interest rates

JOBS REPORT TO THE RESCUE

Stocks opened higher this morning after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its March jobs report (see below). The Dow is currently up 34 pts and the SPX is up .38%. Nine of eleven major market sectors are trading higher, led by energy (+1.5%) and healthcare (+.8%). The communications services sector is flat. Small-caps and emerging markets equities are outperforming today. The US dollar is slightly higher in early trading, and commodities are mixed.


*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.

SENTIMENT U-TURN ON BOND MARKET CONCERNS

The major stock market averages rolled over this morning. The Dow is currently down 379 pts and the SPX is off by 1.7%. The Nasdaq is down 2.1%. Energy, financials and materials—the sectors that tend to do poorly when interest rates drop—are down by more than 2% in early trading. On the other hand utilities, real estate and consumer staples—defensive sectors that do well in slower growth, lower-rate markets—are in the green. European stock markets closed down more than 1.5%, although most of Asia was in the green overnight. Commodities are mostly lower today. WTI crude oil backed down to $58.50/barrel. The bond market is rising as yields fall. Clearly, some capital is draining out of stock and flowing into bonds today. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.43%, the lowest since December 2017.


*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.

DOUBLING DOWN ON A DOVISH FED

The major stock market averages are mixed in early trading (Dow -70 pts; SPX +.5%; Nasdaq +.6%). Gold miners, healthcare, and energy exploration stocks are all up about .7% to 1.2%%. On the other hand, airline and aerospace names are trading lower, paced by Boeing (BA) down 6.7% after the Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed. Retailers and consumer staples names are flat to down at the moment. The US dollar is weaker today after a softer inflation report (see below), and not surprisingly, commodities are trading higher. WTI crude oil is back up around $57.22/barrel. Copper is up .5% today and 12% on the year, reflecting optimism over a potential trade deal. Copper is sort of a commodity trader’s referendum on the Chinese economy, since China accounts for half of global copper demand. Bonds are mostly higher today as yields tick lower. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.63%, the lowest in the past 6 weeks.


*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.

SOFT ECONOMIC DATA IN FOCUS

SOFT ECONOMIC DATA IN FOCUS

Stocks opened lower today but are clawing back (Dow -63 pts; SPX -.16%). The energy sector is leading to the downside (-1.6%), along with biotechs (-1.4%). Defensives—utilities, consumer staples—are faring better. The VIX Index, down under 15, is suggesting low volatility over the next 30 days, despite the US-China trade deadline in March. The dollar is a bit stronger today and commodities are trading mostly lower. WTI crude oil is down around $56.80/barrel. Copper and iron ore are also in the red. The flavor of the day is clearly risk-off. However, the bond market is down as well. Long-term Treasury bonds, which usually trade inverse to stocks, are down nearly 1% today. The 10-year Treasury note yield shot up to 2.69%.


*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.

IMPROVING SENTIMENT

IMPROVING SENTIMENT

Stocks opened higher again today, as investor sentiment gradually improves. The Dow is currently up 143 pts and the SPX is up .5%. Tech, energy, healthcare and industrials are up nicely in early trading. Utilities, consumer staples, real estate and communications services are in the red. European stock markets will close up by about .5% and Asia was broadly higher overnight. The Shanghai Composite Index, China’s main stock index, closed up .7%. The dollar is down about .5% against a basket of foreign currencies. That’s a big deal. Dollar weakness means emerging markets stocks do better; it means US multi-national exporters do better; it signals that investors believe inflation is well under control and the Fed won’t be aggressive with monetary tightening. It might even signal more optimism (among traders) that the trade war can be resolved. All else equal, commodities generally rise as the dollar weakens. WTI crude oil is up nearly 3% today to trade at $51.25/barrel. Copper and gold are up modestly as well. Bonds are trading slightly higher as well. Both investment-grade and high-yield corporate bond ETFs are up about .2% today. The exception is long-term Treasuries. Whereas the 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are basically flat to slightly lower, the 30-year Treasury yield jumped up to 3.02%. And remember, we want Treasuries to sell off when the stock market is moving higher. I can’t emphasize enough how closely traders are watching the bond market as a signal to whether the stock market recovery can continue.


*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 4, 2019

January 4, 2019

The stock market gapped up at the open after an encouraging jobs report (see below). The Dow and SPX are currently up 650 pts and 3%, respectively. Tech—hated by traders yesterday—is the best-performing sector, up over 3.5%. The materials sector is up 3% in early trading. Transports—again, hated yesterday—are up over 3% as well. The VIX Index is back down to 22.7, exactly even with VIX January futures. Traders are wondering why, when the market is now routinely moving more than 2% per day, the VIX isn’t well into the 30s. It may no longer be an accurate reflection of market volatility. European markets will close up over 2% in today’s session. The Chinese stock market has stabilized over the last several days, so that’s good news. After the release of the jobs report this morning, the dollar strengthened and bonds sold off. Opposite of the recent trend, Treasury bonds fell in price but junk bonds rose. The 10-year Treasury Note yield climbed back to 2.66%, surging 10 basis points from yesterday’s level. Bond yields provide different signals depending on the economic & market situation. At this moment, rising yields will signal some relief that perhaps the economic outlook isn’t as dire as the bears think.


*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 18, 2018

October 18, 2018

Stocks gapped down at the open today (Dow -280 pts; SPX -1.27%). Tech, telecom and consumer discretionary sectors are all down more than 1.5%. Utilities and real estate sectors are up slightly. So today’s risk-off trading session flips the switch from yesterday’s risk-on bent. Th VIX Index bounced back up to 18.7 today. European markets will close a bit lower and most of Asia was down overnight. The dollar is strengthening a bit on China concerns (see below). Commodities are mostly lower in early trading, with WTI crude oil pulling back under $70/barrel. Bonds are trading modestly higher as you would expect on a risk-off day. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields edged down to 3.03% and 3.17%, 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.

October 4, 2018

October 4, 2018

Stocks sank at the open on Fed/interest rate fears. The Dow is currently down 255 pts and the SPX is down .9%. Bank—and strangely enough utilities—are just about the only groups posing gains in early trading. Consumer discretionary, healthcare, technology and telecommunications sectors are all down more than 1%. The VIX Index is back up around 13.3, as you might expect. European stock markets are down between .8% and 1.2% in today’s session. Most of Asia was down overnight with the notable exception of China, which saw gains of about 1%. The dollar is flat on the day and commodities are mostly lower. Bonds are also selling off as yields rise. The 10-year Treasury yield just climbed to 3.20% for the first time in seven years. And since short-term yields aren’t up as much, the yield curve is the steepest it has been in two months.


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

February 26, 2018

Stocks opened higher again today (Dow +281 pts; SPX +.7%). Most sectors are in the green, led by technology (+1%), financials (+.8%) and strangely enough, telecoms (+.8%). Utilities are flat. The VIX Index, which measures expected stock market volatility, is down around 16.4. European markets closed up about .5% and Asian was mostly higher overnight. Commodities are also trading mostly higher, with WTI crude oil back up to $64/barrel after falling to $59 earlier this month. Bonds are trading lower as yields edge lower. Interest rates, which have surged in recent months, are taking a little breather. The 5-year Treasury yield is trading at 2.60% and the 10-year is at 2.85%. 


*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 19, 2017

Stocks opened slightly higher this morning (Dow +36 pts; SPX +.1%). The VIX Index is down around 10 as stock markets hover around all-time highs. Telecoms are up over 2% in early trading as Sprint (S) and T-Mobile USA (TMUS) are in talks to merge. Banks are up .5% as interest rates continue to edge upward. And for the same reason real estate and utilities are trading a bit lower.  The dollar is a bit weaker against a basket of foreign currencies, but commodities are mostly lower as well. WTI crude oil is down .3% to trade around $49.70/barrel. Both iron ore and copper are down for the month. Bonds are down in price again as yields rise. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked up to 1.83%  and the 10-year is back up to 2.24%. Rates in the US seem very low until one looks overseas. The German and British 10-year note yields are currently trading at .44% and 1.31%, 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 6, 2017

Stocks opened lower this morning (Dow -80 pts; SPX -.6%). All eleven major market sectors are down, led by financials (-1%). The VIX Index is back up to 11.4 but that’s still very low. And the VIX for long-term Treasury bonds is actually higher (12.3). That means investors are more worried about volatility in the bond market than in the equity market. Bonds are lower today as yields rise. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.02% and the 10-year yield ticked up to 2.49%.  


*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 30, 2016

Markets opened lower on the last trading day of the year. The Dow is down 10 pts and the SPX is down .16% on very light trade volume. Year-to-date, US markets have performed significantly better than international markets. The dollar is lower against a basket of foreign currencies today, and commodities are mixed. Copper is up about .8% this morning, and is up about 16% this year. We understand much of that move is due to speculators in China rather than improvement in global economics. WTI crude oil is trading slightly lower this morning to about $53.66/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 1.95% and the 10-year is trading at 2.46%. Rates have come in over the last two weeks. Remember, the 10-year was at 2.60% on 12/15. That will likely stand as the 2016 peak yield.  


*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 7, 2016

The major stock market averages opened lower. The Dow and SPX are currently down 48 pts & -.2%, respectively. Tech & energy sectors are modestly higher but the defensive sectors are in the red. Over the last couple of months, we’ve seen utilities, consumer staples and telecoms lose momentum, whereas the tech sector has clearly begun to lead. The VIX Index is currently trading at 12 suggesting very little volatility over the next 30 days. And the VXTLT, which measures fear in the Treasury bond market, is also very low. Bonds are little changed on the day and have been trading in a very tight range over the last month. Yields are showing no sign that the Federal Reserve is preparing to hike interest rates. Indeed, some of the latest economic data have been rather negative (ISM business activity surveys). 


*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 21, 2016

Stocks closed relatively flat today with the Dow Jones up 24.86 points and the S&P higher by 0.27%. Bond yields for the 5 and 10-year Treasuries are slightly higher with yields of 1.2002% and 1.7094%, respectively. Oil prices are lower with WTI Brent Crude down 1.05% at 48.95 a barrel.

Investors remain focused on the upcoming June 23rd Brexit referendum in which British, Irish, and Commonwealth citizens, among others, will decide whether the UK stays with or leaves the EU. Surveys show that the two sides are neck and neck and no particular outcome is certain at this point.

The “remain” supporters cite the relative strength of staying within the group consisting of 28 member countries. They also applaud the benefits of free travel, free trade, and inward investment amongst the members. The “leave” side maintains that the UK pays billions of pounds for its membership in the EU with little to show in return.


*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, 2016

The major stock market averages are sharply higher in early trading (Dow +114 pts; SPX +.5%). Gains are widespread, with biotechs, materials, banks and energy names leading the way. Despite weak factory orders in Germany, European stock markets are poised to close higher this morning. Commodities are broadly higher, with WTI crude oil rebounding to nearly $50/barrel. The industrial metals are also coming back, with iron ore up over 3% and copper up about .7%. Bonds are selling off a bit after surging on Friday. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields ticked up to 1.26% and 1.73%, 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 1, 2016

Stocks gapped down at the open but quickly recovered (Dow -21 points; SPX flat). The Nasdaq is up slightly. Telecoms are down 1% in early trading, along with gold miners, banks, and transports. On the other hand, biotechs and semiconductors are higher. WTI crude oil is trading down just under $49/barrel. Gold and copper are down modestly as well. Bonds are trading nearly unchanged again. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.38% and 1.84%, respectively. By the way, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is around 3.65%, according to bankrate.com. 


*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.