copper

ANOTHER TRADE SETBACK?

Stocks gapped down at the open today (Dow -232 pts; SPX -.9%) after President Trump threatened new trade tariffs on Mexico. Ten of eleven major market sectors are down, led by communications services (-1.3%) and consumer staples (-1.1%). A number of key industry groups are down more than 1%, such as biotechs, retailers and transports. Not surprisingly, gold and gold mining stocks are up on the day. The VIX Index—a common measure of fear among traders—climbed back to 18.3. European markets closed down about 1% and Asia was mostly lower overnight. Interestingly, in the wake of higher trade tensions, China’s Shanghai Composite Index and the S&P 500 Index are down about the same in May, -5%. So we’re certainly not seeing any panic in global stock markets. Commodities are mostly lower in early trading. Gold is up about .9% but oil, copper and iron ire are falling in price. WTI crude oil is down 1.3% to trade at $55.35/barrel. Bonds are mostly higher—especially safe-haven Treasuries. After the Mexico tariff threat, the 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.17%, the lowest since September 2017.


*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 FRICTION TAKING A TOLL

The major stock market averages opened lower again today on trade tensions (Dow -278 pts; SPX -.9%). All eleven market sectors are down, led by Energy, healthcare, consumer discretionary, and communications (all down about 1%). European stock markets closed down over 1% as well, and most Asian markets closed lower last night. The one exception seems to have been the Shanghai Composite, which closed slightly higher on the session. Commodities are mixed today. Corn futures surged as flooding threatened crops. Copper rose .9% today after falling about 8% so far this month. WTI crude oil fell 2.7% to trade around $57.50/barrel. Bonds are trading mostly higher, especially safe-haven Treasuries. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to its lowest level since September 2017.


*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 SAG IN FRONT OF HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Stocks gapped up at the open but quickly lost momentum. The Dow is currently up 26 points and the SPX is up .25%. Most sectors are bouncing back a little after yesterday’s rout. But the energy sector continues to struggle under the weight of rising crude inventories. The market is of course wandering aimlessly on Tweets and headlines regarding trade. European markets closed up by about .6% and most of Asia was modestly higher overnight. Commodities are having their worst week so far this year, dented by trade & global growth fears. Copper is down 1.6% today (and nearly 9% so far this month) on China jitters. WTI crude oil is flat, trading around $60/barrel. Bonds aren’t moving much today after strong gains earlier this week. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.32%.


*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.

GREEN SHOOTS FOR THE ECONOMY

Stocks opened pretty flat this morning, waiting for the flood of earnings announcements scheduled this week. Today, the Dow is flat and the SPX is up .2%. The financial sector jumped 1.3% in early trading in reaction to rising interest rates (see below). The communications services sector is up .6% on a pop in telecom stocks. On the other hand, utilities and REITs—which are sensitive to interest rates—are down .5% to .7% today. Commodities are trading mostly lower. Copper plunged more than 5%--a big move for one day. We’ve heard that Chinese authorities are pulling back on economic stimulus, believing they’ve succeeded in stabilizing their economy. WTI crude oil is flat at $63.30/barrel. Bonds are selling off, especially at the long end. The 10-year US Treasury yield backed up to 2.53%. But the big news on the interest rate front is a surprise steepening of the yield curve. You may recall I’ve flagged the flat yield curve as a potential problem for the market and economy. The difference between short-term and long-term interest rates has been very small, suggesting slowing economic growth. Specifically, the difference between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields has been in the range of just .10% to .20% for about five months now. But late last week the gap started to widen, breaking out of that range. This could be good news and it bears watching.


*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.

RETAIL SALES REBOUND

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +100 pts; SPX +.13%). Real estate and utilities are catching a bid after a rough week. Industrials are also in the green after Honeywell’s (HON) earnings report. On the other hand, healthcare stocks continue to slide due to political risk. Popular health insurer UnitedHealth (UNH) is down 27% from its December high. Commodities are mixed; copper continues to climb (+1.4%) but oil and iron ore are flat. WTI crude oil is hovering around $63.60/barrel. Bonds are trading higher today as yields tick lower. The 10-year Treasury yield fell back to 2.56%.


*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.

HEALTHCARE ROUT

Stocks opened a bit lower this morning (Dow -23 pts; SPX -.2%). The healthcare sector is down nearly 2% today and 5.5% so far this month. The direct cause is fear over the rise of socialism in Congress. See yesterday’s update for more details. The real estate sector is down 1% today and 2.7% this month after having climbed over 17% during the first quarter. Semiconductor stocks are up over 1% after Apple (AAPL) and Qualcomm (QCOM) finally settled their legal battle over intellectual property. The energy sector is up about .5% after a report showing lower than expected crude stockpiles in the US. Commodities are mixed. Copper is now up 14% this year and a good portion of that has to do with China stimulating its economy. WTI crude is flat on the day at $64/barrel. Bonds are trading pretty flat as well. The 10-year US Treasury yield is hovering around 2.59%.


*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 RALLY EXTENDED, EXPECT TEST OF HIGHS

Stocks opened higher today, extending the recovery rally. The Dow is currently up 75 pts and the SPX is up .5%. The SPX is now only 1.5% away from its all-time closing high back in September 2018. Nine of eleven major market sectors are higher, led by materials, tech and communications services. Only consumer staples and energy sectors are lower on the day…


*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.

DOUBLING DOWN ON A DOVISH FED

The major stock market averages are mixed in early trading (Dow -70 pts; SPX +.5%; Nasdaq +.6%). Gold miners, healthcare, and energy exploration stocks are all up about .7% to 1.2%%. On the other hand, airline and aerospace names are trading lower, paced by Boeing (BA) down 6.7% after the Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed. Retailers and consumer staples names are flat to down at the moment. The US dollar is weaker today after a softer inflation report (see below), and not surprisingly, commodities are trading higher. WTI crude oil is back up around $57.22/barrel. Copper is up .5% today and 12% on the year, reflecting optimism over a potential trade deal. Copper is sort of a commodity trader’s referendum on the Chinese economy, since China accounts for half of global copper demand. Bonds are mostly higher today as yields tick lower. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.63%, the lowest in the past 6 weeks.


*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.

STOCKS IN A HOLDING PATTERN

STOCKS IN A HOLDING PATTERN

The major stock market averages opened roughly unchanged this morning (Dow & SPX flat). The materials sector is leading the way (+1.4) on higher commodity prices and optimism over a potential US-China trade deal. Semiconductors and gold miners are up 1%+, energy stocks are up over .5%, and banks are up .3%. The healthcare sector is lower after CVS Health (CVS) reported quarterly results. REITs are down nearly 1% in early trading. Commodities are trading higher today. Copper and iron ore—which tend to move on China’s economic outlook—are up 12% and 26%, respectively, so far this year. WTI crude oil is back up to nearly $57/barrel. Bonds are mostly lower in price, higher in yield today. The 10-year Treasury yield is up slightly to 2.65%.


*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 & BONDS RISING TOGETHER

STOCKS & BONDS RISING TOGETHER

Stocks opened slightly higher this morning (Dow +21 pts; SPX +.2%). Consumer goods sectors are up about .7% after Wal-Mart (WMT) reported strong fourth quarter results. Other than that, cyclical sectors are faring worse than the defensives. Traders are pondering—now that the SPX has risen back above its 200-day moving average—whether the recovery rally can continue, or some consolidation is needed after a really strong run. WTI crude oil is up a little to trade around $55.80/barrel. Copper is up nearly 2% today and nearly 10% so far this year. Bonds are trading modestly higher as interest rates tick lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back down to 2.46% and 2.64%, respectively. The Treasury bond market and stock market essentially don’t agree right now. Stocks are telling you the economic outlook is a little less positive but things are OK. The bond market seems to be less optimistic. But remember, Treasuries are reflecting a more dovish Federal Reserve, and also ultra-low or negative sovereign rates overseas. So lower Treasury yields aren’t necessarily warning of a coming recession. As evidence, look to the junk bond market, which is up over 5% so far this year. If the bond market really believed recession was coming within the next year, you’d see much higher junk yields.


*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.

A LITTLE HELP FROM THE JOB MARKET

A LITTLE HELP FROM THE JOB MARKET

A LITTLE HELP FROM THE JOB MARKET

The major stock market averages opened modestly higher today following the monthly jobs report (see below). The Dow is currently up 148 pts and the SPX is up .4%. The energy sector is up nearly 2% on continued gains in oil prices. Transports, banks, and semiconductors are also in the green. On the other hand, retailers, gold miners and utilities are down in early trading. Commodities are moving higher as well. WTI crude oil is back up around $55/barrel. Copper is up .3% and iron is up more than 3%. Bonds are falling back, giving up yesterday’s gains. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.51% and 2.69%. By the way, Treasury yields have been hovering around 1-year lows this month, a condition that usually reflects a softening economic outlook and a more dovish Federal Reserve. But on days when we get some encouraging economic news—like today’s jobs report—yields tend to jump.


*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 28, 2019

Stocks sank at the open this morning after Nvidia (NVDA) and Caterpillar (CAT) reported quarterly results. The Dow is currently down 340 points and the SPX is down 1%. A number of major market sectors are down more than 1%: tech, communications, industrials, healthcare, and energy. The VIX Index rose back to nearly 20, which shouldn’t cause much panic among traders. After all, we’ve had five consecutive weeks of gains for the stock market, and a pause (or some give-back) should be expected. Commodities are mostly lower today; WTI crude oil is back down around $51.60/barrel. Copper is up about 4% so far this year, which suggests some nascent optimism regarding China’s ability to stabilize their economy with fiscal stimulus. Bonds are trading slightly higher today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields dipped to 2.57% and 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.

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.

December 13, 2018

December 13, 2018

Stocks opened modestly higher again today, but soon faded. The Dow is now up 10 pts on the day and the SPX is down .28%. Transports, retailers and banks are down. REITs and utilities are trading higher along with bonds. Commodities are broadly higher, trying to recover from a rough year. WTI crude is trading over $52/barrel. Year-to-date, copper is still down 19%, gold is down 5%, and oil is down about 10%. The iShares Global Agriculture Producers ETF (VEGI) is down nearly 7%. Despite strong economic growth and corporate earnings, cyclical risk-on sectors like energy, materials and industrials have not fared well in 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.

October 30, 2018

The major stock market averages opened sharply higher this morning (Dow +220 pts; SPX .8%). Ten of eleven sectors are in the green, led by real estate (+2%) and communications (+1.8%). In addition, semiconductors, transports, retailers, oil producers and biotechs are up nicely. Foreign stock markets are mixed today, with European indexes down about .3% but Japan’s Nikkei was up 1.4% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 1%. The US dollar continues to strengthen (up 2% this month and 5% on the year) and that is putting some pressure on commodities. WTI crude oil is down slightly to trade around $66.60/barrel. Copper is still down over 20% this year. Gold is down .4% today and about 6% on the year. Bonds are trading a bit lower as yields tick upward again. The 5-year Treasury yield is back up to 2.94% and the 10-year is up around 3.10%.

All the heavy hitters are weighing in on this stock market correction. Bob Doll, Nuveen’s Chief Equity Strategist, doesn’t see the correction leading to a bear market. “It would be unlikely to have a bear market while the economy is doing well. Corrections, they can happen anytime unannounced. Bear markets are usually associated with an economic problem, i.e. recession.” Rich Bernstein is “quite shocked” that investors are so worried about peak earnings. “Peak earnings leads one to believe that a profits recession is imminent, that within a quarter or two we’re going to have negative earnings growth.” That is not a realistic expectation. He does concede that we are seeing peak earnings growth of about 24%. That rate of growth is unsustainably high and will be decelerating to about 15% next year. But that is still very good earnings growth and can help sustain further upside in the 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.

October 1, 2018

October 1, 2018

Stocks surged at the open this morning (Dow +250 pts; SPX +.65%). Materials, industrial and energy sectors are all up over 1% in early trading. Only the most interest rate sensitive sectors—utilities and real estate—are in the red. The VIX Index fell below 12 and most global equities rallied. Even Chinese markets participated last night (Shanghai Composite +1%). The dollar is a little stronger today and commodities are mixed. Gold, copper and iron ore are falling in price, whereas WTI crude oil is up around $73.90/barrel. Despite trade war fears, global oil demand is healthy and the perceived constraint—what with trade sanctions in Iran & assorted problems in Venezuela—is supply. Bonds are mixed in early trading. Longer-term Treasuries are selling off a bit. The 10-year Treasury yield backed up to 3.06%. On the other hand, junk bonds are surging after a new trade deal with Canada was announced (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.

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.


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