Target (TGT)

MANIC MARKET FLIPS ON TRADE HEADLINES

Stocks rallied after the Trump Administration delayed some of the new trade tariffs planned for next month. The Dow is currently up 363 pts, the SPX is up 1.3% and the Nasdaq is up almost 1.6%. Not surprisingly, the leading sectors today—consumer discretionary, industrials, tech—are viewed as having the most vulnerability to an escalating trade war. By contrast, the two sectors seen as the safest in an uncertain global trade environment—utilities and real estate—are in the red today. The VIX Index, a common gauge of fear among options traders, fell back to 17.9 from 21 yesterday. European stock markets rallied sharply on the trade tariff news as well. Asian markets, however, were down overnight on civil unrest in Hong Kong. The US dollar continues to strengthen as the Chinese yuan weakens. But better investor sentiment today is propping up commodities. WTI crude oil spiked 3% to $56.80/barrel for no good reason. Bonds are selling off after an enormous 2019 rally. The 10-year Treasury Note yield bounced back to 1.68% this morning. Since investors’ primary concerns at the moment are 1) trade war, and 2) falling interest rates, any day in which rate rise will generally evoke risk-on sentiment.


*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.

EARNINGS & STIMULUS TO THE RESCUE

EARNINGS & STIMULUS TO THE RESCUE

EARNINGS & STIMULUS TO THE RESCUE

The stock market gapped up at the open today on overseas headlines (see below). The Dow is currently up 126 pts and the SPX is up .24%. Banks are up over 2% in early trading after strong earnings reports from Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS). Oil fell back under $52/barrel in early trading, but that could easily turn around through the trading day. Bonds are mixed—corporates are modestly higher on the day but Treasuries are selling off as yields tick higher. The 10-year Treasury yield has rebounded to 2.73% from 2.55% just 2 weeks ago. Remember, higher long-term Treasury yields will likely be viewed by investors as a positive for the economic outlook.


*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 23, 2018

Stocks sank at the open in today’s holiday-shortened trading session. The Dow and SPX are currently down 140 pts and .4%, respectively. The energy sector is down 3.5% on falling oil prices. Energy is now the second-worst performing sector in 2018, behind communications services. On the other hand, transports, biotech & pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and retailers are trading higher today. The dollar is a bit stronger on the day (and up 5% so far this year), which is helping push commodity prices down. The Bloomberg Commodity Index is down 1.6% today. Bonds are trading slightly higher as yields tick downward. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are now trading at 2.87% and 3.05%, respectively. And while junk bonds did very well earlier in the year, the SPDR High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) is down 4.5% since the stock market correction began in early October. All investors will be watching high-yield for signs of an economic slowdown.


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

November 20, 2018

November 20, 2018

Stocks gapped down quickly at the open, then began to pare losses. The Dow is currently down 385 pts and the SPX is down 1.1%. Industrial, energy and financial sectors are down about 2% in early trading. But all eleven sectors are losing ground. The major stock market indexes are clearly in the process of testing their October 29th lows, and are shaking out the weak hands. European markets fell more than 1% in today’s session and Asian markets were down overnight. China’s Shanghai Composite Index is now down 25% year-to-date in local currency terms. Gold is slightly higher today, although still down 6% year-to-date. WTI crude oil plunged 5% to trade at $54.40/barrel, the lowest since early November 2017. Oil was trading in the mid $70s just six weeks ago. Remember, President Trump tricked the Russians and Saudis into raising oil production levels when he threatened to impose and oil embargo on Iran. He subsequently declined to follow through on that threat and now the world is temporarily oversupplied. Bonds are trading slightly lower today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields are hovering around 2.87% and 3.06%, 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.

August 31, 2018

August 31, 2018

The major stock market indexes are mixed in early trading (Dow -55 pts; SPX -.13%; Nasdaq +.1%). Retailers, semiconductors and REITs are moving up, but most other groups are in the red. Banks and oil companies are some of the worst-performing groups, and year-to-date they’ve been flattish. Trade volume is pretty light in front of the three-day weekend. European stock markets are down about 1% and Asian markets were down overnight. Over the last 24 hours we’ve seen headlines saying President Trump is leaning toward imposing trade tariffs on another $200bil in Chinese imports, and he’s also doing his part to cast doubt on the trade talks between US and Canadian officials this week. Today is the deadline for negotiating a new NAFTA deal with Canada. That country’s foreign affairs minister said the two sides are “not there yet.” That haze of political uncertainty will keep a lid on stock market gains for now.


*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 16, 2017

Stocks gapped up at the open today (Dow +59 pts; SPX +.3%). The Nasdaq is up .4%. Nine of eleven market sectors are higher, led by materials (+.7%) and consumer discretionary (+.5%). Only energy and telecom are in the red. The transports, which have really lagged this year, are up .6% today (and up over 3% in the last week). The VIX Index is back down under 12. The dollar is slightly stronger on the day, but still down over 7% so far this year against a basket of foreign currencies. That’s likely the due to lower inflation. Most commodities are slightly higher; WTI crude oil is trading up .5% to $47.80/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.26%. 


*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 25, 2016

Stocks opened higher in a truncated Black Friday session. The Dow and SPX are currently up 53 pts & .24%, respectively. Yes, the Trump rally continues, but its character is very different today. Utilities are up over 1.5% whereas energy and financials are lower. In fact, across the board defensive and interest rate-sensitive stocks are outperforming the cyclicals today. Telecoms are up about .8%. The dollar is weaker and yet WTI crude oil is down 2.8% to $46.60/barrel. Gold is rebounding a bit from its 4-month low. Interest rates are lower on the day. The 5-year Treasury yield is up to 1.85% and the 10-year is trading at 2.36%. And with the 10-year up 100 basis points since the Brexit bottom, traders are beginning to wonder if it has gone too far, too fast. In other words, we could see rates pull back a bit and consolidate. Alternatively, we see resistance at about 2.46% so perhaps that will serve as a stop for surging rates. 


*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 18, 2016

The S&P 500 Index and Dow Industrial Average opened lower this morning but quickly turned around. The energy sector is leading the charge, up about 1.2% in early trading. One big reason why: WTI crude oil jumped 2% to $47.80/barrel and Brent crude went over $50/barrel. European markets are poised to close in the green as well. The dollar is weaker on the day (and has been falling for a month now). That’s giving some life to commodities and in fact the Bloomberg Commodity Index is up nearly 10% year-to-date. Copper, which has been smacked around for 5 years now, is actually up modestly in 2016. I suppose that says something about China’s economic growth. Bonds are mixed today. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked down to 1.13% and the 10-year is trading at 11.56%. 


*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 17, 2016

Stocks opened lower this morning for the second consecutive session. The Dow is off 70 pts and the SPX is down .3%. Nine of ten major market sectors are lower, led by telecoms, consumer discretionary and materials. Only utilities are slightly higher. The VIX Index is up around 13.3 and VIX September futures are trading at 15.4. Volatility is expected to increase as we move into fall. WTI crude oil is modestly lower to $46.30/barrel. Bonds are mostly lower in price, higher in yield. The 5-year Treasury yield is up to 1.17% and the 10-year is flat at 1.57%.   


*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 12, 2016

The major stock market averages rose again this morning (Dow +95 pts; SPX +.6%). Cyclical sectors and industries are up the most (banks, transports, semiconductors, oil companies). And small-caps (Russell 2000 Index) have been outperforming large-caps for the last week. The SPX is now up 8% from its Brexit low on 6/27. The VIX Index has backed down to 13.5 and VIX August futures are down to 16.4. So less fear out there. The dollar is a bit weaker and commodities are broadly higher today. WTI crude oil is up 2.7% to $46/barrel. Bonds are selling off (finally), with yields heading higher. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are up to 1.06% and 1.49%, 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.