President Trump

MEXICO TRADE RELIEF

Stocks opened higher today after US & Mexican negotiators reached a tentative arrangement to avoid new trade tariffs. The Dow is currently up 174 pts and the SPX is up 1%. Consumer discretionary, financials and technology sectors are all up 1.5% or more in early trading. The VIX Index—a common gauge of fear among traders—sank back to 16. European stock markets closed up by about .5% and most Asian markets were up over 1% last night. In the wake of the Mexico headline, the dollar strengthened and gold & bonds fell. WTI crude oil is trading flat just under $54/barrel. Most areas of the bond market are down today, except for junk bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield climbed back to 2.14%.


*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.

FED TO THE RESCUE

The major stock market averages opened a bit higher this morning (Dow +50 pts; SPX +.25%). This week has been one of recovery, especially after a couple of Federal Reserve officials hinted that they’d loosen monetary if necessary to keep the business cycle alive. Energy is the best performing sector in early trading, up 1.2% despite the fact that oil prices are down again. Some kind of bounce is to expected since energy has absolutely cratered over the past six weeks on oversupply concerns. Today, WTI crude oil is down .6% to trade around $51.44/barrel. Gold is now up 4% on the year as a safe-haven trade. Bonds are trading higher this morning as yields dip again. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) shot up 1% today as the 10-year Treasury bond yield fell back to 2.09%. The reason for continued bond market gains is also the Fed (see below).


*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.

RELIEF RALLY

Stocks opened higher today on some ever-so-slightly encouraging trade headlines. The Dow is currently up 390 points and the SPX is up 1.5%. The best performing sectors—financials and tech—are up over 2% in early trading. Real estate and utilities are in the red. The VIX Index sank back to 17 and somehow traders are in the mood to buy stocks, saying we’re “oversold.” European markets closed up by about .5% to 1%. Commodities are mostly trading higher, save gold. WTI crude oil fell at the open but recovered to $53.30/barrel. The bond market is broadly lower today. The 10-year Treasury note yield rebounded to 2.14% this morning after falling to a 20-month low. By the way, 2019’s downshift in bond rates and inflation have stoked speculation that the Federal Reserve will be cutting its policy short-term interest rate before long. Fed officials are obviously noncommittal but Chair Jerome Powell said in a speech today that the Fed will “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.” That’s exactly what investors want to hear.


*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.

TRADE WAR II HERE TO STAY

Stocks opened lower again this morning (Dow -71 pts; SPX -.26%). But remember, the recent pattern has been a lower open with late afternoon recovery. At the moment, the energy sector is down 1.2% on concerns that China will reduce purchases of US natural gas. Tech, industrials and consumer discretionary sectors are down as well on trade tensions. Defensive sectors are in the green as traders shift into low volatility plays. The VIX Index is pretty low (14.8) considering current geopolitical tension. Commodities are mostly lower, led by oil. WTI crude fell back to $61.75/barrel. Copper is flat on the day, as is gold. In fact, gold has done nothing since the trade war reignited. Remember when gold used to be a dependable safe-haven play? Bonds are trading higher as yields edge lower. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.39%. All types of bonds—investment grade, junk, asset-backed, Treasuries, long-term, short-term—have done pretty well this year because interest rates are down.


*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.

MARKET AT THE MERCY OF TRADE HEADLINES

Stocks gapped down at the open this morning, but quickly recovered after President Trump said he would delay planned auto import tariffs hikes. The Dow is currently up 41 pts and the SPX is up .5%. By the way, the Dow had its best day in a month yesterday. Ten of eleven sectors are in the green, led by communications services (+1.6%) and tech (+1%). Banks, on the other hand, are down along with interest rates. The VIX fell back to 17.3 today. Commodities are also trading higher today. WTI crude continues to climb on fears of Iranian terrorism in the Persian Gulf. Bonds are trading higher across the board, forcing yields lower. The 10-year Treasury Note yield is back down to 2.39% and will probably test its near-term support level of 2.37%. One doesn’t normally see stocks and bonds move in tandem. But of course any time geopolitical tensions rise one can expect safe-haven trades like gold and Treasuries to 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.

RELIEF RALLY

Stocks opened higher this morning in an attempt to recover from a week-long 5% correction. The Dow is currently up 219 pts and the SPX is up 1.25%. Ten of eleven market sectors are in the green, led by tech (+1.9%), financials (+1.5%) and energy (1.7%). The VIX Index—a common gauge of fear among traders—fell back to 18.5. Oil prices also recovered after a series of attacks on Saudi oil tankers and pumping stations, presumably by Iran in retaliation for trade sanctions. WTI crude is back up around $61.80/barrel. Bonds are little changed this morning. The 10-year Treasury yield edged up to 2.42%.


*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.

HIGHER TRADE TARIFFS COME AT LAST

The major stock market averages opened lower as the trade war with China escalated. The Dow is down 290 pts and the SPX is down 1.4%. The pattern over the last few trading sessions has been a sharp decline in the morning following by a recovery in the afternoon. We’ll see if that pattern persists today; my guess is that traders won’t want to be “long” going into the weekend. Tech and healthcare are the worst performing sectors at the moment, down about 1.8%. Utilities is the only sector in the green. The VIX Index continues to hover around 20, which is typically considered the lower threshold of elevated fear among traders. Overseas things are looking better. European markets closed flat. China’s Shanghai Composite Index actually closed up by 3%! Commodities are trading mostly higher. Copper, gold and iron ore are up a bit. WTI crude oil is flat at $61.60/barrel. Bonds are following the same pattern we’ve seen through the week. Treasuries are up in price, down in yield; high yield corporates (junk) are down in price, up in yield. The 10-year Treasury yield is all the way back down to 2.43%. So bonds are painting a risk-off picture, if only temporarily.


*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.

TRADE WAR JITTERS CONTINUE

Stocks headed lower again this morning on (what else?) trade war headlines. The Dow is currently down 350 pts and the SPX is down .7%. All eleven major market sectors are lower, led by tech (-1.2%) and materials (-1.3%). The VIX Index spiked to nearly 22, suggesting traders are getting nervous. European markets closed down by nearly 2% and Asian markets were down nearly that much overnight. China’s Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.5% last night and has fallen almost 13% since April 19th. Commodities are down today, except for gold. WTI crude oil is down 1% to trade around $61.50/barrel. Bonds moved higher as the 10-year Treasury yield fell back to 2.44%. Junk bonds, however, are down about .4%.


*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.

STOCKS MIXED, AT THE MERCY OF TRADE HEADLINES

Stocks opened mixed this morning at the mercy of trade-related headlines. The Dow is currently up 70 points and the SPX is flat. The Nasdaq is down slightly The VIX Index back down just a bit to 19. Strangely enough, the utilities sectors is down by more than 1% in early trading. The materials and communications services sectors are down modestly. On the other hand, real estate, industrials and consumer discretionary sectors are up about .3%. Most commodities are trading lower today, save oil. Iron ore is down 1%, copper is down .6%. WTI crude bounced back 1% to trade at $62/barrel on a lower than expected crude inventory report. Bonds are again mixed, with corporates flat and Treasuries up. The 10-year Treasury yield fell back to 2.46%. However, look at junk bonds. The SPDR High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) is actually higher on the day, suggesting the renewed trade fight isn’t the end of the world.


*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.

TRADE WAR REDUX?

Tough trade talk is again knocking the stock market around this morning. The Dow is currently down 440 pts and the SPX is off 1.6%. All eleven market sectors are in the red, let by tech (-2%). Several industry groups are down more than 2%, including semiconductors, transports, and biotechs. The VIX Index, a measure of investor fear, jumped to 20 for the first time since January. European stock markets closed down by 1-2% in today’s session. Obviously, crude oil fell on the news. WTI crude is trading back down around $61.30/barrel. Bonds are mixed. Corporates are flat to down, whereas lower-risk Treasury bonds are up on the day. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.46%.


*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.

TROUBLE WITH TRADE

The major stock market averages gapped down at the open after news that US-China trade talks are breaking down. The Dow is currently down 220 pts and the SPX is down .95%. Consumer discretionary, industrials, tech and materials sectors are all down more than 1%. The VIX Index spiked briefly to 19 before falling back to 16. WTI crude oil dipped slightly to $61.60/barrel. The US dollar strengthened and gold is modestly higher today. Bonds are trading higher (except for junk). The 10-year Treasury yield fell back to 2.48%.


*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.

ANY EXCUSE TO CONSOLIDATE

The major stock market averages gapped down at the open today (Dow -177 pts; SPX -.33%). Utilities and communications sectors are modestly higher, but most everything else is in the red. The energy sector is down .8% along with oil prices. Industrials are down 1% on weakness in Boeing (BA). European markets closed lower by about .3%, whereas Asian markets are up overnight.


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

JOBS REPORT TO THE RESCUE

Stocks opened higher this morning after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its March jobs report (see below). The Dow is currently up 34 pts and the SPX is up .38%. Nine of eleven major market sectors are trading higher, led by energy (+1.5%) and healthcare (+.8%). The communications services sector is flat. Small-caps and emerging markets equities are outperforming today. The US dollar is slightly higher in early trading, and commodities are mixed.


*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.

FADING THE TRADE DEAL

FADING THE TRADE DEAL

Stocks gapped up at the open, only to quickly fade. The Dow is currently down 236 points, and the SPX is down 1.1%. All eleven major market sectors are lower, led by healthcare (-1.8%) and tech (-1.4%). As some type of US-China trade deal looks more likely—see below—traders are selling the news. European markets closed mixed but Asian markets rallied overnight. China’s Shanghai Composite Index is up over 20% so far this year. The US dollar is a bit stronger today, and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil rallied back to $56.50/barrel, pretty close to the 2019 high. In fact, most commodity prices are higher this year after suffering declines late last year. Recently, President Trump has said he believes oil prices are too high and the dollar is too strong. I’m not sure why the market is reacting to these remarks, but it does feed day-to-day volatility. Bonds are trading a bit higher as yields tick lower this morning. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.73%.


*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.

OPTIMISM OVER POTENTIAL TRADE DEAL

Stocks opened sharply higher this morning (Dow +188 pts; SPX +%). Every single week in 2019 has been positive for the US stock market. Today, tech, healthcare and communications services are leading. Only consumer staples and financials are in the red. Commodities are trading higher (except gold). WTI crude oil is up around $57.30/barrel. That’s an amazing turnaround when you consider that it traded down to $42 on Christmas Eve. Once again, Treasury bonds and stocks are moving in tandem. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) is up .7% in early trading. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down around 2.65%. Following extremely high volatility late last year, interest rates have settled down at a low level along with low volatility.


*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.

GOVERNMENT FUNDING DEAL?

The major US stock market averages gapped up at the open on a potential cross-party deal to forestall another government shutdown. The Dow is currently up 310 points and the SPX is up 1.2%. Ten of eleven sectors are in the green, led by financials & materials (+1.8%) as well as industrials & consumer discretionary (+1.5%). European markets closed about 1% higher and Asia was up overnight. Hard to believe, but so far in 2019 The Dow is up nearly 9%, the Euro Stoxx 50 Index is up 6%, the Nikkei is up 4% and the Shanghai Composite index is up 7%. To maintain those gains, we’re going to need to see better economic data around the world. The dollar is a little weaker today and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is up 1.5% to trade around $53.20/barrel after a report that Saudi Arabia has cut back oil production. Treasury bonds are down in price, up in yield today. The 5-year Treasury yield is back up to 2.49% and the 10-year yield is up to 2.69%.


*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.

IMPROVING SENTIMENT

IMPROVING SENTIMENT

Stocks opened higher again today, as investor sentiment gradually improves. The Dow is currently up 143 pts and the SPX is up .5%. Tech, energy, healthcare and industrials are up nicely in early trading. Utilities, consumer staples, real estate and communications services are in the red. European stock markets will close up by about .5% and Asia was broadly higher overnight. The Shanghai Composite Index, China’s main stock index, closed up .7%. The dollar is down about .5% against a basket of foreign currencies. That’s a big deal. Dollar weakness means emerging markets stocks do better; it means US multi-national exporters do better; it signals that investors believe inflation is well under control and the Fed won’t be aggressive with monetary tightening. It might even signal more optimism (among traders) that the trade war can be resolved. All else equal, commodities generally rise as the dollar weakens. WTI crude oil is up nearly 3% today to trade at $51.25/barrel. Copper and gold are up modestly as well. Bonds are trading slightly higher as well. Both investment-grade and high-yield corporate bond ETFs are up about .2% today. The exception is long-term Treasuries. Whereas the 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are basically flat to slightly lower, the 30-year Treasury yield jumped up to 3.02%. And remember, we want Treasuries to sell off when the stock market is moving higher. I can’t emphasize enough how closely traders are watching the bond market as a signal to whether the stock market recovery can continue.


*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 31, 2018

December 31, 2018

Stocks opened higher this morning but quickly lost steam. The Dow is currently up 150 pts and the SPX is up .33%. Healthcare is the best performing group in early trading, up about 1%. Retailers and tech stocks are also in the green. On the other hand, utilities & real estate sectors are in the red. The VIX Index fell to 27 this morning; the fear index spiked to 36 on Christmas Eve. Foreign markets were mostly higher in today’s session. Even China’s Shanghai Composite Index picked itself up off the floor. It climbed .4% overnight but is still down something like 28% for the year. It’s no secret that the emerging trade war has dented China’s economic momentum. Commodities are mixed today: copper -1.8%; oil flat; gold flat; iron ore +.2%. But the overall trend has been lower; during 2018 the Bloomberg Commodity Index fell nearly 13%. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.54% and 2.70%, respectively. Bond traders are saying the 2.70% mark is a key psychological support level and if the 10-year falls below that it will likely continue falling toward 2.6%. By the way, for all the massive volatility in the bond market this year, the 10-year yield will have gained a mere 27 basis points (.27%) during 2018.


*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.