Category Archives: Economy

Dow Up On Easing Trade Fears

WEDNESDAY – Stocks rose on Wednesday as investors awaited a key speech from the top Federal Reserve official, while hope that a U.S.-China trade truce could come lifted sentiment on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 200 points, led by gains in Boeing. The S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent as the technology sector gained around 1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7 percent.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is expected to speak at the Economic Club of New York. During the event, Powell is slated to talk about the Fed’s framework for monitoring financial stability. Investors are eagerly awaiting the speech as stocks have fallen in part because of fears the central bank may be tightening monetary policy too quickly.

Easing worries on U.S.-China trade also boosted stocks on Wednesday. A New York Times report said Trump was worried about the impact of a long trade war with China on markets and the economy. This could lead Trump to seek a compromise with China on trade, the Times said, citing U.S. officials.

Boeing shares rose more than 2 percent as trade worries eased. They also rose after Indonesia investigators said they are looking at a possible maintenance issue that could have led to the Lion Air crash last month.

Stocks also rose as beaten-down tech shares regained some of their losses. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet all rose.

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Stocks Rise Of Jobs News

Stocks rose on Friday on the back of stronger-than-expected employment data. Investors also shrugged off concerns over an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 99.74 points to 24,456.48, with Apple and Microsoft outperforming. The S&P 500 closed 0.8 percent higher at 2,759.82, with health care rising 1.5 percent. The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.3 percent to 7,688.39 as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) surged 3.8 percent. Facebook rose to an all-time high, also boosting the Nasdaq.

The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June, while economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 195,000.

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Bear Market Watch!

The stock market was hammered by trade tariff threats again this week, a frequent occurrence during this administration. Based on last week’s public comments, some Republican representatives are now becoming more worried. Without any concrete policy changes actually occurring, no one can be sure whether the threats are real, or just part of the negotiation strategy.

The Dow Industrials managed to close higher on Friday, avoiding the longest daily losing streak since 1978. Then, the Dow closed lower for eight days in a row, and a losing day on Friday would have been nine days in a row. Again, this kind of streak has not happened since February 1978.

Even though the first tariffs are scheduled to take effect July 6, there is uncertainty over which tariffs will actually be enforced. Therefore, it is difficult to determine what impact they will have on the economy and the stock market. As the rhetoric continues between the US, China, Canada, and the Eurozone markets, more economists are expressing their views on what these tariffs might mean.

Many of the world’s central bankers met last week in Portugal, and they also expressed their concerns. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi cited that past trade disputes had been overwhelmingly negative for the economy, and said that there was “no ground to be optimistic” about the current trade tensions. Some market’s segments are already reacting, as shares of Mercedes Benz and Fiat both dropped over 4% on concerns over what the tariffs could do to profits of the automakers.

Right now, the economy is still acting strong, consumers are optimistic, and technically the stock market is in a positive trend. Market action, however, is cyclical, so eventually these positive trends will turn negative. What signs should investors look for to warn them of a change in these trends? There are three trends that I feel investors can monitor for an early warning of an imminent recession and a bear market.

The first sign to look for is deterioration in the consumer sentiment, as the consumer plays an important role in the health of the economy. I never recommend basing decisions on individual data or even several data points, Rather, one should monitor the overall trend.

What to do? The market acted a bit tired last week and trade threats are likely to pick up again next week, which could trigger some more profit taking. The strong readings from the weekly studies indicate that this should be a buying opportunity for those without long positions in equities.

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3.9% Unemployment Can’t Keep Stocks Up

U.S. stocks fell Friday morning after the government’s monthly jobs report missed Wall Street expectations.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points shortly after the opening bell, as large industrial components like Boeing and Caterpillar weighed down the other blue-chip stocks.

The S&P 500 fell about 0.4 percent in early trading as a decline in interest rates pulled financial and banking stocks down; shares of J.P. Morgan fell 0.8 percent while Bank of America lost about 1 percent.

The Labor Department reported that the economy added 164,000 jobs in the month of April, lower than the 195,000 expected by economists polled by Reuters. Average hourly earnings growth also missed, rising only 0.15 percent against expectations of a 0.2 percent gain.

Despite the miss in the number of jobs added, the government said the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, an 18-year low.

Despite a broader slip in equities, Apple jumped after longtime investor Warren Buffett revealed that he bought 75 million shares during the first quarter, which added to the conglomerate’s already massive stake in the tech giant, “brought down our cash position moderately.”

The early moves in U.S. stocks came as markets across the globe showed a mixed picture. On Thursday, U.S. stocks finished relatively mixed, after the Dow Jones industrial average erased a nearly 400-point loss during the session, on the back of strong earnings.

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Trade Deficit Shrinks! First Drop in 7 Months

Record exports reduced the U.S. trade deficit in March, the first drop in seven months in a massive gap that President Trump has been determined to shrink with an aggressive America first policy.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit slid to $49 billion, down from $57.7 billion in February and lowest since last September.

The President has vowed to bring down America’s massive deficits, which he blames on bad trade agreements and abusive practices by U.S. trading partners.

Exports rose in March to a record $208.5 billion, led by shipments of civilian aircraft and soybeans. Imports slipped 1.8 percent to $257.5 billion.

The United States ran a $20.5 billion surplus in the trade of services such as education and banking. But that was offset by a $69.5 billion deficit in the trade of goods.

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Dow Down On US-China Trade Fears

Stocks traded lower on Thursday as investors worried about US Trade relations and ignored positive earnings releases.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 374 points, with Caterpillar as the worst-performing stock. The 30-stock index also dropped below its 200-day moving average for the first time since April 2. The S&P 500 declined 1.5 percent, pushing below its 200-day moving average, with health care and financials lagging. The Nasdaq composite also pulled back 1.5 percent.

Tesla did report better-than-expected quarterly results Wednesday after the close. However, the stock fell after CEO Elon Musk dismissed questions from analysts regarding gross margins and Model 3 production and gross margins.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is leading a group of Trump administration officials to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and discuss trade between the two nations.

Shortly before the talks were set to take place in Beijing, the mood between the world’s two largest economies worsened amid reports the U.S. administration is considering taking executive action to restrict some Chinese firms’ ability to sell telecoms equipment.

Crude futures briefly spiked before trading 0.8 percent lower at $67.39 per barrel. Gold futures jumped 0.7 percent to $1,314.10 per ounce. The precious metal is often seen as a safe-haven trade.

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Stocks Mixed On Huge Earnings Day

U.S. stocks traded mixed on Tuesday as one of the busiest days of the earnings season got under way.

The Dow Jones industrial average traded slightly lower, with Procter & Gamble contributing the most gains to the tune of 20 points, but Home Depot shaved off approximately 20 points. The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent, with consumer discretionary leading decliners. The Nasdaq composite held around breakeven.

More than 90 companies were scheduled to post quarterly results on Tuesday. Dow components 3M, Caterpillar and DuPont reported earnings before the bell. Caterpillar and 3M posted mixed results, as both beat estimates on the bottom line, while missing on revenues. Caterpillar also lowered its 2016 earnings per share guidance.

Coming Up:

Tuesday

Earnings:

ATB: Apple, AT&T, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Capital One, Discover Financial, Express Scripts, Juniper Networks, Vertex Pharma, iRobot, Pandora Media, Panera Bread, Owens-Illinois

9 a.m.: Case-Shiller Home Price Index

9 a.m.: FHFA Home Price Index

10 a.m.: Consumer confidence

1 p.m.: $26 billion two-year Treasury note auction

Wednesday

8:30 a.m.: U.S. trade deficit

9:45 a.m.: Markit services PMI

10 a.m.: New home sales

1 p.m.: $34 billion five-year Treasury note auction

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Stock Market Higher on Positive Banking Earnings

U.S. equities rose on Friday as investors parsed through quarterly results from several big banks and economic data.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 150 points before holding about 110 points higher, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 rose approximately 0.4 percent, with information technology and financials leading advancers.

The Nasdaq composite gained 0.4 percent.

JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup all posted better-than-expected quarterly results, beating estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

In economic news, U.S. retail sales rose 0.6 percent in September, matching expectations. Meanwhile, the Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand increased 0.3 percent after being unchanged in August.

Other data released Friday included business inventories, which rose 0.2 percent in August. Meanwhile, October consumer sentiment came in at 87.9, well below an estimate of 92, as concerns over the U.S. presidential election weighed.

Investors have been heavily scrutinizing U.S. economic data recently, trying to gauge the likelihood that the Federal Reserve raises interest rates later this year. According to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool, market expectations for a December rate hike are more than 60 percent.

The dollar rose 0.43 percent against a basket of currencies, with the euro near $1.099 and the yen around 104.18.

In oil markets, U.S. crude traded about 1 percent lower at $49.96 per barrel.

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Stocks Lower After Data

MONDAY – U.S. stocks traded lower on Monday, the first trading day of the fourth quarter, as investors digested key economic news and kept an eye on oil prices.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 100 points in midmorning trade before holding about 50 points lower, with UnitedHealth contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 fell 0.25 percent, with real estate and utilities leading decliners, as both fell 1 percent. The Nasdaq composite slid approximately 0.1 percent.

In economic news, the September Markit Manufacturing PMI came in at 51.5, a three-month low. “U.S. manufacturers signalled another moderate upturn in both production volumes and incoming new work during September, but the latest survey indicated a further loss of growth momentum from July’s recent peak,” Markit said.

The ISM Manufacturing index for September came in at 51.5, up from 49.4 in the previous month. Construction spending fell 0.7 percent in August, with analysts expecting a 0.2 percent increase.

This Week:

Monday

Auto sales

Wednesday

8:15 a.m.: ADP payrolls
8:30 a.m.: Trade deficit
9:45 a.m.: Markit services PMI
10 a.m.: ISM non-manufacturing
10 a.m.: Factory orders

Thursday

8:30 a.m.: Jobless claims

Friday

8:30 a.m.: Employment report
10 a.m.: Wholesale trade
3 p.m.: Consumer credit

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US stocks fall following ECB rates decision

THURSDAY – U.S. stocks traded lower Thursday as investors digested the European Central Bank’s latest monetary policy decision and remarks made by its president, Mario Draghi.

The Dow Jones industrial average traded about 60 points lower, with Apple contributing the most losses.

The ECB kept interest rates unchanged and did not announce an extension of its quantitative easing program. Draghi said in a news conference the central bank did not discuss an extension of said program, but added the program will run until the end of next March or beyond, if necessary.

U.S. stock futures traded mostly flat after the ECB announced its decision, before holding lower.

Investors have been closely eyeing each data set, looking for clues about whether the Fed will raise interest rates in September. Market expectations for a rate hike in September were 18 percent, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

Coming Up:

Thursday

3:00 p.m. Consumer credit

Friday

7:45 a.m. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren
10:00 a.m. Wholesale

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