Morning Notes

11/05/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks hovered around the flat line Wednesday as a climb in oil prices boosted energy shares. Energy shares in the S&P 500 rose 1.2% as oil prices surged. U.S. crude oil rose 3.5% to $47.49 a barrel after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell more than analysts expected last week. Consumer discretionary shares in the S&P 500 slipped 0.5%. The U.S. gold price once again dropped, falling 0.2% to 1,218.80 US$/oz. Major stock indexes have gained in recent weeks as corporate earnings have exceeded analysts' expectations. U.S. companies have largely beat estimates, with most S&P 500 companies now having reported results, according to FactSet. With the earnings season now drawing to a close, some investors said the Trump administration needs to deliver on proposed tax cuts for equity markets to climb further. Moves were muted after the unexpected firing of James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, though some investors expressed concern that Mr. Comey's departure could stoke tensions between the White House and Congress.

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10/05/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The S&P 500 edged lower intraday, weighed by declines in shares of energy companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26 points, or 0.1%, to 20986. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3% after both indexes inched higher Monday to settle at records. The U.S. gold price also fell, shedding 0.4% to 1,221.10 US$/oz. Major stock indexes have risen the past few weeks as stronger than expected corporate earnings have helped offset a steep decline in commodity prices. With more than 87% of S&P 500 firms having reported earnings, companies are on track to post their highest proportion of top- and bottom-line beats in 13 years, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Data pointing to health in the U.S. economy may partially explain why major indexes have had few large swings in recent weeks, some analysts say.

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09/05/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks hovered around the flat line on Monday, as a slump in materials shares offset gains in the energy and technology sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21011. The S&P 500 lost less than 0.1% after briefly touching an intraday record in early trading. The Nasdaq Composite declined less than 0.1%. Materials shares in the S&P 500 declined 0.8% amid a further slide in prices for industrial metals. Copper for July delivery lost 1.4% on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after weak economic data from China raised concerns about slipping demand from the world's largest consumer of the metal. Energy stocks were among the best performers in the S&P 500, rising 0.5%. Tech stocks once again gained strongly. The U.S. gold price finished 0.2% lower at 1,226 US$/oz.

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08/05/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Solid corporate earnings and a slightly stronger-than-expected April jobs report lifted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to fresh records. Hiring data released by the Labor Department on Friday bolstered the case that the broader economy is strengthening after some weak signals earlier this year. Still, many investors and the Federal Reserve brushed off concerns about the U.S. economy's soft first-quarter patch and this past week the Fed suggested it is committed to tightening monetary policy. Friday's jobs report encouraged more confidence in the stock market, some investors and analysts said. The S&P 500 rose 9.77 points, or 0.4%, to 2399.29. The Nasdaq Composite gained 25.42 points, or 0.4%, to 6100.76, its third record close of the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.47 points, or 0.3%, to 21006.94. Technology companies have posted some of the strongest earnings growth, with the S&P 500 sector on track to grow 17% from a year ago, according to FactSet.

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05/05/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stock indexes wavered intraday, pressured by a steep drop in commodity prices. Major stock indexes have climbed over the past few weeks as quarterly earnings results have pointed to health among U.S. corporations. The U.S. posted the biggest improvement in its revision ratio - which measures the ratio of upward and downward earnings estimates by analysts - of all regions in April, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Solid earnings could help stocks continue advancing, investors and analysts say, even as some have expressed concerns about recent weakness in inflation, consumer spending and economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average intraday fell 22 points, or 0.1%, to 20935. The S&P 500 edged up less than 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite was down less than 0.1%. The U.S. gold price fell once again, dropping 0.8% to 1,228 US$/oz.

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