S&P 500 Index (SPX)

TRADE WAR GROWTH JITTERS

Stocks opened lower after some disappointing economic news out of China. The Dow is currently down 214 pts and the SPX is down .6%. Technology and communications sectors are down over 1% in early trading. On the other hand, financials, real estate and consumer staples are modestly higher. The bond market is gaining momentum today as yields fall. The 10-year US Treasury Note yield edged down to 1.73%.


*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.

ALL EYES ON CORPORATE AMERICA--NOT THE FED OR CHINA

Stocks opened higher due to some encouraging earnings announcements (see below) and reports of a possible Brexit deal in Europe. The Dow is currently up 36 pts and the SPX is up .2%. Eight of eleven major market sectors are in the green, led by healthcare and industrials. Considering positive headlines about Brexit, it is surprising that European markets didn’t close uniformly higher. Yes, the UK’s FTSE 100 Index closed up by .57%, but the Eurostox 50 Index was flat and France’s CAC 40 Index fell. Commodities are not trading according to a risk-on pattern today. Gold is up and oil is down. The bond market is decidedly mixed. Safe-haven Treasuries are falling in price, whereas corporate bonds (and especially junk) are trading higher. The 10-year Treasury yield has been hovering around 1.75% over the last week.


*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.

RETAIL SALES RESILIENT

Stocks sagged at the open on a knee-jerk reaction to the monthly retail sales report (see below)—and then quickly recovered. At the moment, the Dow and S&P 500 Index are flat. Materials (+.7%), industrials (+.4%) and consumer discretionary (+.3%) sectors are leading in today’s session. Laggards include technology (-.9%) and energy (-.5%). European markets are poised to close slightly higher, and most of Asia rallied overnight. WTI crude oil rose 1% to trade at $53.45/barrel. Gold is up .25% (and 15% so far this year). Copper fell 1% in early trading. Bonds are roughly unchanged today.

Today’s headlines proclaiming the death of consumer spending at the hands of the trade war are garbage. CNBC reports “US retail sales unexpectedly decline in a sign that consumer economy could be cracking.” This is nonsense. Yes, US retail sales declined .3% in September from prior month levels, but this is only because prior month sales were revised higher than originally reported. In addition, the headlines conveniently ignore the fact that September retail sales were 4.1% higher than year-ago levels. That growth rate is only slightly below that of August, and it is right in the middle of the six-year range. And finally, one of the key reasons for the minor drop in sales from August to September was falling gasoline prices—how is that bad news? There is absolutely nothing discouraging about this report. In fact, it might be a sign that the bears—those predisposed to repeatedly predict imminent recession and a long bear market—may be grasping at straws.


*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 TO THE RESCUE

The major stock market averages shot higher this morning (Dow +250 pts; SPX +1.1%). Healthcare (+1.9%) and financial (+1.9%) sectors are leading the way after a few better than expected earnings announcements (see below). On the other hand, defensive sectors such as utilities and consumer staples are in the red. Traders are taking the opportunity to shift risk-on…for the moment. Remember, the factor that trumps Trump (or geopolitics or trade war or just about every other negative factor) is growth. And if third quarter earnings season manages to beat expectations and calm fears about the outlook for 2020 corporate earnings, well then the stock market will move higher. Commodities are mixed in early trading. WTI crude oil is roughly flat at $53.65/barrel. Iron ore is up about .7%, but copper is down a bit. Gold sank nearly 1% as risk-on trading took hold this morning. Bonds are also selling off. The 10-year Treasury Note yield ticked back up to 1.74%. Long-term Treasuries are down about 1% and intermediate high-grade corporate bonds are down about .15%. Junk bonds, however, are trading up along with stocks.


*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 TALKS IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT

The major stock market averages surged higher this morning (Dow +430 pts; SPX +1.5%). Ten of eleven sectors are in the green, led by materials (+2.4%), industrials (+2.2%) and financials (+2%). Only the utilities sector has been left out (-.2%). Though trite, the reason given for this rally is “Trade Optimism,” according the Bloomberg. So we continue to trade in a range, knocked around daily by Tweets and vague headlines. In this case, President Trump Tweeted that “Good things are happening at China Trade Talk Meeting.” European stock markets closed sharply higher as well this morning, and Asia was up 1-2% last night. Commodities reacted as one might expect—gold fell 1% and oil rallied 1.4% to trade around $54.30/barrel. Bonds not surprisingly sold off. Long-term Treasury bonds are down more than 1% in early trading and high-grade corporates are down roughly a quarter of a percent. Only junk bonds, which typically trade along with the stock market, are modestly higher. The 10-year US Treasury Note yield climbed back to 1.75%.


*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 ESCALATION

Stocks sank at the open on trade war escalation (see below). The Dow is currently down 305 pts and the SPX is down 1.4%. All eleven major market sectors are in the red. Semiconductor stocks are faring the worst; the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) is down 2.7%. The VIX Index, a common measure of trader fear—shot back up to 19 in early trading. Commodities are trading mostly lower, except gold. WTI crude oil backed down to $52.30/barrel. Safe-haven Treasury bonds are in rally mode today. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up .6%. So the mood is clearly risk-off.


*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 A SIGN OF STABILITY, NOT SLOWDOWN

Stocks opened mostly higher this morning (Dow +136 pts; SPX +.7%), rebounding a bit from this week’s rout. The tech sector is up 1.2%, and most other cyclical sectors are in the green after the monthly jobs report (see below). Only energy stocks are in the red despite higher oil prices today. The VIX Index, which spiked over 20 on Wednesday, fell back to 18. VIX November futures fell back to 19, suggesting his week’s market decline is just a blip. European markets closed up by about .5% in today’s session. Commodities are mostly higher on the day. WTI crude oil is up 1% to trade around $52.90. Gold is roughly flat after having surged 17% so far this year. Bonds are rallying right along with stocks this morning. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) tacked on another .6% in early trading. The fund is up almost 20% this year. And yes, that means it has outperformed the stock market. Even intermediate term high-grade corporate bonds are up more than 10% this year.


*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 UNCERTAINTY COMING HOME TO ROOST

Stocks sank at the open on weaker economic data, but quickly recovered on hopes of another Federal Reserve rate cut. The Dow is currently up 50 pts and the SPX is up .5%. Lower interest rate expectations immediately drove the real estate sector higher (+1%), and the financial sector lower (-.4%). Commodities are following recent trend, with gold up .6% this morning and WTI crude oil down 1% to $52.10/barrel. We’ve seen significant volatility in oil this year, with a wide trading range of $46-$66/barrel. In the face of increased US oil production and the trade war, geopolitical events—Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks—haven’t been able to prop up oil they way they used to. Bonds are trading higher again this morning. The 10-year US Treasury yield fell back to 1.54%. Believe it or not, the yield curve has steepened. That is, the difference between the 10-year and 2-year Treasury yields has risen to +15 basis points, from -5 basis points five weeks ago. Steepening has been caused by falling short-term interest rates (i.e. Fed rate cuts).


*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.

YET MORE VOLATILITY

Stocks sank at the open this morning on slowing economic growth concerns. At the moment, the Dow is down 448 pts and the SPX is down 1.77%. Industrials, tech, energy and materials are down more than 2% in early trading. Even the generally more defensive sectors like utilities are in the red. The VIX Index spiked above 20 for the first time since early September. European stock markets closed down by more than 2% and Asian markets fell overnight. Many technical analysts have been predicting increased near-term volatility, and here it is. The SPX has fallen about 4.5% from its all-time high. We’ve already seen two separate 5-7% corrections this year and this may be the third. Commodities are mixed. Copper is up .6%, and gold is up 1%. WTI crude, however, is down 2% to trade around $52.40/barrel. The bond market is reacting as expected. Safe haven assets like Treasuries are rising in price, high-grade corporates are flat, and lower quality junk bonds are falling.


*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.

SUBDUED MONDAY

Major stock market averages opened in the green this morning (Dow +148 pts; SPX +.6%). The SPX is in the process of re-testing its July 26th closing high of 3,025. The results of that test will help determine whether October is a good or bad month for investors. Ten of eleven market sectors are higher today, led by technology and healthcare. Energy is the only standout, down another .3%. Over the past couple of weeks, WTI crude oil has retreated from $63/barrel to just $55/barrel. That move comes, by the way, as energy-related geopolitical tensions have flared up between Iran and Saudi Arabia. It used to be that such events would cause monster spikes in oil, but the world has changed. US producers now have the ability to produce more oil than ever. The bond market is roughly unchanged this morning. After a mini spike in overnight interest rates, intervention by the Federal Reserve has had the desired calming effect. Here’s a check on prevailing bond market yields: longer-term save haven Treasuries 1.7% - 2%; intermediate high-grade corporates 3%-3.5%; intermediate municipals 2.5%-3%; junk corporates 5%-5.5%.


*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.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE

Stocks opened lower but quickly recovered. At the moment, the Dow is up 106 pts and the SPX is down .13%. In a flip from yesterday’s session, defensive sectors are flat to down, whereas financials and energy sectors are in the green. The bond market is mostly unchanged today.


*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.

WE'VE REACHED CRUISING ALTITUDE, BUT KEEP THE SEATBELTS BUCKLED

Stocks sagged at the open (Dow -85 pts; SPX -.6%). Energy (-1.5%), healthcare (-1.2%) and communications services (-1.4%) are leading the way lower. On the other hand, defensive sectors like consumer staples and utilities are in the green. The VIX Index climbed to 16 and VIX October futures are up around 17.7. So expected volatility is rising a bit. Commodities are mixed in early trading. WTI crude oil is down .6% to trade around $55.90/barrel. Gold is slightly higher but copper is lower. Copper typically trades with economic fortunes in China, and is down about 2% so far this year. Bonds are rallying today (higher prices, lower yields). The 10-year Treasury yield dipped back to 1.68%. The only exception seems to be junk (or high yield) bonds, which are slightly lower. Investors watch junk bonds closely for signs of a waning economy. But following a massive decline in late December, they’ve rallied back to early 2018 levels.


*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.

TEMPER YOUR ENTHUSIASM

Stocks opened higher on misplaced optimism over upcoming trade talks, but quickly faded. The Dow is currently down 30 pts and the SPX is down .2%. Defensive sectors are leading the way (utilities, consumer staples). The energy is sagging, down 1.2% in early trading. Other key groups are down as well, including banks, semiconductors and biotechs. The VIX Index edged back up to 16 this morning and VIX October futures are trading up around 17. Those are fairly low levels, and with the stock market near all-time highs traders are expecting some type of sell-off in the near-term. Commodities are down on the day, with oil down 1% to $57.60/barrel. Gold is taking a breather after having surged 18% so far this year. Bonds are trading higher across the board today as yields continue to slide. Long-term Treasuries are up about .8% and intermediate high-quality corporates are up about .25%.


*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.

RE-TESTING ALL-TIME HIGHS

Stocks surged higher at the open (Dow +100 pts; SPX +.4%). Most sectors are trading higher, save energy. Foreign stock markets closed mostly higher as well. The SPX is now trading at 3,019 and is in the process of re-testing its all-time high of 3,028. Likely as not, within the next several trading sessions the index will either fail and correct yet again, or break out to new highs with conviction. Commodities are mixed. Believe it or not, oil prices are up .7% and yet energy stocks are down again. Gold and gold mining stocks are up on the day. And believe it or not, both gold miners and the tech sector are up over 30% so far this year. That just goes to show you investors are looking to two things: dependable growth (i.e. tech) and defensive stability (gold). Bonds are trading higher in price, lower in yield. Junk is flat, high-grade corporates are up about .4% and long-term Treasuries are up nearly .7%.


*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 DAY!

Stocks gapped down at the open (Dow -85 pts; SPX -.3%). Industrials, energy and financials are leading the way (all down .5% or more). Only utilities are powering ahead (+.5%). The Trump Administration asked the US Treasury to dramatically increase economic sanctions on Iran after concluding its culpability in a recent oilfield attack in Saudi Arabia. European markets are poised to close up by about .3% and most of Asia was modestly lower overnight. Commodities are trading lower today. Copper is down .3%; iron ore fell more than 3%. Oddly enough given geopolitical tension, WTI crude is down 1% to trade around $58.70/barrel. Bonds are mostly higher on the day, except for junk. The 10-year Treasury Note yield fell back to 1.75%.


*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.

GEOPOLITICS REARS ITS UGLY HEAD

Stocks fell at the open (Dow -147 pts; SPX -.4%). Most sectors are down today. The energy sector, however, surged 2.5% in early trading. Over the weekend, drones—likely from Iran—attacked Saudi oil fields, knocking about 5% of global oil production temporarily offline. As a result, WTI crude oil is up nearly 11% to about $60.80/barrel. That’s the largest one-day move since 1991. President Trump said the US is “locked and loaded” to retaliate “depending on verification” of Iran’s culpability. Chevron (CVX) is up about 2%, EOG Resources (EOG) is up 5.5%, and Pioneer Natural Resources is up 3%. Not surprisingly, aerospace/defense stocks are also up 1-3%. Other commodities are mixed. While iron ore and copper are down about 1%, gold is up 1% on the day. Bonds are trading higher as well, with safe-haven Treasuries faring the best. The 10-year Treasury Note yield fell back to 1.85%.


*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.

BETTER DATA = BETTER MARKET

Stocks opened modestly higher today (Dow +51 pts; SPX flat). The materials sector (+1.3) is leading the way, along with financials (+1%) and industrials (+.8%). On the other hand, defensive sectors like utilities and consumer staples are down. The immediate reason is better than expected economic data (see below). The VIX Index fear gauge fell to 13.6 and stock markets around the world rallied today. Commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is flat around $55/barrel. Copper surged 2%. Gold is down about .6%. Bonds are selling off hard today after enjoying a huge rally from the end of February to the end of August. The 10-year Treasury yield has backed up to 1.88% from 1.50% this 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.

STOCK MARKET NEAR ALL-TIME HIGHS

Major stock market averages opened mixed this morning (Dow flat; SPX +.37%). Energy stocks are sinking on lower oil prices. On the other hand, consumer discretionary (+.8%), materials & tech (+.7%) are faring well. Overall, the stock market’s trend has been upward since the 6% correction in early August, and it is now close to all-time highs again. The same cannot be said of most overseas stock markets, which have generally underperformed the US for a decade or more.


*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.

SOME OPTIMISM CREEPING IN

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +57 pts; SPX +.3%) on optimism regarding central bank easing and upcoming trade negotiations with China. Of note, China offered a trade concession by announcing that some goods imported from the US will be exempted from 25% tariffs put in place last year. Cyclical sectors like tech and energy are leading the way in early trading, whereas defensive sectors like consumer staples and real estate are flat to down. We’re seeing a very rapid rotation among stock traders away from defensives and toward cyclicals. Financials (i.e. banks) seem to the be the lone exception, failing to participate. Commodities are mixed. Gold is higher on the day (and up 16% so far this year). Copper is down; WTI crude oil is unchanged around $57.30/barrel. Bonds are trading roughly unchanged today. There is some sense that unless economic data continue to deteriorate it will be tough for the bond market to continue its massive year-to-date rally. Said another way, unless you believe recession is around the corner you probably can’t expect bonds to move much higher in the near term. The 10-year Treasury yield is holding steady at 1.73%.


*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.

JOB MARKET QUESTION MARK

Stocks opened lower this morning (Dow -83 pts; SPX -.45%). Surprisingly, the energy sector surged 1.6% in early trading along with oil prices. Industrials and materials are also modestly higher. Most everything else is lower on the day. The real estate sector sank nearly 2% on rising interest rates, but for some reason the banks aren’t spiking. Usually those two groups are mirror images of one another on days when interest rates move sharply. Most commodities are trading higher. WTI crude oil is up 1.4% to trade at $58.60/barrel. Bonds are selling off and yields are moving higher. With the massive run-up in bonds this year, a correction makes a lot of sense even if the longer term direction of rates is still lower. The 10-year Treasury yield shot up to 1.67% from 1.56% last Friday.


*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.