unemployment rate (U-3)

GOOD NEWS IS BAD NEWS

The major stock market averages opened lower this morning after a stronger than expected jobs report. The Dow is currently down 106 pts and the SPX is down .55%. The financials sectors is up about .25% but all other sectors are lower in early trading. European stock markets closed down by about .6% today. In the wake of the jobs report the dollar strengthened and commodities fell. Gold is down 1.5%, copper is down about 1% and WTI crude oil fell back to $57.28/barrel. In addition, the bond market reacted by selling off. The 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 2.05% from 1.95% in the prior trading session. Whether municipals or corporates of Treasuries, the bond market is down sharply today. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) fell 1.6%.


*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.

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.

STOCKS SAGGING ON SPURIOUS JOBS REPORT

STOCKS SAGGING ON SPURIOUS JOBS REPORT

Stocks gapped down at the open after a disappointing jobs report (see below). The Dow is currently off 148 pts and the SPX is down .77%. The Nasdaq has now been down for five straight sessions. The worst-performing groups include energy (-2.4%), transports (-1%), and healthcare (-.8%). In fact, transports have been down 11 consecutive sessions. Asian markets started the downshift last night. After a massive recovery rally this year, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 4% in the overnight session. As I’ve mentioned, all of this is to expected. We need some consolidation after a sharp rally in stocks. Commodities are also in the red today, led by oil. WTI crude collapsed back to $55/barrel today for no good reason. Bonds are mixed in early trading. Junk bonds are down about .3% today. Long-term Treasuries are up slightly. The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen back to the bottom of its six-week trading range at 2.64%.


*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.

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.

December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018

Stocks headed lower again today (Dow -550 pts; SPX -2%). Ten of 11 major market sectors are down, led by tech (-3.1%). Utilities is the only bright spot +.6%). The VIX Index is back up to 24. WTI crude oil shot up toward $52.60/barrel after OPEC agreed to cut back oil production targets. Globally, oil is temporary over-supplied due to geopolitical events and government manipulation. Crude tumbled from roughly $76/barrel to $50/barrel in just 2 ½ months. Bears are taking this as a sign of an economic slowdown.


*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, 2018

December 6, 2018

Stocks sank at the open despite better than expected economic data. For the first couple of hours, most major market sectors were down more than 3% before bouncing off the lows. This could be the correction’s capitulation flush. While the Dow was down about 770 points, it is now down 436 pts. The SPX is currently down 1.7%. The more defensive sectors (consumer staples, utilities) also dumped at the open but are trying to claw their way back. Foreign markets aren’t serving as a safe haven. European markets closed down more than 3%. Asian markets were down roughly 2% overnight. The dollar is weaker, but that’s not helping commodities, most of which are trading lower. WTI crude oil fell back to $50.60/barrel, but quickly bounced back over $51. Bonds are catching a bid as you might expect. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up .6%. High-grade corporate bonds, which have lagged lately, are up as well today. Junk bonds continue to struggle. The 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields are down around 2.71% and 2.85%, respectively. The difference between those two yields, 14 basis points, is very small and that’s spooking equity markets. Looking back at the last two months, any volatility in rates has been greeted with fear. The market doesn’t like it when rates rise, and neither does it approve when rates fall. Both are somehow begin viewed as bad news.


*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.

May 4, 2018

Stocks opened slightly lower but immediately spiked in early trading. The Dow is currently up 290 pts and the SPX is up 1%. All eleven major market sectors are in the green, led by tech (+1.5%), materials (+1.4%) and consumer staples (+1.3%). Price action suggests this is pretty clear risk-on trading session. The exception is staples (considered more risk-off defensive) which is just too cheap after falling more than 13% this year. The VIX Index is down around 15. Gold is down. The dollar is stronger and yet oil is sharply higher ($67/barrel). Again, risk-on. But since this is Friday and we could get news from the US trade delegation China this weekend, don’t expect today’s gains to hold. Bonds are mostly unchanged, strangely enough. The 5-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2.79%. The 10-year’s yield is 2.95%.


*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 22, 2018

Stocks opened sharply lower this morning (Dow -366 pts; SPX -1.3%) on trade war fears. It looks like the SPX wants to re-test its recent correction low. The tech sector is under pressure again today (-2%) as a result of Facebook’s (FB) user account data leak incident, which made its way back into headlines on Monday. Traders are using this as an excuse to take profits across the entire sector. Make no mistake, fundamentals are in the back seat today and traders are taking the lead. That’s why volatility is exploding so quickly. Everything could turn on a dime, however, so don’t be surprised if stocks end the session in the green. Most sectors are down over 1% in early trading. Only consumer staples, real estate and utilities are in the green. European markets are poised to close down about 2% and Asia was mostly lower overnight. Emerging markets stocks are getting hammered (-3%). WTI crude oil is down 1% to $64.50/barrel. Bonds are performing well as yields plunge. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields are hovering around 2.61% and 2.81%, 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.

January 8, 2017

US stock market averages dipped after posting new highs on Friday. The Dow is currently down 20 pts and the SPX is flat. The tech & utilities sectors (+.4%) are leading the charge, but retailers and transports are also up modestly. On the other hand, biotechs and pharmaceuticals are down over 1% in early trading. The VIX Index is still hovering below 10 indicating low expected volatility. The rest of the world is also rallying. European markets are closing up about .3% and Asian markets were up overnight. Commodities are trading mostly lower, but WTI crude oi is up around $61.50/barrel. That’s a 2.5-year high. Shorter-term bonds are holding steady after selling off sharply last week. The 5-year Treasury yield is sitting at 2.29%, the highest since April 2011. Longer-term bonds are selling off today, with yields moving higher. The 10-year Treasury note yield is up around 2.48%. Investors are closely watching long bonds for any sign of rising inflation expectations.


*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 3, 2017

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow & SPX flat; Nasdaq +.3%). Biotechs, utilities, retailers and consumer staples stocks are faring well in early trading. And select names like Apple (AAPL) are up after reporting earnings. But gold miners, banks, REITs, and materials stocks are in the red. We got a raft of economic data, much of which was positive. The VIX Index backed down to 9.7, which suggests a continued low volatility environment for equities. Commodities are mostly lower but WTI crude oil is hanging in there at $54.50/barrel. Bonds are trading modestly lower. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields edged up to 2.02% and 2.36%, 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 2, 2017

The major US stock market averages are higher in early trading (Dow +55 pts; SPX +.2%). Energy stocks are down 1.2% or more and banks (-.4%) have wiped out year-to-date gains. But most everything else is trading modestly higher. The Nasdaq Biotech Index is up over 3% in the past few days. The dollar is lower today in the wake of the jobs report (see below). WTI crude oil is trading down 2% to $47.20/barrel. Bonds are rising in price as yields fall. The 2-year Treasury yield, which is sensitive to Fed rate hike expectations, is down slightly to 1.28% (exactly where is was back in mid-December). The 10-year Treasury, which is more sensitive to long-term inflation expectations, is down to 2.15%. That’s the lowest since right after the presidential election.  


*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.