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STOCKS DOWN WITH HEADLINES

Stocks sank at the open, as is their custom this month. The Dow is currently down 367 pts and the SPX is down 1.5%. Energy is the worst performing sector, down 3.5% (see below). Most other sectors are down about 1% except the defensives (utilities, consumer staples, real estate). VIX Index June futures are trading up around 17, but that’s not considered elevated. There’s no real panic in the market, just a slow bleed on trade headlines. European stock markets closed down about 1.5% today and Asia was uniformly down overnight. The bond market is catching a bid—especially safe-haven Treasury bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield is down to 2.32%, the lowest level since November 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.

A LITTLE HELP FROM THE JOB MARKET

A LITTLE HELP FROM THE JOB MARKET

A LITTLE HELP FROM THE JOB MARKET

The major stock market averages opened modestly higher today following the monthly jobs report (see below). The Dow is currently up 148 pts and the SPX is up .4%. The energy sector is up nearly 2% on continued gains in oil prices. Transports, banks, and semiconductors are also in the green. On the other hand, retailers, gold miners and utilities are down in early trading. Commodities are moving higher as well. WTI crude oil is back up around $55/barrel. Copper is up .3% and iron is up more than 3%. Bonds are falling back, giving up yesterday’s gains. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.51% and 2.69%. By the way, Treasury yields have been hovering around 1-year lows this month, a condition that usually reflects a softening economic outlook and a more dovish Federal Reserve. But on days when we get some encouraging economic news—like today’s jobs report—yields tend to jump.


*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 23, 2018

August 23, 2018

Stocks opened lower this morning (Dow -100 pts; SPX -.2%). Most market sectors are sagging, led by industrials, financials and materials. Only utilities, telecom, and some pockets of technology are in the green. The financial news media are blaming “trade tensions” as China-US negotiations continue in Washington. Exchange trade volume is very low, so today’s market action doesn’t necessarily represent any conviction on the part of traders. The dollar is stronger against a basket of foreign currencies after a report showing higher wholesale inflation in Europe. That’s putting some pressure on commodities. Copper is down 1%, gold is down .6%, and WTI crude oil is down .4% to $67.60/barrel. Bonds are trading slightly higher today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.71% and 2.82%, 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.

July 25, 2018

July 25, 2018

Stocks opened mixed (Dow -75 pts; SPX +.17%). This is essentially the mirror image of yesterday’s trade. Utilities, real estate and consumer staples are in the green, whereas industrials, financials and consumer discretionary sectors are trading lower. It’s just more of the same back-and-forth without a discernible trend. Whereas European markets were up nicely yesterday, they’re poised to close down today. Bloomberg’s Macro Man column calls it “unremarkably quiet” as a result of “global confusion.” Anyway, commodities are trading a bit higher today (gold, copper, oil). WTI crude oil is trading flat at $68.60/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged. The 5-year Treasury yield, after a brief run higher last week, is sitting at 2.81% and the 10-year yield dipped to 2.94%.


*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, 2018

The major stock market averages opened up this morning after a beating yesterday. The Dow is currently up 55 pts and the SPX is up .23%. Most sectors are rebounding, led by energy (+.8%), tech (+.5%) and real estate (+.5%). European markets will close slightly higher and Asian markets were mostly down overnight. The dollar continues to strengthen as foreign markets soften up. One reason may be that China is devaluing its currency in order to make its exports more competitive overseas. Despite the return of volatility and uncertainty resulting from geopolitical risk, gold is still down 3% this year. WTI crude popped 1.8% to $69.30/barrel after the US State Dept. announced US companies can no longer import Iranian crude. Bonds are rising in price again as yields tick lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are back down around 2.75% and 2.88%.


*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 1, 2018

Stocks are mixed this morning (Dow +31 pts; SPX -.17%). It seems traders like Fed Chair Powell’s tone as he reports to a US Senate committee. Utilities (+.6%), transports (+.8%) and energy (+.6%) are leading way. On the other hand, technology, gold miners, pharmaceuticals and retailers are in the red. The VIX Index is up around 20 again following yesterday’s rout. The dollar is a bit stronger and commodities are mostly weaker. WTI crude oil is trading below $61/barrel. That’s a 1-month low for oil, and yet most energy stocks are in the green today. Bonds are slightly higher in price, lower in yield. The 5-year Treasury yield is trading at 2.63% and the 10-year is back down to 2.85%. Remember, equities are taking their cue from the 10-year.


*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.

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.

October 25, 2017

The major stock market averages gapped down at the open (Dow -105 pts; SPX -.9%). Telecoms, utilities, and industrials are leading the market lower, but all eleven market sectors are in the red. Not surprisingly, the VIX Index jumped to 12.4, the highest level since early September. The dollar is weaker today against a basket of foreign currencies but commodities aren’t getting a corresponding life. WTI crude oil is down .5% to $52.20/barrel. Despite weakness in the stock market, the bond market isn’t trading higher. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.06% (highest since early March) and the 10-year yield rose to 2.44% (highest since late March). Rates are clearly moving higher and stock investors are a little spooked by it. Rick Rieder of Blackrock says despite recent economic data, inflation is rising because the economy is doing better. But he’s not that worried that rates will move dramatically 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.

September 26, 2017

The major stock market averages opened slightly higher this morning (Dow +26 pts; SPX flat). Gains are led by retailers and the transports. The tech sector is rebounding from a rough week. Gold miners and biotechs are trading lower. WTI crude oil is trading down .9% to $51.76/barrel, and that’s taking energy stocks down a bit. European markets are poised to close slightly higher today, and are up roughly 20% so far this year. Asia was mixed overnight but, importantly, isn’t showing any signs of investor panic due to saber rattling in North Korea. Bonds are trading slightly lower today as interest rates throughout the economy tick upward. The 2-year Treasury bill yield is up to 1.44% and the 5-year yield is trading at 1.85%. The 10-year Treasury yield, which track longer-term inflation expectations, is up around 2.23%. 


*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 23, 2017

Stocks opened higher yet again this morning (Dow +48 pts; SPX +.27%). In fact, the Dow is back to within 230 points of its all-time high. Ten of eleven major market sectors are higher in early trading, led by defensives like healthcare, consumer staples and utilities. Semiconductors, retailers and gold miners are lower on the day. The VIX Index is back down to 10.6 and VIX futures are up around 12.2. The dollar is unchanged on the day and commodities are mostly lower. WTI crude oil is trading up toward $51.30/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 1.80% and the 10-year Treasury is at 2.25%. At these yields, it’s hard to argue for a lot of opportunity in fixed income investing.


*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 25, 2017

Stocks opened higher again this morning as traders digested earnings announcements. The Dow is currently up 230 pts and the SPX is up .57%. The Nasdaq rose over the 6,000 mark for the first time ever as Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook continue to make new highs. In terms of major market sectors, materials and financials are leading the way, up 1% in early trading. The VIX Index sank back down under 11. European markets are poised to close slightly higher. Commodities are mostly higher but WTI crude oil is fading to around $49/barrel. There is clear support at $47/barrel. Bonds are falling in price for the second consecutive day. The 5-year Treasury yield is back up to 1.84% and the 10-year yield is at 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.

November 23, 2016

he major stock market averages opened mixed this morning (Dow +32 pts; SPX -.14%) after hitting fresh all-time highs yesterday. The Russell 2000 Index, by the way, also hit a new high. Industrials and financials are up nicely but most other sectors are lower. Real estate and utilities sectors are down the most in early trading. And the gold miners continue to sink. Indicated market volatility (VIX Index) has fallen from 23 to 12 in the last 3 weeks. The VIX is up a bit this morning to trade around 12.8. The dollar continues to rise (now up about 3.5% this month) in the wake of the election and although gold is down 7% this month, most other commodities are holding in there. WTI crude is up a bit to trade around $48/barrel after the Iraqi prime minster said his country is willing to abide by an OPEC production cut. Bonds are selling off again today. The 5- -year Treasury yield is up to 1.85% (matching a 5-year high) and the 10-year is trading at 2.39%.


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

October 26, 2016

Stocks opened lower but turned around. The Dow and SPX are currently up 45 pts & .1%, respectively. REITs, transports and gold miners are down the most in early trading. Energy and financials sectors are modestly higher. WTI crude oil opened lower but quickly recovered and is trading around $50/barrel. Bonds are selling off as yields resume their march higher. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 1.31% and 1.79%, respectively. Near-term resistance for the 10-year is 1.8%. 


*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 26, 2016

Stocks gapped down at the open (Dow -117 pts; SPX -.67%) in anticipation of tonight’s presidential campaign debate. Gold miners and energy stocks are higher, but just about everything else is selling off. The VIX Index is up 12% to trade around 13.8 and VIX October futures are up around 16.2. So traders are clearly predicting increased volatility over the next 30-60 days. European stock markets are down more than 1% in today’s session and Asia closed lower overnight. WTI crude oil is back up around $46/barrel today. Bonds are trading higher as yields fall. The 5- and 10-year Treasury bonds are trading at 1.13% and 1.59%, 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.

August 23, 2016

he major stock market averages surged at the open (Dow +44 pts; SPX +.38%). Nine of ten market sectors are in the green, led by materials. Semiconductors continue to power ahead (SOX Index is up nearly 21% this year). Energy is bouncing back as oil moves higher. European stock markets are poised to close up 1% and Asia was mostly up overnight. WTI crude is trading up around $48/barrel on nothing more than speculation that OPEC will freeze oil production at current levels. Bonds aren’t moving much this morning. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 1.14% and 1.55%, respectively. The VXTLT (volatility index for long-term Treasuries) is down around 12, which suggests very little volatility in long bonds in the next 30 days. 


*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.

July 26, 2016

Stocks opened lower this morning but quickly turned around (Dow -30 pts; SPX flat). Investors are clearly freaked out about the Federal Reserve meeting, which kicks off today. Interest-rate sensitive sectors (utilities, telecom, REITs) are falling the most in early trading. Industrials and materials are in the green. The dollar is a bit weaker. Unfortunately, WTI crude oil is down under $43/barrel and that’s hurting stocks as well. Bonds are slightly weaker, with yields climbing. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are up to 1.15% and 1.57%, 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 24, 2016

By the way, one of the key bear arguments—articulated by Zacks Investment Research this morning—is that a falling 10-year yield and a rising 5-year yield tells us the stock market is poised for a pullback. That is, a “flattening yield curve” usually portends bad times for the economy and stocks. And it is true that lower long-term rates indicate very subdued inflation and (therefore) growth expectations. If the economy does begin to pick up, we’ll see the 10-year yield rise as well. But the current environment isn’t that easily analyzed. Our own bond yields are distorted by the fact that ultra-low/negative rates around the world are encouraging global investors to run for cover in US Treasuries. So there’s enormous external buying pressure keeping our Treasury rates lower than they ordinarily would be.


*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 23, 2016

Stocks opened lower this morning (Dow -45 pts; SPX -.44%). Energy and materials sectors are down the most in early trading. Only consumer staples and utilities are in the green. The VIX Index (spot) is trading at 14, suggesting pretty low expected volatility for the next 30 days. VIX April futures are trading up around 17 though. Markets seem fairly unmoved by the Brussels terror attack. WTI crude oil is trading down to $40/barrel and most commodities are lower. The dollar, not surprisingly, is a bit stronger on the day. Bonds are slightly higher as yields tick down. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are trading at 1.39% and 1.92%, 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.