push it higher in the near term. Unlike yesterday, defensive sectors like utilities (+1%) and consumer staples (+.4%) are leading the way. On the other hand, energy stocks are down on oversupply concerns. OPEC decided to extend current oil production limits through March 2020 because the global economy is weakening. Tighter control of crude supply will help prop up oil prices. Today, WTI crude oil fell back to $56.90/barrel. Bonds are trading slightly higher again today as yield creep lower in anticipation of slower economic growth and expected Fed rate cuts. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 1.98%.


*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.

GDP AND EARNINGS DISAPPOINTING

The major stock market averages fell at the open but quickly pared losses. The Dow is currently up 33 points and the SPX is up .17%. Nine of eleven market sectors are higher in early trading, led by materials (+1%) and consumer staples (+.6%). But energy and tech sectors are down sharply. WTI crude oil plunged 4% to trade around $62.40/barrel after President Trump complained to OPEC that oil prices are too high. That’s the problem with oil—it really is the purview of traders, not investors. Price fluctuations are driven more by headlines and politics than by actual supply and demand. You get far more volatility than is warranted. Copper is down today along with China’s stock market after the Chinese government signaled less economic stimulus going forward. Bonds are faring well today as yields dip. The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen back to 2.50% from 2.60% a week 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.

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.

WALL STREET MORE OPTIMISTIC

Stocks opened mixed. The Dow is currently down 30 pts but the SPX is flat. Utilities, real estate, and communications services sectors are down somewhere between .6% and .9%. On the other hand, financial and energy sectors are up over 1%. The VIX Index jumped up to 13.5 today—still considered pretty low. Remember, the fear gauge spiked above 35 last December during the bear market correction. Investor fear, as measured by options trading activity, is near a 5-month low. Commodities are trading slightly higher today. WTI crude oil rose to $59/barrel, the highest level in 4 months. Oil has now retraced 50% of its massive plunge during the last quarter of 2018. An OPEC committee recommended deferring a decision on whether to extend current production cuts. Those cuts are what allowed oil to begin recovering in January. Bonds are mixed today, with Treasuries up slightly and corporate bonds a bit lower. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.60%, the lowest level since January 3rd.


*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 MAR-A-LAGO

WAITING ON MAR-A-LAGO

Stocks gapped up at the open this morning following the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will further delay a scheduled trade tariff hike on Chinese imports. The Dow is currently up 157 pts and the SPX is up .45%. Cyclicals are leading the way—financials, industrials, tech, materials. And yet, the VIX Index is trading back up around 13.8. That’s not a high level, but one would typically expect the VIX to fall as the stock market rises. Commodities are mostly lower in early trading. WTI crude oil is down 3% today to trade around $55.30/barrel after President Trump complained to OPEC that oil prices are too high. I’m shaking my head in disbelief. If this isn’t proof that oil prices are routinely manipulated by traders and politicians, I don’t know what is. Bonds are trading mostly lower. The 10-year Treasury yield is back up around 2.68%. It has been trading between 2.65% and 2.70% for the last three weeks. As I mentioned last week, interest rate volatility has collapsed. By the way, Warrant Buffett says stocks are incredibly cheap if you think interest rates won’t skyrocket upward. If rates are relatively stable around current levels, stocks are attractive relative to bonds.


*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 19, 2018

Stocks surged at the open this morning, but who knows how the session with end? The Dow is currently up 175 pts and the SPX is up .68%. A few market sectors are up about 1%: energy, financials, materials. Most everything is trading higher, save gold miners and semiconductors. European markets are up about .3% to .9%, although Asia was mixed overnight. WTI crude oil, which has fallen out of bed since early October, is up 3% to about $47.65/barrel. OPEC says it will reduce production by about 1.2 million barrels per day but those cuts won’t go into effect until next month. At the moment, production in the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia is near record levels. Bonds are trading modestly higher in front of the Fed meeting today (see below). Since early November, bonds have done very well and that of course means interest rates have fallen. The 2-year Treasury note tends to move along with expectations for Fed rate hikes, and since November 8th the 2-year yield has declined to 2.66% from 3.1%. That probably means bond traders are predicting a pause in 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.

December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018

Stocks headed lower again today (Dow -550 pts; SPX -2%). Ten of 11 major market sectors are down, led by tech (-3.1%). Utilities is the only bright spot +.6%). The VIX Index is back up to 24. WTI crude oil shot up toward $52.60/barrel after OPEC agreed to cut back oil production targets. Globally, oil is temporary over-supplied due to geopolitical events and government manipulation. Crude tumbled from roughly $76/barrel to $50/barrel in just 2 ½ months. Bears are taking this as a sign 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.

June 22, 2018

Stocks gapped up at the open (Dow +167 pts; SPX +.4%). We’ll see if it holds. At the moment, the energy sector is leading, up 3% in the wake of an OPEC meeting. Telecoms and materials are also up over 1%. Tech, on the other hand, is lagging (-.4%). It seems investors didn’t like earnings announcements from Red Hat (RHT), Oracle (ORCL) and Micron (MU) earlier this week. European stock markets are poised to close up about 1% and Asia was mixed overnight. Trade war jitters have hit China’s stock market especially hard. The Shanghai and Shenzhen Composites are down 12-16% this year, around 2-year lows. The US dollar has strengthened against a basket of foreign currencies as a result of trade concerns. Not surprisingly, most commodity prices have fallen. Gold, iron ore, and copper are down on the year. Oil is still up though; WTI crude oil shot back up to $68/barrel (see below). Bonds are modestly higher in price, lower in yield today. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked down to 2.76% and the 10-year yield is hovering around 2.90%. The yield curve continues to flatten; the difference between the yields on the 2-year and 10-year Treasury bonds is down to just .36%. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the stock & bond markets are telling us two different stories about the future. Stocks are worried about rising inflation but believe the economy is on a firm footing. Bonds, however, are telling us that inflation and growth are not going to accelerate.


*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 15, 2018

Stocks opened lower this morning. The Dow is currently down 243 pts and the SPX is down .8%. The Nasdaq is off 1%. All eleven major market sectors are in the red, led by real estate (-1.6%), healthcare (-1.3%), tech (-1.2%), and utilities (-1.1%). The only bright spots today are banks and small-caps. The VIX Index jumped up to 14.2 in early trading and VIX June futures are trading around 15.2. So there’s no real fear out there. The dollar is higher on better than expected economic data and most commodities are lower—even gold. WTI crude oil is down around $70.60/barrel. OPEC just reported that the global oversupply in oil has been virtually eliminated. Bonds are selling off as interest rates rise. The 5-year Treasury note yield is up around 2.91% and the 10-year is  trading at 3.07% for the first time since 2011. 


*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 14, 2018

The major stock market averages opened lower this morning following a substantial rebound from correction lows. The Dow and SPX are currently flat and +.4%, respectively. The correction, by the way, seems to have been halted at 11.7% (intraday) and 10% (closing). It took only 10 trading sessions to reach the bottom on an intraday basis. According to S&P Capital IQ, that’s the fastest 10% decline since WWII. Today, interest rate sensitive sectors—utilities, real estate—are in the red due to a higher than expected inflation report. Not surprisingly, financials are in the green because they tend to benefit from higher interest rates. WTI crude oil, which recently fell from $64 to $59, is up modestly to trade around $59.40/barrel. Bonds are selling off as yields tick higher. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are up around 2.63% (a fresh 8-yr high) and 2.89% (a fresh 4-year high). The next stop for the 10-year is likely 3.03%.


*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 14, 2017

Stocks gapped up again today, but quickly fell flat (Dow +1 pt; SPX flat). The tech sector is trading higher, but telecoms, materials and healthcare are in the red. The VIX Index is trading down to 9.8. European markets are poised to close .3% lower. The dollar is a bit stronger against the Euro after the European Central Bank (ECB) said Eurozone inflation will remain low for the foreseeable future. In other words, there is no reason to rush toward reducing monetary stimulus. Commodities are trading mixed. WTI crude oil is holding steady at $57.75/barrel. Bonds prices are slightly lower today. The 5-year Treasury note yield is up toward 2.15%. The 10-year yield is back up to 2.37%. In fact, the 10-year has been trading in a very tight range of 2.32% to 2.40% for the past month. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee raised its short-term policy interest rate by .25% to a target range of 1.25% to 1.50%. The move was widely expected. And by the way, the Fed lowered its forecast for unemployment in 2018 to just 3.9%. 


*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 1, 2017

The major stock market averages opened down after the Dow hit 24,000 for the first time yesterday. At the moment, the Dow is down 133 pts and the SPX is down .6%. The energy sector shot up over .8% in early trading. Pharmaceutical stocks are also up over .6%. On the other hand, most everything else is in the red. Semiconductors are down 2% and transports are down 1%. VIX Index futures, which attempt to guess at market volatility over the next couple of months, are up around 11.7. That’s still very low. The dollar is a bit stronger today but commodities are up a lot. Bloomberg’s Commodity Index is up over 1% today. WTI crude oil, which has been in an up-trend since June, is now at $58.70/barrel. Apparently, OPEC decided to extend is self-imposed production cuts through the end of 2018. On one hand, OPEC is not to be trusted. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia really needs to boost oil prices in front of its IPO of Aramco next year. Bonds are modestly higher in price today. The 5-year Treasury yield is at 2.11% and the 10-year Treasury yield edged down to 2.40%.   


*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 30, 2017

Stocks gapped up at the open, reversing yesterday’s decline and setting new highs. The Dow is currently up 181 pts and the SPX is up .67%. The energy sector is rebounding about 1% after a 5% correction earlier this month. Semiconductors are also up 1% after suffering a 5.7% drop over the last few days. Interestingly, European and Asian stock markets were down overnight. And the VIX Index (Dec. futures contract) is trading up near 11.5. The dollar is weaker against a basket of foreign currencies today, mostly due to Euro & Pound strength after Brexit negotiators made constructive progress toward a split. Commodities are mixed; WTI crude is trading up around $57.70/barrel. OPEC meets today in Vienna. Bond yields are slightly higher on the day. The 5-year Treasury yield is up to 2.11% and the 10-year is now at 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.

November 28, 2017

The major stock market averages opened higher this morning (Dow +126 pts; SPX .5%), hitting new all-time highs. Ten of eleven sectors are in the green led by financials, industrials and materials. Only real estate is down in early trading. The VIX Index is still hovering around 10. European markets are poised to close up about .6%. The dollar is stronger on better economic data and so most commodities are trading lower. WTI crude oil is down .5% to trade around $57.80/barrel. OPEC is scheduled to meet this week. Bonds are up modestly as yield tick lower. The 5-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.04% and the 10-year is trading at 2.32%. By the way, in a congressional confirmation meeting today, Fed Chair candidate Jerome Powell implied the Fed will likely raise interest rates next month. 


*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 9, 2017

Stocks opened little changed this morning (Dow & SPX flat). Utilities, semiconductors and gold miners are all up about half of a percent. On the other hand, retailers are down over 1% and banks are down about .5%. The VIX Index continues to hover around 10, suggesting continued low volatility in the near term. Commodities are mixed. Copper is trading higher on the day and is up nearly 20% so far this year. WTI crude oil is up slightly to trade around $49.40/barrel. US fixed income markets are closed for the Columbus Day holiday. But I’d point out that the 5-year Treasury yield, 1.96%, is now at a 6-month high. And on Friday, the 10-year yield ticked up to 2.36%, a three-month high. After Friday’s job market report, it seems all but certain that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in December. 


*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.

May 25, 2017

Stocks opened higher again today (Dow +85 pts; SPX +.48%). The Dow is back over 21,000 and the SPX just touched a new intraday high. Ten of eleven major market sectors are in the green, led by consumer discretionary, tech and real estate. Asian markets were up sharply overnight (Shanghai Composite +1.4%) “amid speculation that Chinese state-backed funds were active in the market,” according to Bloomberg. That means the state is directing large investment funds to buy stock, probably as a response to Moody’s credit rating downgrade of Chinese sovereign debt. In other words, it’s just window dressing. The dollar is slightly higher today, and commodities are lower. WTI crude oil is trading down to $50.80/barrel. OPEC oil ministers are meeting in Vienna to consider an extension of their oil output freeze agreement. It will likely pass. Bonds are mostly unchanged. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.79% and 2.26%, respectively. Remember, the trading range for the 10-year is 2.2% to 2.6%. There’s nothing to see here until it breaks out of that range. 


*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 24, 2017

The major stock market averages opened higher again this morning (Dow +30 pts; SPX +.1%). The best performing sectors are real estate and materials. The defensive sectors (utilities, consumer staples) are also modestly higher. The VIX Index, a common gauge of trader fear, is again languishing around 10.6 and that’s the very low end of the range we’ve seen over the past 10 years. WTI crude oil is up slightly to $51.50/barrel. OPEC kicks off its policy meeting in Vienna today and investors expect an extension of the cartel’s production freeze. Most other commodities are lower. Both iron ore and copper have faded recently, probably a nod to modestly weaker economic data out of China. Oh, also Moody’s Investor Service downgraded China’s sovereign debt to Aa3 from A1. The ratings firm cited a very rapid rise in debt throughout the Chinese 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.

May 15, 2017

Stocks opened sharply higher this morning (Dow +83 pts; SPX +.5%). Both the Nasdaq and SPX are hitting all-time highs. All eleven major market sectors are in the green. Semiconductors, transports and energy stocks are up over 1% in early trading. Europe is poised to close up modestly, and most of Asia was up overnight. The VIX Index is hovering around 10.5 and VIX June futures are still trading around 12. The dollar is weaker today and commodities are mostly higher. WTI crude oil is up 2.8% to trade around $48.20/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 1.86% and  2.34%, respectively. It’s a bit odd to see bonds holding value even though stocks are back up to all-time highs.   


*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.