Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index (SOX)

AWAITING THE FED

Stocks opened slightly higher this morning but quickly faded. The Dow is currently down 38 pts and the SPX is up .18%. The tech sector surged 1% in early trading, led by semiconductor stocks. In addition, biotechs and transports are modestly higher. Most everything else, however, is in the red. The Dow is now up about 18% this year, and investors are scrutinizing earnings reports to see if the growth outlook will support further stock market gains (see below). The VIX Index—a common measure of fear among traders—is hovering around 14, considered fairly low. And strangely enough, surveys by the American Assn. of Individual Investors (AAII) show improving sentiment among non-professional investors. Taken together, we can conclude that people feel fairly good about the market. Commodities are mixed today. Iran’s geopolitical tantrum is propping up oil prices (WTI crude back up over $56/barrel). But copper and iron ore are lower in price. Bonds are mostly higher in early trading. The 10-year Treasury Note yield fell back to 2.03% today. Long-term Treasury bond funds, such as iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up nearly .5%.


*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.

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM FOR THE MOMENT

Stocks opened modestly higher this morning, edging closer to April highs. The Dow is currently up 58 pts and the SPX is flat. Banks, retailers, semiconductors and energy are all up about .5% in early trading. On the other hand, utilities, industrials and healthcare are down. VIX July futures are trading around 17, suggesting traders don’t expect a near-term volatility spike. Expected Treasury bond market volatility has collapsed this month as well. Commodities are mostly higher today, save gold. WTI crude oil bounced back to $53.50/barrel after bottoming around $51.70 a week ago. The bond market is mixed today. Treasuries are selling off a bit after a monster 6-week run. The 10-year Treasury yield notched up to 2.16%. Corporates are faring better in early trading, with the SPDR High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) up about .3%.


*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.

IGNORE WASHINGTON, WATCH EARNINGS

IGNORE WASHINGTON, WATCH EARNINGS

Stocks opened modestly lower this morning (Dow flat; SPX -.25%; Nasdaq -.4%). Exchange trade volume is low. The communications services sector is down 1.5%; REITs are down .75%; energy is off .3% and banks are down .2%. Semiconductors are bucking the trend, however (see below). As I mentioned yesterday, The VIX Index has collapsed back to 15; traders are no longer as fearful, but they’re wondering how far this V-shaped recovery can go before the market needs to step back and consolidate. After all, the SPX has now retraced nearly ¾ of its late 2018 correction. Commodities are trading mostly higher—with the notable exception of gold. WTI crude oil is back up around $54.10/barrel and it looks like the path of least resistance is up. Copper is now up 9% on the year, which is odd since China’s economy is said to be losing steam. Further, iron ore is up around a 2-year high and Barzil’s Vale SA (VALE) just warned of a global shortage. That doesn’t square with the consensus narrative that global economic growth is falling. So either global growth is better than we’ve been hearing, or China is pushing fiscal stimulus in a big way this year. Usually those two move together. Bonds are roughly unchanged this morning. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.50% and 2.69%, 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.

December 12, 2018

December 12, 2018

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +350 pts; SPX +1.57%). A number of sectors are up more than 1.5% in early trading: tech, communications services, energy, healthcare, industrials and consumer discretionary. Semiconductor stocks are rallying sharply for the second consecutive session. The SOX Index is trying to recover from a pretty deep 21% correction this year. The VIX Index is down around 20.6 and VIX January futures are trading down around 20, suggesting traders are less fearful than they were a week ago. The dollar is weaker on a benign inflation report (see below). That—along with OPEC’s decision to cut output—is helping oil prices recover. WTI crude is back up around $52.30/barrel. Bonds are mixed in early trading. For the second straight session, junk bonds are rallying; trying to recover from a 7% correction this year. Remember, junk bonds are seen as leading indicator of economic growth. In addition, we’re seeing Treasury bonds sell off for the third consecutive session. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back up around 2.76% and 2.90%. For what it’s worth, the bond market seems to suggest that the worst of the stock market correction is past.


*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.