Morning Notes

07/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks retreated broadly, with all 11 sectors in the S&P 500 falling. The day's moves put the index on course to close lower after rising in the previous three trading sessions. Some investors and analysts have said the 2017 stock rally could stall in the second half of the year, especially if borrowing costs rise but economic growth is mediocre. In recent weeks, government bond yields have climbed as central banks have signalled the end of monetary stimulus is coming. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 158 points or 0.7% to finish at 21,320. The S&P 500 fell 0.9% and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.8%, pressured by declines in technology and biotech shares. Energy stocks, the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 in 2017, fell 1.6%. Oil prices have weighed on shares of energy companies, pulling them down 15% in the S&P 500 so far this year. Consumer-discretionary shares lost 0.8% in the S&P 500. The U.S. gold price also lost ground overnight, shedding 0.1% to finish at 1,225.00 US$/oz.

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06/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks were little changed Wednesday following the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's June meeting that showed officials readying plans to start gradually shrinking the Fed's balance sheet in coming months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 6 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21474. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.7%, roughly where the indexes were before the release of the minutes. Investors have focused on global central bank signals in recent trading sessions, as some officials signal they might be ready to ease off on massive stimulus programs.

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05/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stock markets were closed Tuesday for Independence Day. The Stoxx Europe 600 edged down 0.3% whilst U.S. markets were closed for Independence Day. Investors globally have been rotating out of the first half's leading sector in recent sessions and into areas such as banks, which are considered comparatively cheaper and tend to benefit more from a rising interest-rate environment. Europe's banking sector is up 3.5% from a week ago, compared with a 3.2% loss for tech companies over that time. The FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX both finished down 0.3%, whilst the French CAC 40 dropped 0.4%.

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04/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Gains in the shares of energy and financial firms lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average on the first day of the third quarter. U.S. stocks climbed to fresh records in the first half of the year, propelled by strong corporate earnings and an improving global economic picture. Yet many investors and analysts expect stock gains to slow the rest of the year, citing recent weakness in inflation data, higher-than-average stock valuations and sliding commodity. The Dow industrials jumped 130 points, or 0.6%, to 21479, hitting a fresh intraday high earlier in the session. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.5%. Energy shares led gains in the S&P 500 as oil prices rebounded. U.S. crude jumped 1.5% to $46.74 a barrel, on course for its eighth consecutive session of gains. The U.S. gold price fell heavily overnight, shedding 1.7% to finish at 1,219.70 US$/oz.

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03/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The S&P 500 posted its strongest first half of a year since 2013, boosted by solid corporate earnings and investors' expectations for improving economic growth. The milestone capped a relatively rocky week, with technology shares swinging major indexes. Still, tech companies remain some of the best performers this year, propelling the Nasdaq Composite up more than 14% over the past six months, its best start in eight years.

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