Morning Notes

19/06/2018 - Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks slid Monday as escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China weighed on investors' appetite for risk. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4%. The S&P 500 dropped 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell less than 0.1%. President Donald Trump approved tariffs of 25% on about $50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday, prompting Beijing to hit back by announcing the country would levy penalties on hundreds of U.S. goods. The moves exacerbate concerns among investors that the world's two biggest economies could descend into a trade war. Rising frictions in international trade in recent months already have instilled uncertainty in global markets, which are experiencing one of their most volatile stretches in years. Concerns about the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement and tariffs that the Trump administration imposed on European allies also are adding to investor anxiety. The US gold price was down 0.1% to 1,277.90/t

read more...

18/06/2018 - Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its biggest one-week slide since March, as mounting fears over a potential trade war sent shares of industrial firms lower. After months of exchanging threats, the U.S. and China unveiled plans Friday to hit each other with tariffs on billions of dollars in goods. The moves marked the latest deterioration of relations between the world's two biggest economies, something that has kept investors and analysts on guard in recent months. Even as U.S. economic data have been relatively upbeat, with reports this week showing retail sales soaring and jobless claims falling, many remain wary of the possibility that restrictive trade policies could hit a wide range of industries and derail the global economy. Those fears have capped investors' appetite for risk, many say, explaining why the stock market has struggled for momentum. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3%, to 25090 on Friday for a loss of 0.9% this week, while the S&P 500 fell 0.1%, to 2780. The Nasdaq Composite lost 14.66 points, or 0.2%, to 7746.38 but added 1.3% for the week, buoyed by gains in the technology sector. Shares of agricultural and industrial companies, which some fear could be especially vulnerable to punitive trade measures from China, were hit by a fresh wave of selling. The US gold price was steady at 1,301.90/t.

read more...

15/06/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks stabilized intraday, suggesting investors are coming to terms with central banks' plans to gradually leave behind a decade of unprecedented monetary stimulus.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average waffled between small gains and losses and was recently off 0.1%, at 25,175. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8%. All three indexes slumped in the previous session. After the Federal Reserve signalled Wednesday that U.S. interest rates will likely go up four times in 2018 - instead of three, as had been widely believed - the European Central Bank said it would end its bond-buying program in December. But the central bank reassured markets by pledging that rates in the Eurozone wouldn't start to rise at least until summer of next year.  The US gold price gained 0.2% to record 1301.90/t.

read more...

14/06/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks edged slightly lower after the Federal Reserve said it would raise interest rates and signalled it could lift them at the slightly faster pace this year.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.5% in recent trading, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2%. The Fed said it would raise interest rates by another quarter-percentage point, bringing the benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.75% and 2%. Officials pencilled in a total of four rate increases for this year, up from a projection of three increases at their March meeting. The new interest rate guidance shows the U.S. central bank is effectively sticking to a plan to continue raising short-term rates after they reach the level Fed officials expect would neither stimulate nor slow the economy, a so-called neutral level. The consumer-price index data, released Tuesday, showed a 0.2% increase in prices in May. The S&P 500 is now up more than 4% year to date. Elsewhere, investors have reacted positively to a federal judge ruling that AT&T can proceed with its planned acquisition of Time Warner, seeing it as a sign that the field is clear for other corporate mergers to happen. Shares of Time Warner rose 3.2%, while AT&T declined 4.5%. Disney and Comcast, both in a battle over 21st Century Fox's assets that is expected to intensify following Tuesday's decision, rose 5% and fell 0.3% respectively. Shares of Fox rose 7.5%, on pace for an all-time high. The US gold price gained 0.3% to record 1,298.80 US$/oz.

read more...

13/06/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

 

The stock market was subdued intraday ahead of key decisions from central banks in the U.S. and Europe that are expected to further unwind stimulative policies that fuelled an economic rebound over the past decade. Investors appeared to avoid making major moves before announcements from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank this week that could shape the next leg of the global economic recovery that began in the wake of the financial crisis 10 years earlier. While several market participants said they expect both central banks to proceed with plans that have been well-choreographed to the market, investors worry about a potential policy misstep, such as raising interest rates too aggressively, that could cause an economic stumble. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped less than 0.1%, to 25,321 in recent trading, while the S&P 500 added 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6%.  The US gold price decreased 0.37% to 1295.20 US$/oz.

read more...