economic growth

STOCKS DOWN ON MIXED ECONOMIC/EARNINGS REPORTS

Stocks opened lower this morning as investors strain to digest quarterly earnings & economic reports. The Dow is currently down 123 pts and the SPX is down .3%. Financials and consumer staples are in the green, but most everything else is down.

Here’s a quick look at earnings announcements. Morgan Stanley (MS) is flat after reporting better than expected revenue and earnings; the wealth management business stood out. United Health (UNH) is down 2.8% after reporting better than expected second quarter results and boosting its 2019 profit outlook. Netflix (NFLX) fell 11% after reporting only 2.7 million new subscribers compared with Wall Street forecasts closer to 5 million. Danaher (DHR) is up 1.4% after reporting revenue & earnings slightly ahead of estimates. Honeywell (HON) surged 2% even though second quarter revenue fell slightly short of Wall Street forecasts. Investors felt management executed very well despite a weak global economic environment.

CNBC’s latest “Rapid Update” survey shows that economists believe the US economy is tracking to 1.8% growth in the second quarter, and 2% in the third quarter. That’s roughly equivalent to what the Federal Reserve calls long-term potential growth. Reporter Steve Liesman notes the gap between that figure and the Trump Administration’s goal of 3%, and says achieving that goal would require a boost in capital spending by Corporate America. Unfortunately, the trade war with China is clearly restraining capital spending. So while the US economy achieved about 3% growth last year, don’t expect that this year or next.

The Index of Leading US Indicators (LEI) fell in June, suggesting the 6-month outlook for the US economy is softening. This index is actually a set of 10 different economic indicators designed to predict economic conditions. The primary reasons for the drop were weakness in orders for manufacturing equipment and also building permits. It’s important to note that the index isn’t predicting recession, but the US economy has definitely lost some momentum over the last year. The LEI is 1.6% higher than it was a year ago, and that’s on the low end of the 8-year trend.

China’s economy grew by 6.2% in the second quarter of 2019. That sounds pretty strong, but it’s not. The truth is that growth has been decelerating in China for decades. Part of that trend is natural, due to the law of large numbers. But more recently, growth has slowed due to the trade dispute with the US and also slower economic growth in Europe, a major trading partner to China. Government stimulus, mostly debt-fueled , is being thrown at the problem. But Bloomberg notes that total corporate/household/government debt now equals 300% of China’s annual economic output. While the economy is growing at 6.2%, total debt is growing at an unsustainable 11%. This report, by the way, emboldened President Trump to announce that the US and China are no closer to a trade deal despite ongoing negotiations.


*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.

WHERE TO NEXT?

Stocks opened slightly lower this morning. The Dow is currently down 50 points and the SPX is down .1%. Financials (+.3%) and industrials (+.5%) are bouncing back from yesterday’s declines. On the other hand, healthcare, energy and real estate sectors are in the red. WTI crude oil fell back to $63.50/barrel in early trading. Most other commodities are down as well, partly due to a strengthening US dollar. Bonds are also trading lower as yields tick higher. The 10-year Treasury yield bounced back up to 2.49%. Only junk bonds are holding flat.


*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.

STOCKS DRIFT AIMLESSLY AT THE MERCY OF INTEREST RATES

The stock market gapped up but quickly faded in early trading. The Dow is currently down 20 points and the SPX is down .2%. Transports, retailers, and biotechs are up a bit. On the other hand, gold miners, semiconductors, and utilities are sharply lower. Commodities are trading mostly lower as well this morning. WTI crude oil is down about .9% to trade around $58.90/barrel. Gold is down about 1% today, and it’s roughly flat for the year. Iron ore is down slightly, giving back some of its massive games so far in 2019. Bonds are mostly unchanged today, with the exception of junk bonds (+.1%). The 10 year Treasury note yield is hovering around 2.39%.


*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.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FED

Stocks opened sharply higher today (Dow +161 pts; SPX +.67%). Interest-rate sensitive sectors are moving in response to yesterday’s Fed meeting (see below). Homebuilders, REITs, and utilities are up nicely, while banks are down on the day. Commodities are mixed (gold down, copper and iron ore up). WTI crude oil is flat, hovering around $60/barrel. Bonds are sharply higher as well. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 2.52% after the Fed announcement. That’s a 14-month low. The yield curve flattened again; the difference between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields is down to 11 basis points (.11%).


*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.

BOND MARKET DEBATE

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +89 pts; SPX +.5%). The best performing sectors include tech (+1.4%) and financials (+.7%). Sub-groups like biotechs and gold miners are also catching a bid. But real estate, energy and communications stocks are down in early trading. REITs just hit an all-time high, so it makes sense that we’d see some give-back here. The VIX Index continues to fall, suggesting traders are complacent about risk over the next 30 days. European markets will close higher by roughly .5% to 1% today. Asian markets also posted gains last night. The dollar is weaker against a basket of foreign currencies, giving a little boost to commodities. Remember, many commodities are priced in US dollars around the world. However, WTI crude oil ($58.40/barrel) is taking a breather today after a monster run year-to-date; same thing with copper (+11% YTD). Bonds are trading higher in price, lower in yield today. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked down to a fresh 2 ½ month low of 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.

STOCKS SAGGING ON SPURIOUS JOBS REPORT

STOCKS SAGGING ON SPURIOUS JOBS REPORT

Stocks gapped down at the open after a disappointing jobs report (see below). The Dow is currently off 148 pts and the SPX is down .77%. The Nasdaq has now been down for five straight sessions. The worst-performing groups include energy (-2.4%), transports (-1%), and healthcare (-.8%). In fact, transports have been down 11 consecutive sessions. Asian markets started the downshift last night. After a massive recovery rally this year, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 4% in the overnight session. As I’ve mentioned, all of this is to expected. We need some consolidation after a sharp rally in stocks. Commodities are also in the red today, led by oil. WTI crude collapsed back to $55/barrel today for no good reason. Bonds are mixed in early trading. Junk bonds are down about .3% today. Long-term Treasuries are up slightly. The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen back to the bottom of its six-week trading range at 2.64%.


*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.

WAITING FOR THE NEXT CATALYST

WAITING FOR THE NEXT CATALYST

The major US stock market averages opened slightly lower again this morning (Dow -50 pts; SPX -.4%). We’re in a holding pattern with very little news. Healthcare and energy sectors are faring the worst, down more than 1%. Banks and transports are treading water. European markets are poised to close nearly flat, but China’s stock market continues to power ahead on expectations for a trade deal. In fact, CNBC reports President Trump is “pushing hard” to ink a deal in order to improve his chances of re-election. Commodities are slipping today as the dollar strengthens. WTI crude oil dipped slightly to $56.35/barrel. Bonds are trading a bit higher today as yields tick lower. Long term Treasury bonds are faring the best, with the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) up about .4%. The 10-year Treasury yield, which finally broke out of its tight range last week, is fading back toward 2.69%. That is to be expected—Treasuries should rise when the stock market falls.


*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.

SHUTDOWN DISRUPTION & FADING VISIBILITY ON THE ECONOMY

SHUTDOWN DISRUPTION & FADING VISIBILITY ON THE ECONOMY

SHUTDOWN DISRUPTION & FADING VISIBILITY ON THE ECONOMY

Stocks opened higher this morning despite the US Trade Representative’s comment that no progress was made in US/China trade talks last week. The Dow is currently up 137 points and the SPX is up 1%. A number of sectors are up more than 1% in early trading, including utilities, communications, tech, healthcare and consumer discretionary. European markets closed higher by about .5% and Asia was up 1% or more last night. The VIX Index has fallen back to 18, which is below the long-term average of 20. The dollar is a bit stronger today and commodities are also higher. WTI crude oil is back up to $51.70/barrel after crashing to $42 last month. Bonds are mixed. Treasuries are unchanged but junk bonds are modestly 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.

November 21, 2018

November 21, 2018

Stocks jumped up at the open this morning (Dow pts; SPX %). The SPX is now retesting its 10/29 correction low. I’d much rather see the index fall at the open and then climb into the close. At the moment, energy stocks are up over 2% on higher oil prices. Consumer discretionary, materials, communications, tech, financials, and industrials are all up over 1%. Only utilities and healthcare sectors are in the red. European markets experienced their own relief rally, with most indexes closing up over 1%. WTI crude oil spiked nearly 4% this morning, proving that day-to-day moves in this commodity represent market manipulation by traders more than they represent changes in supply and demand. By the way, oil fell 30% from 10/3 through 11/20. Bonds are trading lower today as yields rise. The 5-year Treasury yield is back up around 2.91% and the 10-year yield is back up to 3.08%.


*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 8, 2018

October 8, 2018

Stocks sank at the open today, following on Friday’s declines. The Dow is currently down 190 pts and the SPX is down .65%. Weirdly, utilities, real estate and consumer staples sectors are up sharply today while the rest of the market is down. I say that because the primary concern for most investors over the last week has been rapidly rising interest rates. And it is axiomatic that the sectors listed above don’t typically fare well when rates are rising. European markets will close down about 1% as the Italian banking sector looks weaker. Asian markets were also down overnight. The VIX Index—a gauge of fear among traders—jumped to 17.4 today, the highest in a little over a month. The dollar is stronger against a basket of foreign currencies and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is down around $74/barrel. Gold and copper are also 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.

August 7, 2018

August 7, 2018

The major stock market averages gapped up at the open today (Dow +150 pts; SPX +.38%). Energy, financials and industrials are leading the way. Utilities, real estate and consumer staples are sagging. And finally we’re seeing a pickup in foreign stock markets (FTSE 100 Index +.9%; Nikkei +.7%; Shanghai Composite +2.7%). Bloomberg says European cyclicals are catching a bid after a strong earnings season; traders may be rotating back into foreign markets. That’s bound to happen at some point, because stock valuations are so much cheaper overseas. Vanguard’s FTSE All-World Ex-US ETF (VEU) has underperformed the SPX by nearly 10 percentage points this year. The VIX Index has cratered this month, now trading at 11. The US dollar is weaker today against a basket of currencies, and that’s giving a lift to commodities. WTI crude is rebounding toward $69.20/barrel after a production cut by Saudi Arabia. Bonds are trading down as yields tick higher. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are currently at 2.83% and 2.96%, 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.

July 25, 2018

July 25, 2018

Stocks opened mixed (Dow -75 pts; SPX +.17%). This is essentially the mirror image of yesterday’s trade. Utilities, real estate and consumer staples are in the green, whereas industrials, financials and consumer discretionary sectors are trading lower. It’s just more of the same back-and-forth without a discernible trend. Whereas European markets were up nicely yesterday, they’re poised to close down today. Bloomberg’s Macro Man column calls it “unremarkably quiet” as a result of “global confusion.” Anyway, commodities are trading a bit higher today (gold, copper, oil). WTI crude oil is trading flat at $68.60/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged. The 5-year Treasury yield, after a brief run higher last week, is sitting at 2.81% and the 10-year yield dipped to 2.94%.


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

June 27, 2018

Stocks opened higher (Dow +130 pts; SPX +.35%) following this week’s overreaction to trade rhetoric from the Trump Administration. Ten of eleven market sectors are in the green, led by energy, industrials and materials. Only healthcare is in the red. The VIX Index is back down to 15.5. European markets are poised to close up about 1% despite continued weakness in Asia overnight. Oil shot back up to $72.60/barrel. Bonds are rising in price as well. The 5-year Treasury yield has fallen back to 2.72% from its May high of 2.94%. The 10-year yield is back down to 2.85%. Go figure.


*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 25, 2019

Stocks fell at the open on fresh trade provocations by the Trump Administration. The Dow and SPX are currently down 366 pts and 1.3%, respectively. Again, industrials and materials—which would fare the worst in a trade war—are down about 1%. The tech sector is down nearly 2% as semiconductors are also seen as vulnerable. On the other hand, defensive sectors like utilities and telecoms, are in the green. Asian stock markets continue to fall. The Shanghai Composite is down 20% from its January highs. The US dollar is about 5.5% stronger than it was in mid-April, and the Bloomberg Commodity Index is down 4.5% over the same period. WTI crude oil is down slightly to trade at $68.36/barrel. OPEC agreed to a vague increase in oil production.


*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 14, 2018

The major stock market averages gapped up at the open, but quickly faded. The Dow is currently flat and the SPX is up .25%. The Nasdaq is up .7%. The financial sector is down nearly 1% despite the Federal Reserve’s rate hike yesterday (see below). That’s quite a surprise. Utilities, telecom and real estate sectors, on the other hand, are up about 1% in early trading despite better economic data. European stock markets are surging today after the European Central Bank’s policy meeting (see below). The dollar is stronger today against a basket of foreign currencies and not surprisingly, commodities are mostly trading lower. WTI crude oil is down modestly to $66.50/barrel. Bonds are trading up modestly. The 5-year Treasury yield is pretty much unchanged at 2.82% but the 10-year Treasury yield ticked down to 2.95%. So the yield curve is flatter today. This is not at all what I expected to see this morning. What we have today is a tug-of-war between various powerful forces in the market. CNBC’s Rick Santelli characterized this market action as “incongruent.”


*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 7, 2018

The major stock market averages opened mixed this morning (Dow +122 pts; SPX flat; Nasdaq -.3%). Energy and telecom sectors spiked more than 1% in early trading. Retailers  and banks are also in the green. Tech, on the other hand, is lagging after revelations that Facebook (FB) shared user data with Chinese firms. And to be fair, the tech sector has already had a year’s worth of returns, up 13% so far in 2018. The VIX Index is trading up toward 12.3 and VIX July futures are up around 14.2. The dollar is weaker again today against a basket of foreign currencies, especially the Euro. And not surprisingly, most commodities are a bit higher. WTI crude oil is back up to $65.75/barrel. Copper is also up over 1% today, and 8% so far this month. We know copper tends to correlate with China’s economy, so that’s good news. Bonds are little changed today. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.81% and the 10-year note yield is holding right around 2.97%.


*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 6, 2018

Stocks opened higher again this morning (Dow +224 pts; SPX +.4%). Financials are rebounding over 1.5% as interest rates head higher. So not surprisingly, the utilities sector is down over 1.5%. Emerging markets funds are up 1% today and look to be recovering a bit from a beating in recent weeks. The dollar, which has been falling over the last week or so, is giving overseas stocks some breathing room. The VIX Index continues to slide, now trading under 12, suggesting little fear among investors. Commodities are mixed, with WTI crude oil down another 1% to trade around $64.80/barrel. Recall that oil was over $70 a couple of weeks ago. Bonds are selling off as yields tick up. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back up to 2.81% and 2.97%, respectively.


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

April 10, 2018

Stocks gapped up at the open as trade tensions eased (see below). The Dow is currently up 525 pts and the SPX is up 1.8%. Materials, energy and tech sectors are all up over 2% in early trading. The VIX Index is back down to 20.7. European markets are up about .7% and Asia was up at least that much overnight. Oil, gas and metals are trading higher as well. WTI crude oil is back up to $65.20/barrel. Copper and iron ore are up well over 1%. Bonds are not surprisingly down in price. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields ticked up to 2.63% and 2.80%, 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.