industrial production

MARKET AT THE MERCY OF TRADE HEADLINES

Stocks gapped down at the open this morning, but quickly recovered after President Trump said he would delay planned auto import tariffs hikes. The Dow is currently up 41 pts and the SPX is up .5%. By the way, the Dow had its best day in a month yesterday. Ten of eleven sectors are in the green, led by communications services (+1.6%) and tech (+1%). Banks, on the other hand, are down along with interest rates. The VIX fell back to 17.3 today. Commodities are also trading higher today. WTI crude continues to climb on fears of Iranian terrorism in the Persian Gulf. Bonds are trading higher across the board, forcing yields lower. The 10-year Treasury Note yield is back down to 2.39% and will probably test its near-term support level of 2.37%. One doesn’t normally see stocks and bonds move in tandem. But of course any time geopolitical tensions rise one can expect safe-haven trades like gold and Treasuries to move 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.

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.

INVESTOR SENTIMENT IMPROVING ON TRADE TALKS

INVESTOR SENTIMENT IMPROVING ON TRADE TALKS

INVESTOR SENTIMENT IMPROVING ON TRADE TALKS

The major stock market averages surged in early trading following a report that the Chinese are offering trade concessions (see below). The Dow is currently up 280 pts and the SPX is up 1.2%. The materials & industrials sectors shot up 1.8%. Those groups have perhaps suffered the most from the trade war and may have the most to gain from a trade deal. As sentiment regarding a potential trade deal improves, the VIX Index continues to soften (now down to 17.6). And oil prices continue to recover (up around $53.60/barrel). Bonds are trading as you would expect on a very risk-on day. Treasuries are down in price, up in yield. The 10-year Treasury yield is back up around 2.78%, and wants to test resistance around 2.81%. Corporates, on the other hand, are at long last catching a bid. And for today, the worse the credit quality, the higher the price gain.


*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 16, 2018

The major stock market averages opened mixed this morning (Dow flat; SPX +.17%). Cyclical sectors—consumer discretion, materials, tech, industrials—are leading the way. Utilities and real estate, however, are extending declines. Emerging markets are up 1% (now flat on the year). The VIX Index is trading back down under 14. Trade volume is light. The dollar is up again today and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is down .4% to trade around $71/barrel. And by the way, the DOE says total US oil production is up around 10.7 million barrels per day—a record high. Bonds are selling off again. The 5-year Treasury yield is up around 2.92% and the 10-year yield is up around 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.

April 17, 2018

Stocks surged at the open, following yesterday’s gains. The Dow is currently up 256 pts and the SPX is up 1%. Consumer discretionary, industrials, tech, materials and real estate sectors are all up over 1% in early trading. In fact, all eleven major market sectors are in the green. The VIX Index, which measures investor fear, is down around 15.6, signaling that the stock market correction is resolving. Commodities are mostly higher on the day. WTI crude oil, recently boosted by geopolitical tensions, is trading down modestly to $66.11/barrel. Short-term bonds are selling off, and yields are resuming their march higher. The 2-year Treasury yield is trading up to 2.40% (a fresh 9 ½ year high), and the 5-year is up around 2.69%. Meanwhile, longer-term bonds aren’t moving much. The 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.83%. And of course, that means the yield curve (difference between short and long rates) is flattening again. The Fed seems intent on two more rate hikes this year, which affects the short end. But inflation expectations have stagnated, and that affects the long end.


*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 16, 2018

The major stock market averages opened higher today (Dow +104 pts; SPX +.36%). Nearly all sectors are in the green, led by energy (+1%), telecom (+.65%) and financials (+.7%). Only tech is trading slightly lower. It looks like traders are putting aside for the moment chaos as the White House. European markets are poised to close up about .7% although most of Asia was down overnight. The VIX Index is trading down toward 15.3. The dollar is stronger today after some better than expected economic data. WTI crude oil opened roughly unchanged but suddenly, and unexpectedly, spiked to $62.00/barrel. Bonds are falling in price, rising in yield. That makes sense alongside a stronger dollar. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are up around 2.63% and 2.84%.


*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 17, 2018

The major US stock market averages shot up this morning in response to corporate earnings announcements and economic data. The Dow and SPX are currently up 185 pts & .5%, respectively. Nine of eleven market sectors are trading higher. Interestingly, the defensive sectors—utilities, consumer staples, real estate—are bouncing back after a rough couple of weeks. But we’re also getting participation from some cyclical groups (semiconductors, biotechs, retailers). Both the dollar and commodities are modestly higher. WTI crude oil bounced back to $64/barrel. Bonds are selling off again as yields head higher. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields ticked up top 2.38% and 2.56%, respectively. The 10-year runs into resistance at 2.63%.


*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 17, 2017

Stocks opened mixed today (Dow +25 pts; SPX flat). The Dow just hit 23,000 for the first time. Retailers & biotechs are trading higher, but most everything else is in the red. The VIX Index is up 4% to trade just over 10. VIX November futures are trading around 11.7. Commodities are trading lower (copper, gold, oil). WTI crude oil is down .8 to trade around $51.40/barrel. Bonds are down slightly as well. The 5-year Treasury yield is up around 1.96% and the 10-year Treasury yield is up around 2.31%. 


*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 17, 2017

The Dow (-73 pts) and S&P 500 (-.7%) opened lower today after some disappointing earnings announcements and economic reports. Semiconductors (-1.1%), transports (-1%), banks (-.8%) and retailers (-.7%) are faring the worst. All eleven sectors are in the red. European markets are poised to close down about .5% and most of Asia was down overnight. The dollar is slightly stronger today and most commodities are slightly weaker. The exceptions are gold (now up 11% on the year) and oil (trading around $47.05/barrel). The bond market is mostly unchanged. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.78% and 2.20%, 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.

June 26, 2017

The major stock market averages climbed briefly at the open, but quickly turned around. The Dow is up 40 pts, the SPX is up .2% and the Nasdaq is flat. “Waffling” has become a consistent pattern throughout June, according to CNBC’s Jim Cramer. “The market can’t make up its mind.” In addition, we’re seeing huge dispersion of returns from sector to sector, and from stock to stock.  For example, healthcare is screaming higher (+6%) this month, while energy has sagged .5%. And even within the energy sector, Chevron (CVX) is up 1.3% this month but Schlumberger (SLB) is down 5%. Mr. Cramer rightly points out that “nothing is trading in unison.” The VIX Index continues to trade near record lows (below 10 today), but while the SPX looks like it is simply treading water, there is a lot going on under the hood. 


*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 17, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow -11 pts; SPX flat). Some key groups are lower in early trading, including banks, transports, biotechs, and retailers. On the other hand, utilities, energy, telecom and materials sectors are in the green. The VIX Index is up around 11.3 (considered very low). VIX April futures are trading at 13.2, and have been trending lower this month. Commodities are mostly higher on the day. Oil is flat around $48.76/barrel. Over the past month oil prices have fallen about 8%. Bonds are mostly higher in early trading. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields ticked down to 2.01% and 2.50%, 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 16, 2017

Stocks are flat in early trading (Dow -7 pts; SPX -.14%). Real estate is leading the way, up 1%. Tech, telecom, materials and utilities are modestly higher. The rest of the landscape is down a bit. By the way, the Trump Rally (which began the day after the election) has now eclipsed 10% for the SPX. The dollar is a bit weaker today and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is trading flat at about $53.20/barrel. Bonds are slightly higher on the day. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 1.96% and the 10-year Treasury is trading at 2.47%. On average, economic data are improving and that has pushed rates up over the last week. 


*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 16, 2016

The major stock market averages opened lower this morning (Dow -60 pts; SPX -.25%). The financials sector is giving back some of its outperformance from the past week. Interest rate sensitive sectors like utilities and real estate continue to fall. On the other hand, tech and consumer discretion are higher in early trading. The dollar is stronger on the day, and is about 2.5% higher since the election. WTI crude oil was down but turned around (now $46.10/barrel) after the Russian oil minister said he expects some kind of OPEC deal to limit oil production. Gold is down 4% this month, a casualty of the stronger dollar. Bonds continue to sell off as yields spike. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are up to 1.70% and 2.25%, respectively. But even though we’ve seen a massive updraft in rates this month, we’re only back to year-end 2015 levels. 


*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 17, 2016

he major stock market averages are meandering around flat this morning (Dow -24 pts; SPX -.05%). Utilities and telecoms are up .3% to .6% in early trading. Biotechs and gold miners are also in the green. Energy and consumer discretionary sectors are lower. Both Asia and Europe ended the session in the red. WTI crude oil is down just under $50/barrel. The dollar is slightly weaker and bonds are slightly higher. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields ticked down to 1.25% and 1.77%, respectively. Yields are hovering near 4-month highs. Last week Fed Chair Yellen said she’s comfortable running with a “high-pressure” economy. That means she believes the Fed should be patient and slow with interest rate hikes even as inflation begins to rise. On the other hand, Fed Vice-Chair Fischer warned today that continued low interest rates are dangerous to financial stability.  


*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 15, 2016

The major stock market averages opened higher this morning (Dow +39 pts; SPX +.27%). Financials (esp. banks) are the clear leaders in early trading (+.9%). Consumer staples and industrials are also in the green. Stocks have moved lower over the last few trading sessions after coming very close to touching all-time highs. The SPX is down about 2% over the last week. The VIX Index, which spiked yesterday to 21 (considered high), is back down to 19 today. European markets are poised to close up over 1% and most of Asia was positive overnight. The dollar is a bit weaker and commodities are mostly higher. Copper is up 2.6%. WTI crude oil is trading down, however, to $48/barrel. Bonds continue to gain in price, with yields moving lower. The 5-year Treasury yield is down to 1.11% and the 10-year is trading at 1.59%. So the 10-year yield is the lowest it’s been going back to November 2012. The bond market just doesn’t see inflation accelerating any time soon. By the way, German bond yields just fell negative for the first time ever, and that’s the other reason US bond yields are so low. Global investors are rushing to buy Treasuries because of their relatively higher yield. Huge demand for Treasuries is driving our rates lower.  


*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 17, 2016

tocks opened lower this morning despite some better than expected economic data. The Dow and S&P 500 are currently down 55 pts & .2%, respectively. The defensive sectors (consumer staples, utilities) are taking it on the chin. The banks and transports, on the other hand, are in green in early trading. The dollar is slightly weaker on the day and commodities are a bit higher. The Bloomberg Commodity Index, by the way, is up 9% so far this year. WTI crude oil is trading up to $48/barrel. That’s a fresh 6-month high. Bonds are lower on the day after a higher inflation report (see below). The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are up to 1.27% and 1.75%, respectively. The 2-year Treasury, which is more sensitive to Fed rate hike expectations, has moved up to .8% from .71% 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.

April 15, 2016

Stocks opened lower but have turned around. The Dow and SPX are currently flat. Energy and healthcare sectors are in the red. The defensive sectors (consumer staples, utilities, telecom), on the other hand, are in the green. The VIX Index popped up a bit to 14 and VIX futures (May) are up to 17. So we’re seeing a little more skittishness on the part of traders as the stock market rebounds to levels not seen since December. There is a sense that further gains will have to come from better than expected first quarter earnings. The dollar is weaker on the day (and the year), but most commodities are lower. WTI crude oil is down 3% this morning to $40/barrel. Bonds prices are higher today as yields edge lower. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are down to 1.21% and 1.75%, 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 16, 2016

Stocks opened lower this morning but quickly turned around. The Dow and SPX are current up 8 pts & .1%, respectively. Energy, tech and financials are bouncing back, but the healthcare sector continues to languish. In fact, healthcare is the worst performing sector year-to-date despite the fact that earnings season confirmed solid revenue & earnings growth, which exceeded Wall Street expectations. Much of the recent weakness can be attributed to the presidential campaign. Politicians are eager to deride pharmaceutical and biotech companies and are calling for drug price cuts. 


*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.