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Market Update: August 30, 2019

Stocks were trading slightly higher this morning (Dow +111 pts; SPX +.2%), but both major indexes are likely to end lower for August. Yesterday’s market optimism, attributed to easing trade war tensions, continued into today’s session.  Consumer Discretionary, energy, and technology sectors are down this morning.  Industrials, materials, and utilities are positive.  The dollar is slightly weaker against a basket of foreign currencies, but higher against the Euro. Oil prices dropped, but gold is higher.  Safe-haven Treasury bonds, as well as junk bonds, are flat to down on the day. The 10-year Treasury Note yield crossed back above 1.5%.


*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.

ARE EARNINGS ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN 2019 RALLY?

Stocks opened sharply lower this morning (Dow -123 pts; SPX -.4%). Communications services—down 2.5%--is the worst performing sector entirely as a result of Alphabet’s (GOOGL) earnings announcement. Other groups like biotechs, banks and transports are also trading lower. Defensive sectors are catching a bid. The VIX Index jumped to 14 for the first time in three weeks. European markets closed down modestly. The dollar is a bit weaker against a basket of foreign currencies and that is giving a little support to commodities. WTI crude oil up .5% to trade around $64/barrel. Bonds are rising in price, falling in yield. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up .3% today and up 1.6% so far this year. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.51%.


*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 29, 2018

November 29, 2018

The major stock market indices opened lower this morning following yesterday’s relief rally. At the moment, the Dow is down 62 points, and the SPX is down .2%. Energy, healthcare and materials are up about .5%, but most other sectors are falling back, led by the cyclicals (tech, financials, consumer discretionary). WTI crude oil is bouncing a bit; now trading up around $52/barrel. Gold is up slightly today, but most other commodities are trading lower. Treasury bonds are trading up as yields tick lower. But corporates are falling, perhaps due to the Federal Reserve’s financial stability report (see yesterday’s market update). Remember how spiking rates and the threat of inflation was the talk of the town in August and September? Well, since then inflation has moderated and rates have fallen. The five-year Treasury note yield is all the way back down to 2.83%, and the 10-year Treasury yield collapsed back to 3.02%.


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

November 20, 2018

November 20, 2018

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


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

April 23, 2018

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow flat; SPX +.15%). Most major market sectors are up slightly, led by consumer discretionary, healthcare and telecoms. The materials sector is sagging a bit as commodities pull back. The dollar is moving higher on commodity weakness and higher interest rates. Following a very strong two-week run, WTI crude oil is falling back toward $68/barrel. Aluminum prices fell sharply after the US Treasury softened sanctions against a specific Russian aluminum producer. Bonds are selling off today. The 5-year Treasury yield shot up to 2.82%, an 8 ½-year high. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.98%, a four-year high. Bond traders are bothered by the Federal Reserve’s apparent staunch commitment to raising rates despite the recent 10% stock market correction coupled with tame inflation readings. 


*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 20, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow +16 pts; SPX flat). Utilities and real estate are down for the second straight session, and consumer staples about-faced to fall .7%. Telecoms are the best performing sector at the moment, up 1.5%, likely because they will really benefit from lower corporate taxes. Energy, materials and industrials are also trading higher. European stock markets will close in the red and Asia was mostly down overnight. The dollar is a bit weaker today against a basket of foreign currencies and commodities are not surprisingly trading higher. WTI crude oil is up slightly to trade around $57.80/barrel. Bonds are again selling off, with yields higher. And again, this is probably the biggest story of the day. The 5-year Treasury yield spiked to 2.24% and the 10-year yield rose to 2.49%, breaking out of its recent trading range. Importantly, the yield curve has steepened over the last two trading sessions. That is, the difference between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury note yields has increased from 51 basis points to 62 basis points. When longer term rates rise faster than short term rates, it is a signal of rising inflation expectations. 


*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.

November 21, 2017

Stocks gapped up at the open (Dow +175 pts; SPX +.68%). Tech and healthcare are the best-performing sectors in early trading (up over 1%). Telecoms and banks, however, aren’t participating. The VIX is retreating toward 9.8. European markets are poised to close up about .5% and Asia traded higher overnight. The dollar is unchanged and most commodities are trading higher. Copper is up about 1%, recovering from a recent pullback. WTI crude oil is up a bit to trade around $56.70/barrel. Shorter-term bonds are selling off again as yields head higher. The 5-year Treasury yield is up around 2.10% (highest since mid-March). Strangely, longer-term yields are not moving today. The 10-year Treasury is unchanged at 2.36%. And that means the yield curve is flattening. Since November 10th, we’ve seen short rates rise while long rates remained about flat. This bears watching because it implies that bond traders believe the Fed will continue hiking short rates even though long-term inflation expectations aren’t rising.


*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 20, 2017

Stocks are mixed in early trading (Dow +16 pts; SPX flat; Nasdaq -.24%). We’ve seen a rotation in the last couple of weeks away from defensive sectors (i.e. utilities, consumer staples) and toward cyclicals (industrials, financials, energy, materials). This seems to be driven by a rebound in interest rates & oil; it’s hard to say how long that will last. This morning, transports are up 1.5%, biotechs are up .7%, and energy stocks are up about .6%. We are seeing some uncharacteristic weakness in semiconductors after Apple (AAPL) admitted lower pre-orders for the new iPhone 8 because consumers are waiting for the iPhone X. 


*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 1, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning and the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a fresh records high. At the moment, the Dow is up 80 pts and the SPX is up .18%. Telecoms, banks and semiconductors are leading the charge. On the other hand, biotechs, transports and energy companies are trading lower. WTI crude oil is  down 3% to trade around $48.50/barrel. Copper and iron ore are also in the red. Bonds are trading higher in price after some disappointing economic data. The 5-year Treasury yield dipped to 1.81% and the 10-year yield edged down to 2.26%. 


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

March 22, 2017

Stocks opened mixed after yesterday’s selloff. At the moment, the Dow is down 27 pts and the SPX is up .1%. The Nasdaq is up .25%. Biotechs, semiconductors and transports are bouncing back. But utilities are also higher and that suggests investors are looking to position a little more defensively for the near-term. The VIX Index, which jumped to 12.5 yesterday, is back down to 12. VIX April futures are trading at 13.6. So traders are clearly not panicking in the wake of yesterday’s surprise dip. The dollar (and most commodities) are a little weaker this morning. WTI crude is down 1% to $47.70/barrel and we’re hearing constant chatter about rising US oil production, which will add to global over-supply. Bonds are up modestly in price, down in yield. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields ticked down to 1.94% and 2.40%, 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 7, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +47 pts; SPX +.1%). And by the way, the Nasdaq just touched a new record high. Gains are fairly widespread: retailers, transports, semiconductors, biotechs, REITs. But again today, the energy sector isn’t participating in the rally. WTI crude oil is down 1.4% to trade around $52.20/barrel. The VIX Index is down around 11.2 suggesting very little fear among traders. The dollar has been rising for the last week or so and all else equal, that should put some downward pressure on commodity prices. Bonds aren’t doing much today. The most likely direction for yields over the long-term is upward, but when the Fed passed on a chance to raise rates last week, that had a settling effect on bonds across the curve. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 1.85% 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.

May 20, 2016

Stocks opened higher this morning (following Europe’s and Asia’s lead) and erasing yesterday’s losses (Dow + 107 pts; SPX +.7%). Early trading looks to the opposite of the previous session: tech and financials are leading the way, whereas utilities and consumer staples are lagging. To be more specific, semiconductors, banks, biotechs and transports are all up over 1%. Asian market rose .5% overnight and European markets are poised to close up roughly 1.5%. The dollar is flat and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is down slightly to $47.80/barrel. Bloomberg reports US crude oil production declined for a third straight month as oil companies continue to cut back spending. Production volume fell to 8.8 million barrels per day last week, and that equates to a 4.5% decline so far in 2016. Bonds are mostly unchanged. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.38% and 1.86%, 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.