retail sales

October 15, 2018

October 15, 2018

Stocks are mixed without direction after last week’s declines. At the moment, the Dow is down 47 pts, the SPX is down .4% and the Nasdaq is down .8%. Cyclical sectors are leading to the downside. The tech sector is down 1.3%; energy is down .7%; consumer discretionary is down .5%. On the other hand, defensives like utilities and real estate are catching a bid. Gold miners are up nearly 2%. The VIX Index is still hovering north of 20, belying some lingering fear from last week. European markets will close about .5% higher although most of Asia was down overnight. The dollar is weaker today, continuing a 1-week trend. WTI crude oil is down a bit to trade around $71.17/barrel. Bonds are trading slightly lower on the day as yields tick higher. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields rebounded to 3.01% and 3.16%, respectively. Remember, when stocks were tanking last week, the 10-year jumped briefly to 3.23%. So rates have backed down.


*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 16, 2018

The major stock market averages are meandering aimlessly today (Dow & SPX flat). Financials are up 1.2% after some positive earnings announcements (see below). Telecoms are also higher in early trading, but most other sectors are in the red. The VIX Index jumped back up to 12.6, but that’s still considered very low. Most European markets will close down slightly today, and except for Japan, Asian markets were down overnight. Oil is taking a hit, down 3% after Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said some US oil importers could get waivers to continue buying Iranian oil temporarily. “We want people to reduce oil purchases to zero, but in certain cases if people can’t do that overnight, we’ll consider exceptions.” Seems like a massive over-reaction by oil traders, but they’ve always been good at creating volatility where it’s not needed. Anyway, most other commodities are also in the red today. Year-to-date, the Bloomberg Commodity Index is down 5.7%. Bonds are trading modestly lower this morning as yields tick upward. But there is now only 10 basis points difference between the 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields. The yield curve continues to flatten.


*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 14, 2018

The major stock market averages gapped up at the open, but quickly faded. The Dow is currently flat and the SPX is up .25%. The Nasdaq is up .7%. The financial sector is down nearly 1% despite the Federal Reserve’s rate hike yesterday (see below). That’s quite a surprise. Utilities, telecom and real estate sectors, on the other hand, are up about 1% in early trading despite better economic data. European stock markets are surging today after the European Central Bank’s policy meeting (see below). The dollar is stronger today against a basket of foreign currencies and not surprisingly, commodities are mostly trading lower. WTI crude oil is down modestly to $66.50/barrel. Bonds are trading up modestly. The 5-year Treasury yield is pretty much unchanged at 2.82% but the 10-year Treasury yield ticked down to 2.95%. So the yield curve is flatter today. This is not at all what I expected to see this morning. What we have today is a tug-of-war between various powerful forces in the market. CNBC’s Rick Santelli characterized this market action as “incongruent.”


*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 15, 2018

Stocks opened lower this morning. The Dow is currently down 243 pts and the SPX is down .8%. The Nasdaq is off 1%. All eleven major market sectors are in the red, led by real estate (-1.6%), healthcare (-1.3%), tech (-1.2%), and utilities (-1.1%). The only bright spots today are banks and small-caps. The VIX Index jumped up to 14.2 in early trading and VIX June futures are trading around 15.2. So there’s no real fear out there. The dollar is higher on better than expected economic data and most commodities are lower—even gold. WTI crude oil is down around $70.60/barrel. OPEC just reported that the global oversupply in oil has been virtually eliminated. Bonds are selling off as interest rates rise. The 5-year Treasury note yield is up around 2.91% and the 10-year is  trading at 3.07% for the first time since 2011. 


*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 12, 2018

Stocks surged at the open (Dow +197 pts; SPX +.46%) on better than expected earnings announcements. Nine of eleven major market sectors are in the green, led by consumer discretion (+.8%) and industrials (+.8%). The KBW Bank Index (BKX) is up about .6% after several big banks reported earnings this morning. Utilities are flat and real estate is down another .7%. The dollar is weaker (now down 1% on the year) and commodities are mixed. WTI crude oil is trading down .5% to $63.50/barrel, but has been rising for the past four weeks. Bonds are selling off again. The 5-year Treasury is up around 2.35% and the 10-year is back up to 2.56%.


*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, 2017

The major stock market averages opened higher but quickly gave way. The Dow is currently up 9 pts and the SPX is flat. Banks, healthcare, consumer staples and utilities are in the green. But energy, real estate, telecom and consumer discretionary sectors are lower. Traders are wondering whether last week’s mini-pullback is really over yet. The VIX Index is back down under 12. European stock markets are poised to close up about .3%. The dollar is stronger today as a result of better than expected economic data (see below), and commodities are therefore a bit lower. WTI crude oil is trading lower to $47.30/barrel. Bonds are also trading lower. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are back up to 1.81% and 2.26%, 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 14, 2017

The major stock market averages opened higher despite a weak retail sales report. The Dow and SPX are currently up 9 pts & .2%, respectively. The Nasdaq is up .3%. The defensive sectors are catching a bid for a change (real estate, utilities, consumer staples). Financials is the only sector in the red after some less than stellar earnings reports. WTI crude is trading up around $46.45/barrel. Bonds are sharply higher in price, lower in yield after a soft inflation report. The 5- and 10-year Treasury note yields dipped to 1.86% & 2.32%, 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 12, 2017

The major stock market averages gapped down at the open but quickly turned around. At the moment, the Dow is down 14 pts and the SPX is off .13%. Tech, telecom and utilities are the only sectors in the green. The VIX Index is trading up again, now around 10.7, and VIX June futures are up around 12.5. The dollar is down .45% today (and down 3% so far this year), but that’s not helping oil. WTI crude oil is trading down to $47.50/barrel. Bonds are rising again in price, falling in yield. The 5-year Treasury note is trading at 1.86% and the 10-year note is at 2.34%. The 10-year, by the way, has been trading in a range of 2.20% to 2.60% for the past six months. It really seems like the stock market is treading water, waiting for oil and rates to turn around and move up.  


*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 15, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +45 pts; SPX +.3%). The energy sector is rebounding (+1%) along with oil prices, as are transports and biotechs. But defensive sectors like utilities and real estate are also faring well. The VIX Index is sinking as stocks head higher; now hovering around 11.8. Traders often say 20 is the level that divides benign and fearful/volatile market conditions. The VIX hasn’t touched 20 for over a year. By the way, VIX April futures are trading around 13.7, which is still very tame. Commodities are mostly higher today (copper, gold, oil, ag products). WTI crude oil is back up to $48.50/barrel today. Bonds are up in price, down in yield. And since this is the day we’ll hear from the Federal Reserve regarding an expected interest rate hike, that should tell you the bond market has already priced it in. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are down slightly to 2.11% and 2.58%, 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.