holiday shopping season

November 23, 2018

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


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

January 16, 2017

US stocks surged again today on the back of better than expected earnings announcements. The Dow is currently up 150 pts and the SPX is up .26%. But don’t expect all of that to stick; the earnings news wasn’t that great. Believe it or not, the real estate is leading the way +1.2%. The healthcare sector (specifically pharmaceuticals) is also up big after Merck’s (MRK) new drug Keytruda fared well in a clinical trial. Finally, semiconductors are up .9% after Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) beat earnings expectations. European stock markets are mixed today but Asia was mostly positive overnight. Commodities are trading lower today. Copper is down 1% (and 3% on the year). WTI crude oil is down .5% to trade just under $64/barrel. Bond prices are slightly higher today. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.35% and the 10-year yield is trading at 2.54%.


*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 19, 2017

Stocks opened lower this morning (Dow -38 pts; SPX -.16%). Exchange trade volume is very light as investors wait for congressional votes on the tax bill. Real estate & utilities are down the most (roughly 1%) as bond yields head higher. Tech is also weak, having lost some momentum over the past two weeks. Consumer staples and energy are trading higher. WTI crude oil is up modestly to $57.25/barrel. Bonds are selling off as yields tick higher. The 5-year Treasury yield soared to 2.21% today, the highest since April 2011. The 10-year Treasury note yield ticked up to 2.44%, the highest since March of this year. This is probably the only story that matters today (sorry Bitcoin). According to Bloomberg, an official with the European Central Bank said monetary policy discussions in Europe “are moving to the future use of interest rates rather than asset purchases to regulate the economy.” In other words, they could be reducing or removing quantitative easing some time in 2018. That immediately pushed up interest rates in Europe and is likely the proximate cause of higher US yields today.


*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 14, 2017

Stocks gapped up again today, but quickly fell flat (Dow +1 pt; SPX flat). The tech sector is trading higher, but telecoms, materials and healthcare are in the red. The VIX Index is trading down to 9.8. European markets are poised to close .3% lower. The dollar is a bit stronger against the Euro after the European Central Bank (ECB) said Eurozone inflation will remain low for the foreseeable future. In other words, there is no reason to rush toward reducing monetary stimulus. Commodities are trading mixed. WTI crude oil is holding steady at $57.75/barrel. Bonds prices are slightly lower today. The 5-year Treasury note yield is up toward 2.15%. The 10-year yield is back up to 2.37%. In fact, the 10-year has been trading in a very tight range of 2.32% to 2.40% for the past month. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee raised its short-term policy interest rate by .25% to a target range of 1.25% to 1.50%. The move was widely expected. And by the way, the Fed lowered its forecast for unemployment in 2018 to just 3.9%. 


*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 27, 2017

Stocks opened up this morning but quickly gave way. The Dow is currently up 26 pts and the SPX is flat. Retailers, gold miners, utilities and telecoms are faring well today. On the other hand, energy and materials sectors are in the red. The VIX Index is trading up around 10. The dollar is about flat against a basket of foreign currencies and most commodities are lower. WTI crude oil is down 1.5% to $58/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.05% and the 10-year yield is trading at 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.

January 13, 2016

Stocks opened higher today (Dow +7 pts; SPX +.28%). Financials are powering ahead, up 1.1% in early trading. Biotechs and semiconductors are also up nearly 1%. Utilities, REITs and materials stocks are down modestly. The VIX Index is down again, now trading around 11, giving room for the stock market to run. Oil prices are down a bit to trade around $52.40/barrel, but anything over $50 will likely be conducive to the stock rally. Bond prices are lower on the day as yields tick up. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 1.91% and 2.41%, 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.

January 5, 2016

The major stock market averages opened lower this morning (Dow -72 pts; SPX -.3%). Consumer staples is the only sector hanging onto to a small gain. The banks are off by 1% in early trading. However, quite a few individual stocks are up on the day: Amazon, Aetna, Alphabet, Facebook and Honeywell, for example. The VIX Index—a measure of fear among traders—continues to dive and is now trading under 12. That’s considered very low. The dollar is weaker for the second consecutive session after reached a 14-year high at the end of 2016. Some give-back is normal, but we also understand China is moving to strengthen its currency. Anyway, that’s helping commodities rally. Gold, copper and oil are higher on the day. WTI crude is trading up to $53.80/barrel, hovering around a 1 ½ year high. Bonds are rallying as yields tick lower. The 5-year Treasury yield shot up to 2.09% by mid-December but have since fallen back to 1.88%. The chart pattern for the 10-year Treasury is the same; the current yield is 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.

November 28, 2016

Stocks opened lower this morning (Dow -67 pts; SPX -.36%). Defensive sectors are leading the way (utilities +1.8%, telecoms +.5%). Financials, energy, consumer discretion and industrials are down in early trading. The VIX Index, which bottomed around 12.3 over the last few sessions, is up to 13. WTI crude oil is trading back up to $47.26/barrel and most other commodities are also higher. In fact, the Bloomberg Commodity Index is up about 9% year-to-date. Bonds are slightly higher in price as yields take a bit of a breather after a monster run. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 1.80% and 2.32%, 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 25, 2016

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


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