S&P Case-Shiller US Home Price Index

IMPROVING ECONOMIC MOMENTUM

Stocks opened lower this morning on trade war concerns. The Dow is currently down 22 pts and the SPX is down .28%. Pharmaceuticals, transports, semiconductors and banks are all down. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are up on the better than expected pending home sales report. The consumer staples sector is higher on a strong earnings report by Procter & Gamble (PG). European markets were uniformly and sharply lower in today’s session, whereas Asian markets traded higher overnight. Commodities are mostly higher, with WTI crude oil bouncing back toward $57.15/barrel. Bonds are mixed. Long-term Treasuries are up slightly, but corporates are down on the day. The iBoxx Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) is showing signs of topping out after 10% run this year. As we see more signs of improving economic momentum (see below) rates could move upward, pushing bond prices lower.


*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.

ARE EARNINGS ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN 2019 RALLY?

Stocks opened sharply lower this morning (Dow -123 pts; SPX -.4%). Communications services—down 2.5%--is the worst performing sector entirely as a result of Alphabet’s (GOOGL) earnings announcement. Other groups like biotechs, banks and transports are also trading lower. Defensive sectors are catching a bid. The VIX Index jumped to 14 for the first time in three weeks. European markets closed down modestly. The dollar is a bit weaker against a basket of foreign currencies and that is giving a little support to commodities. WTI crude oil up .5% to trade around $64/barrel. Bonds are rising in price, falling in yield. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up .3% today and up 1.6% so far this year. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.51%.


*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.

CROSSCURRENTS GIVE THE FED PAUSE

CROSSCURRENTS GIVE THE FED PAUSE

Stocks opened lower today, but quickly recovered. The Dow and SPX are currently flat. Financials, energy and tech sectors are in the green but most everything else is slightly lower. Copper, iron ore and oil are strong today. WTI crude oil is back up around $55.75/barrel. Copper is now up something like 13% on the year, and that’s usually a sign of economic strength overseas. Strangely, bonds are trading mostly higher as well. Long-term Treasury bonds are up about .2% and junk bonds are up nearly that much. The 10-year Treasury yield fell back to 2.65%. Since the beginning of February, interest rates have been treading water with very little 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.

September 25, 2018

September 25, 2018

Stocks opened mixed this morning. The Dow is currently up 27 pts and the SPX is flat. The Nasdaq is up .2%. Biotechs and energy-related stocks are leading the way. REITs are bouncing back from yesterday’s rout. On the other hand, a back-up in interest rates is causing the utilities sector to fall 1%. European stock markets are poised to close modestly higher today, but most of Asia was down overnight. China’s Shanghai Composite Index has recovered a bit over the last week, but remains 20% lower than where it began the year. Pretty much alone in the world, China is experiencing its own bear market. Most of the commodity complex is trading higher. WTI crude oil is up modestly to trade at $72.29/barrel. Copper is up about 7% so far this month after having taken a beating in June/July. Copper tends to trade with the Chinese stock 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.

August 29, 2018

August 29, 2018

Stocks shot up at the open this morning (Dow +86 pts; SPX +.58%). The market seems to want to move higher, and nobody is complaining about the Fed or Turkey’s financial crisis this week. Cyclicals are leading again today—technology, materials, biotechs, consumer discretionary. However, I’d point out that financials aren’t part of the rally even though interest rates are rising. The 5-year Treasury yield is up around 2.79% and the 10-year yield is back up to 2.89%. For most of 2018, the 10-year rate has bounced around between 2.8% and 3.0%. Typically, with stronger economic growth and corporate earnings, you’d see rates rising. But strong demand from global investors buying Treasuries instead of their own country’s sovereign bonds is keeping our rates lower.


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

June 26, 2018

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


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

March 27, 2018

The major stock market averages opened higher after yesterday’s massive short-covering rally in which the Dow had its third-best day in history. At the moment, the Dow and SPX are up 220 pts and .5%, respectively. After spiking to 25 yesterday, the VIX Index is down around 20 today. European markets are poised to close up about 1% and most of Asia was up overnight. All eleven sectors are in the green led by telecom, industrials and consumer staples. Traders are watching closely to see if Friday’s low holds. If so, last week’s volatility would simply be a classic rebound and re-test of the February correction low. Commodities are trading a bit lower today. WTI crude oil down .3% to $65.30/barrel. Bonds are modestly higher in price, lower in yield. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 2.61% and 2.82%, respectively. After the rate spike in January & February, it makes sense that we’d see a pause in the trend. Rates have gone nowhere in March.


*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.

September 26, 2017

The major stock market averages opened slightly higher this morning (Dow +26 pts; SPX flat). Gains are led by retailers and the transports. The tech sector is rebounding from a rough week. Gold miners and biotechs are trading lower. WTI crude oil is trading down .9% to $51.76/barrel, and that’s taking energy stocks down a bit. European markets are poised to close slightly higher today, and are up roughly 20% so far this year. Asia was mixed overnight but, importantly, isn’t showing any signs of investor panic due to saber rattling in North Korea. Bonds are trading slightly lower today as interest rates throughout the economy tick upward. The 2-year Treasury bill yield is up to 1.44% and the 5-year yield is trading at 1.85%. The 10-year Treasury yield, which track longer-term inflation expectations, is up around 2.23%. 


*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 29, 2017

Stocks gapped down at the open but quickly recovered. The Dow and SPX are currently up 12 points and flat, respectively. Banks, retailers and energy companies are down the most in early trading. On the other hand, gold miners and consumer-related sectors are trading higher. The VIX Index is back up over 12 and gold is at its highest price of the year. Yesterday, North Korea conducted another missile test, this time violating Japan’s airspace. President Trump responded by saying, “all options are open” for retaliation, but Asian stock markets were down only about .2% last night. So investors clearly aren’t panicking. WTI crude oil, which typically spikes on geopolitical tension, is down a bit to trade around $46/barrel. Bonds, however, are trading higher on the news. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields sank to 1.69% and 2.11%, respectively, the lowest levels since Nov. 2016.


*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 27, 2017

Stocks opened lower today. The Dow is currently down 14 pts and the S&P 500 is down .24%. Telecoms and utilities are getting hit, down over 1% at the moment. Semiconductors & biotechs are giving up ground as well. On the other hand, banks and oil/natural gas stocks are up nicely this morning. The dollar is weaker against a basket of foreign currencies today, and has given up about 5% this year. That’s helping US multi-national companies doing business overseas. Most commodities are rebounding (copper, iron ore, oil). WTI crude oil is up again today, trading around $44.11/barrel. The more convinced traders are that oil bottomed last week, the better the stock market will do in the near-term. Bonds are selling off today (maybe a response to oil?). Remember, falling bond yields happen to be the linchpin in most bear investor forecasts. At the moment, the 5-year Treasury yield is back up to 1.81% and the 10-year is up to 2.19%.


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

March 28, 2017

Stocks opened sharply higher this morning, temporarily reversing recent declines. The Dow is currently up 100 pts and the SPX is up .54%. Banks, transports and energy stocks are bouncing back, whereas gold miners & telecoms are lower in early trading. The VIX Index is trading back down to 12.2, so no panic there. But while the major stock market averages (and the VIX) haven’t really moved much lately, individual sectors have. Energy is down nearly 9% year-to-date, telecom is down 5%, technology is up 11% and healthcare is up almost 8%. So volatility is still very much a part of this 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.

January 31, 2017

Stocks sank at the open again this morning (Dow -164 pts; SPX -.55%). Transports and semiconductors are down over 1.5% in early trading. Biotechs, gold miners and utilities are higher on the day. The dollar is weaker today against a basket of foreign currencies. After hitting a multi-year high in December, it has fallen back about 3.5%. Dollar weakness is helping prop up oil. WTI crude is trading up above $53/barrel this morning. Bonds are rising in price as yields edge lower. The 5-year Treasury shot up to 2.10% last month but is now trading at 1.90%. The 10-year Treasury’s recent high was 2.6% but it is now trading around 2.44%. 


*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 27, 2016

Stocks opened higher this morning and the Dow is again attempting to reach the 20,000 level. At the moment, the Dow and SPX are up 38 pts & .36%, respectively. Most sectors are modestly higher, led by tech and healthcare. Retailers are also faring well this morning. Telecoms and utilities are a bit lower in early trading. Exchange trade volume should be fairly light this week. Oil continues to rally, having risen about $10/barrel in the last six weeks. WTI crude is now trading at $53.60/barrel. Bloomberg says OPEC’s production cut will soon take effect. 


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

July 26, 2016

Stocks opened lower this morning but quickly turned around (Dow -30 pts; SPX flat). Investors are clearly freaked out about the Federal Reserve meeting, which kicks off today. Interest-rate sensitive sectors (utilities, telecom, REITs) are falling the most in early trading. Industrials and materials are in the green. The dollar is a bit weaker. Unfortunately, WTI crude oil is down under $43/barrel and that’s hurting stocks as well. Bonds are slightly weaker, with yields climbing. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are up to 1.15% and 1.57%, 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.

April 26, 2016

Stocks opened higher but quickly gave way (Dow -10 pts; SPX flat). Tech and healthcare are leading to the downside. Energy stocks are rising, however, as oil prices continue to move higher. WTI crude is now trading up to $43.50/barrel. Last Friday, Baker Hughes said its count of active oil drilling rigs in the US fell 8 rigs to 343. Back in 2008, that same rig count was over 2,000. The dollar is weaker today, and down to a 10-month low against a basket of foreign currencies. That, plus higher oil prices, should be additive to corporate earnings in the last half of the year. A weaker dollar is helping the materials sector rise (groggily) from the dead. Bonds are selling off again, with yields moving higher. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are up to 1.39% and 1.93%, respectively. Strangely, the 2-year Treasury yield is also at a 1-month high despite that fact that no one sees the Fed raising interest rates anytime soon.


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

March 29, 2016

Stocks fell in early trading, but quickly pared losses (Dow -31 pts; SPX flat). Energy is the worst performing sector, down 1% as oil prices drift lower. WTI crude oil is off 3% to $38/barrel and Brent crude is trading down just below $39/barrel. Tech and telecom sectors are solidly in the green at the moment. The dollar is a bit weaker this morning, and actually has been in a downtrend since the end of January. That has allowed commodities some breathing room—but not today. Barclays says investors should remain wary of commodity investments because global demand isn’t improving much. Despite a recent turn higher, the Bloomberg Commodity Index is down around levels not seen since 1999. Bonds are trading higher this morning as yields tick lower. The 5-year Treasury yield is down to 1.33% after having traded up to 1.49% at mid-month. The 10-year Treasury yield is trading around 1.86%.


*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.