corporate earnings

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.

May 21, 2018

Stocks are surging after Treasury Secretary Mnuchin put a positive spin on trade negotiations with the Chinese. So don’t expect it to last. The Dow is currently up 280 pts and the SPX is up .65%. All eleven major market sectors are in the green, led by industrials (+1.5%) and financials (+.8%). Commodities are  mostly higher as well. WTI crude oil is up 1% to trade around $72/barrel. The march higher continues, and investors are starting to think about commodity inflation’s eventual impact on consumer spending the corporate earnings. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.90% and 3.01%, 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.

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.

February 23, 2018

The major stock market averages gapped up this morning (Dow +162 pts; SPX +.75%). But if the last few days are any indication, it won’t hold. We are in clearly in a back-and-fill mode after the recent correction. Interest rates moved lower today, giving breathing room for utilities (+2%) and REITs (+1%). In addition, rising oil prices are powering the energy sector (+1.1%). In addition, tech stocks are up nearly 1% in early trading. The VIX Index is ever so slowly fading; now at 18.5. VIX March futures are trading around 17.8, suggesting that trend continues over the next 30 days. We’ll see. Some well respected traders and analysts are expecting the SPX to fall and re-test its lows of 2/9 and that would certainly be accompanied by another mini spike in the VIX. Suddenly, despite record US oil production, WTI crude oil is trading back above $63. The excuse is a temporary dip in Libyan production. The bond market is trading higher today as yields come in. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are now trading at 2.61% and 2.87%.


*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.

February 20, 2018

The major stock market averages dipped at the open but quickly recovered. The Dow and SPX are currently down 77 pts & up .1%, respectively. The SPX has now recovered 70% of its correction losses. Telecoms, utilities and consumer staples sectors are down over 1% this morning due to interest rate sensitivity and a weak earnings announcement from Wal-Mart (WMT). Semiconductors and banks, on the other hand, are in the green. The VIX Index is hovering around 20, generally regarded as the dividing line between low and high volatility. The only reason that matters is that hedge fund trade algorithms are sometimes programmed to trade on VIX moves relative to 20. Bonds are down in price again as yields head higher. The 5-year Treasury yield is up around 2.67% and the 10-year is up around 2.91%.


*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 19, 2018

Good morning. Today’s update is focused solely on earnings announcements.

IBM (IBM) reported better than expected fourth quarter results. For the first time in 6 years, IBM posted positive y/y revenue growth (+4%). This is a victory. Analysts were not pleased to see that the company’s gross profit margin (at 49.5%) missed forecasts, however. Also, the revenue upside was driven by the legacy mainframe business and not the higher margin cloud computing business. Management’s 2018 guidance was encouraging, implying continued progress shifting from a dying mainframe business to its faster-growing Strategic Imperatives unit. The stock is down 3.5% today. 

American Express (AXP) reported fourth quarter revenue and earnings slightly ahead of Wall Street forecasts. The good news is that revenue rose 10% from year-ago levels and earnings shot up 74%. The bad news is that the new tax law will cost the company a lot of money up front. Tax reform will lower the company’s effective tax rate to 22% this year. But AXP will first have to take a $2.6bil charge to write down deferred tax assets. That’s of course a one-time item and analysts will look past it. Blaming the tax law, management said it would suspend its stock buy-back program to rebuild capital. This seems like a convenient scapegoat. There’s other stuff going on here. First, the company noticed deteriorating credit quality among its credit card loans and had to set aside more money against the possibility of future loan losses. Second, the company has been spending a lot on marketing to boost growth, and is now in danger of running afoul of the Federal Reserve’s capital maintenance rules. The stock is down 3% today. 

Bank of New York Mellon (BK) reported a 2% y/y decline in revenue but an 18% rise in earnings. Management is focused on continuing to cut costs, but efforts this past quarter were offset by higher severance and legal charges. Yes, tax reform will benefit the bank (effective tax rate to 21% from 25%), but the “vast majority” of gains will be spent on higher employee wages and more investment in technology. In other words, investors will not benefit in the near term, and that’s why the stock fell 5% after the announcement. 

Schlumberger (SLB) reported 15% sales growth in the fourth quarter—the highest in several years. Wall Street analysts were, however, expecting it. Management’s guidance implied stable revenue growth in 2018. In addition, capital spending should fall to $2bil from $3.5bil, so profit margins will increase. I will say that analysts are a bit confused by the fact that last quarter the company spent $1bil to buy oil wells in Canada. This is a change of strategy for a company that has always been an oilfield service provider, not a driller. Management’s explanation, and implication that this was a one-time event, is puzzling. The stock is down .7% today, but has run 12% so far 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.

December 1, 2017

The major stock market averages opened down after the Dow hit 24,000 for the first time yesterday. At the moment, the Dow is down 133 pts and the SPX is down .6%. The energy sector shot up over .8% in early trading. Pharmaceutical stocks are also up over .6%. On the other hand, most everything else is in the red. Semiconductors are down 2% and transports are down 1%. VIX Index futures, which attempt to guess at market volatility over the next couple of months, are up around 11.7. That’s still very low. The dollar is a bit stronger today but commodities are up a lot. Bloomberg’s Commodity Index is up over 1% today. WTI crude oil, which has been in an up-trend since June, is now at $58.70/barrel. Apparently, OPEC decided to extend is self-imposed production cuts through the end of 2018. On one hand, OPEC is not to be trusted. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia really needs to boost oil prices in front of its IPO of Aramco next year. Bonds are modestly higher in price today. The 5-year Treasury yield is at 2.11% and the 10-year Treasury yield edged down to 2.40%.   


*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 25, 2017

The major stock market averages gapped down at the open (Dow -105 pts; SPX -.9%). Telecoms, utilities, and industrials are leading the market lower, but all eleven market sectors are in the red. Not surprisingly, the VIX Index jumped to 12.4, the highest level since early September. The dollar is weaker today against a basket of foreign currencies but commodities aren’t getting a corresponding life. WTI crude oil is down .5% to $52.20/barrel. Despite weakness in the stock market, the bond market isn’t trading higher. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.06% (highest since early March) and the 10-year yield rose to 2.44% (highest since late March). Rates are clearly moving higher and stock investors are a little spooked by it. Rick Rieder of Blackrock says despite recent economic data, inflation is rising because the economy is doing better. But he’s not that worried that rates will move dramatically higher. 


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

August 4, 2017

Stocks opened higher after the monthly jobs report. The Dow is up 20 pts and the SPX is up .15%. Financials, tech and materials are leading the way. And as you would expect on a day when interest rates rise, utilities, telecom and consumer staples are falling behind. The VIX Index is back down under 10 today, and European stock markets are poised to close up 1%+. The dollar is sharply higher, also due to the jobs report. And crude oil is trying to make another run toward $50/barrel. Bonds are modestly lower in price as yield tick higher. The 10-year Treasury yield is sitting at 2.28%. I don’t want to make too much of this; remember, the 10-year yield is right in the middle of its trading range going back several months. 


*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 22, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning, led by healthcare. The Dow is up 29 pts and the SPX is up .2%. The Nasdaq Biotech Index is surging 1.9% at the moment. Remember, biotechs severely under-performed the overall stock market last year and until a week ago the group was about even with the S&P 500 for 2017. So over the last few trading sessions we’ve seen significant fund flows into this area. On the other hand, both financials and energy are lagging today. The VIX Index is down around 10.4, and has been trading around this level for the past two months. Most commodities are lower today (and year-to-date). WTI crude oil is trading a bit higher this morning, around $42.80/barrel. Stocks will continue to be very sensitive to oil prices, which have fallen back to levels not seen since last August. Just about every Wall Street trader is trying to guess at the bottom for crude. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 1.76% and the 10-year Treasury is languishing around 2.15%. 


*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.

May 19, 2017

The major stock market averages opened sharply higher again today. The Dow is currently up 91 pts and the SPX is up .7%. Cyclical sectors are surging (industrials +1.24%, energy +1.1%, financials +1.1%, materials +1.1%). The VIX is back down to 12. European markets closed up about .5% and Asian was mostly positive overnight. The dollar is a bit weaker against a basket of foreign currencies, and has been trending lower all year. Commodities are broadly higher today. WTI crude oil has made its way back to $50/barrel today after having fallen below $46 a couple of weeks ago. That’s good for stocks. Bonds are a bit lower in price, higher in yield this morning. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.25%, and that means it has gone nowhere over the past 12 months. I don’t mean to suggest a lack of volatility, though. US interest rates have shown massive volatility over the last year. It’s just that we haven’t seen a sustained up-trend in rates that many predicted.   


*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, 2017

Stocks opened lower again this morning (Dow -65 pts; SPX -.26%). The Dow is on a 7-day losing streak. Banks are leading the way lower (-.9%), along with transports (-.3%) and semiconductors (-.25%). Gold miners and biotechs are actually in the green. The VIX Index is up around 13.5 as consternation over the GOP healthcare bill grows. European markets just closed slightly lower and Asia was down overnight. The dollar is lower today, and is now down 3% year-to-date. But that’s not giving a lift to commodities this morning. WTI crude oil is down modestly to trade around $47.60/barrel. Bonds are rising in price as yields fall. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are down to 1.91% (1-month low) and 2.38%, 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.

March 24, 2017

Stocks opened higher but just gave way ( Dow -22 pts; SPX flat). Semiconductors are bouncing back (+1%). Biotechs and utilities are trading higher as well. But it’s been a tough week for stocks, with the SPX down about 1% and small-caps down 2%. The VIX Index is trading down around 12.4—still very low. The dollar is flat today (around 15-month lows) and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is up modestly to trade around $47.80/barrel. Bonds are trading higher as well as yields tick lower. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are currently trading at 1.94% and 2.40%, respectively. Lower yields in the past couple of weeks suggest pessimism about President Trump’s approach to repealing and replacing ObamaCare. The vote on the GOP health bill will take place today, and Bloomberg just forecast that it WILL PASS. 


*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.

February 27, 2017

Stocks opened modestly lower this morning. The Dow and SPX are currently down 9 pts & flat, respectively. Unlike on Friday, the defensive sectors (telecoms, utilities, consumer staples) are lower today. On the other hand, biotechs, gold miners and energy stocks are higher. The VIX Index is hovering around 11.7, near the low end of its 1-year range. So investor nervousness is low. Commodities are mixed but WTI crude oil is up around $54.25/barrel. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are mostly unchanged, trading at 1.83% and 2.33%. respectively. The 10-year has been stabilized in the range of 2.3% to 2.5% over the last two months. 


*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.

February 22, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow +3 pts; SPX -.18%). The Dow very briefly touched a record intra-day high of 20,766. Gold miners and transports are down more than 1%. Energy stocks are also lower in early trading. There are a few stand-outs (TOL +5%, AET +1.4%, FB +1.8%, DOW +3.6%) but most stocks are taking a breather. Most commodities are also lower today. WTI crude oil is down 1.4% to $53.50/barrel. Bonds prices are mostly unchanged. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.90% and 2.42%, 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.

February 17, 2017

Stocks gapped down at the open, giving back a little of this week’s rally. The Dow and SPX are currently down 70 pts & .29%, respectively. Consumer staples is the only major market sector in the green at the moment. Gold miners, banks, oil companies and telecom carriers are down the most. Most of the rest of the world is in sync: Europe is poised to close down .5% to .8% and Asia was down roughly .5% overnight. The VIX Index is up, trading near 12—nothing to worry about yet. Volatility has been very low and that is making short -term traders nervous. Bonds are trading higher in price, down in yield. That’s to be expected when stocks are lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are down to 1.91% and 2.42%, respectively. In addition, the 2-year Treasury yield doesn’t appear to be building in a March rate hike from the Federal Reserve. 


*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 6, 2017

Stocks opened lower but quickly turned around. At the moment, the Dow and SPX are up 30 pts and .16%, respectively. And by the way, the Nasdaq just hit a fresh all-time high. Telecoms are down 2.2% in early trading; that’s just give-back after they rallied 8% in December. Gold miners are down about 2.8% today, proving that gold is volatile. The energy sector is a bit lower even as crude oil holds steady at about $53.80/barrel. The VIX Index continues to trend lower and is now trading at 11.3. Typically, when the VIX is falling the stock market is rising. Bonds reversed course this morning and yields are up. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 1.91% and 2.141%, 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.

November 30, 2016

Stocks opened higher yet again this morning (Dow +63 pts; SPX +.17%). The SPX just hit another all-time high. Energy and financials are bouncing back with strength. Utilities, telecom and REITs, on the other hand, are lower. So as you might guess, oil prices and interest rates are moving higher again. WTI crude oil is up 7% to $48.70/barrel on rumors that OPEC has reached a deal to cut daily oil production by a whole 1.5%. Whoopee. And by the way, copper is up over 20% this year and it’s not because demand has risen by 20%. According to Bloomberg, speculators are driving up commodity prices. Volatility in that space is spiking. Bonds are selling off again today. The 5-year Treasury is up to 1.83% and the 10-year Treasury yield is trading up toward 2.38%. 


*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 19, 2016

The major stock market averages opened slightly lower this morning (Dow flat; SPX -.16%). The Nasdaq is down .18%. Eight of ten market sectors are down, led by energy and materials. Industrials and financials are eking out gains. The VIX Index is trading up a bit to 12.5 (considered very low) and VIX August futures have come down quite a bit to 15.6. Since breaching new highs on July 11th, the SPX has risen another 1.1% and the prior highs of May 2015 may now serve as support rather than resistance. I haven’t heard any technical analysts claim a “qualified breakout,” but certainly every day the SPX holds above 2135 the odds increase that this rally will continue. The dollar is up .5% today and commodities are broadly lower. Brexit certainly did encourage the dollar to head higher. WTI crude oil is down modestly just under $45/barrel. Bonds are roughly unchanged; Treasuries are up in price and corporate bonds are down slightly. 


*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. 


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