labor productivity

FED TO THE RESCUE

The major stock market averages opened a bit higher this morning (Dow +50 pts; SPX +.25%). This week has been one of recovery, especially after a couple of Federal Reserve officials hinted that they’d loosen monetary if necessary to keep the business cycle alive. Energy is the best performing sector in early trading, up 1.2% despite the fact that oil prices are down again. Some kind of bounce is to expected since energy has absolutely cratered over the past six weeks on oversupply concerns. Today, WTI crude oil is down .6% to trade around $51.44/barrel. Gold is now up 4% on the year as a safe-haven trade. Bonds are trading higher this morning as yields dip again. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) shot up 1% today as the 10-year Treasury bond yield fell back to 2.09%. The reason for continued bond market gains is also the Fed (see below).


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

June 6, 2018

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


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

September 7, 2017

Stocks opened modestly lower this morning (Dow -41 pts; SPX -.13%). A 2% slide in bank stocks is holding the market back. Gold miners are up 2% in early trading. A host of other industries—semiconductors, retailers, transports, pharmaceuticals, utilities, real estate—are trading higher as well. WTI crude oil is trading down slightly to $49/barrel as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida. Bonds are trading higher as yields plunge. The 5- and 1-year Treasury yields are down to 1.63% and 2.04%, respectively. Yields haven’t been this low since the day after the presidential election. This is the proximate cause of the decline in bank stocks 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.

August 10, 2017

Stocks opened lower this morning (Dow -101 pts; SPX -.9%). All eleven major market sectors are down, led by consumer discretion, financials & tech (down more than 1%). The spot VIX Index spiked to 14 this morning and VIX September futures rose to 14.1. So volatility expectations for the near-term are rising, but the VIX isn’t predicting any panic, either. The dollar is a bit weaker today and commodities are higher. That’s what you would expect with geopolitical tensions. WTI crude oil is, however, trading flat around $49.50/barrel. Bonds are higher in early trading, owing to continued North Korea tensions as well as a weaker than expected inflation report (see below). The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields ticked down to 1.79% and 2.22%, 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 5, 2017

Stocks opened a bit lower this morning. At the moment, the Dow is down 8 pts and the SPX is down .12%. Oil producers and semiconductors are higher in early trading. Most other groups, however, are modestly lower. The VIX Index is hovering around 10, considered very low, and the VXTLT (long-term Treasury bond volatility) is trading at 10.8. So expected volatility on both stocks and bonds is down quite a bit this year. European markets are down about .3% after last weekend’s terror attack in the UK. Most of Asia was down about the same percentage overnight. 


*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 4, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow -14 pts; SPX flat). Consumer staples (particularly ABC, CVS, GIS) are up .7% at the moment and financials & healthcare sectors are up modestly. On the other hand, telecoms & real estate—interest rate sensitive groups—are falling. The dollar is lower today but most commodities are down as well. Gold is down 1.5%. WTI oil is down over 4.8% to trade around  $45.50/barrel for the first time since November 2016. It just blew through the key short-term support level of $47; the next support level is around $45, and then $42. Bonds are selling off too, strangely, with yields moving sharply higher. The 5-year Treasury yield is up to 1.88% and the 10-year is up around 2.35%. 


*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 6, 2016

Stocks opened pretty flat this morning (Dow -7 pts; SPX +.1%). The telecom sector is up 1.2% in early trading and the semiconductors & banks are up about .5%. But most other groups aren’t moving much. The VIX Index is back down to 12 so the market is pretty complacent/calm. The dollar is up a bit today but has fallen over the last week or so. WTI crude oil is trading back down under $51/barrel. Bonds are roughly unchanged. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 1.84% and the 10-year is trading at 2.39%. So not a very exciting day. 


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

August 15, 2016

The major stock market averages rallied this morning to hit fresh intra-day highs. The Dow and SPX are currently up 85 pts & .4%, respectively. Materials, industrials and tech sectors are leading the charge. Utilities, telecoms and consumer staples sectors are in the red in early trading. In terms of industry groups, semiconductors, biotechs and transports are up at least 1% at the moment. This dollar is a bit weaker and oil is higher (WTI crude at $45.50/barrel). The Bloomberg Commodity Index is surging 1.2%. By the way, the dollar is still down for the year, and that is good news after a roughly 20% surge in 2014 & 2015. Most of Europe is poised to close modestly higher and most of Asia was higher overnight. Bonds are selling off a bit. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are currently at 1.12% and 1.54%, respectively. Yields have rebounded somewhat from Brexit lows and are holding steady without much volatility. 


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

June 7, 2016

Stocks gapped up at the open this morning (Dow +68 pts; SPX +.35%). The SPX is now only .8% away from its all-time high. The energy sector is the clear leader in early trading, up 2%. Healthcare (particularly biotech) is the only sector in the red. So gains are fairly broad-based, from semiconductors to transports to retailers. The dollar is a bit weaker on the day and oil is up yet again. WTI crude is trading up to $50/barrel. Bonds are rising in price, with yields falling. The 5-year Treasury is down to 1.22% and the 10-year is hovering around 1.71%. That’s the bottom of the yield range we’ve seen over the last 4 months. The bond sees a zero chance that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates this month, and a 20% chance they will hike in July. 


*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.