Morning Notes

19/07/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose intraday amid signals from the Federal Reserve that the economy is accelerating and as investors parsed another wave of U.S. earnings reports. The blue-chip index added 0.3% in recent trading. The S&P 500 edged up 0.2%, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was little changed. Companies in the S&P 500 have so far grown their earnings by 22% in the second quarter, surpassing analysts' estimates of around 19%, according to FactSet. About 8% of firms in the index have reported so far. Morgan Stanley shares rose 2.4% after the bank said second-quarter earnings rose 39% from last year, beating analysts' expectations. The announcement caps off second-quarter earnings season for the six largest U.S. banks. Gains in financial and industrial companies in the S&P 500 helped offset losses in the real-estate and utilities sectors, which are considered bond like due to their hefty dividend payments. The US gold price was steady at 1227.1 US$/oz.

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18/07/2018 - Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose intraday following Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's Senate testimony, while investors also continued dissecting the latest round of corporate earnings results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 56 points, or 0.2%, to 25120. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% and the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.6%. Mr. Powell told Congress that strong economic growth and stable inflation should keep the central bank on track to gradually raise short-term interest rates. He added he wants inflation to stay around 2% and that the economy is "just shy" of hitting that point. He also touched on trade tensions, saying he thought countries that are open to trade have grown more quickly and commented on the new tax law, saying it was too early to see its impact. Mr. Powell's remarks were made before the Senate Banking Committee, as part of his semi-annual monetary policy report. Derivatives markets were pricing in a 62% chance that rates will rise at least twice more this year, according to data by CME Group. The US gold price lost 1.0% to finish at 1227.2 US$/oz.

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17/07/2018 - Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks waffled between small gains and losses Monday as shares of energy companies fell alongside a decline oil prices and as investors looked ahead to a busy week of corporate earnings results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45 points, or about 0.2%, to 25064. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.2%. Investors appear so far to have largely shrugged off trade concerns, and U.S. stocks have been supported by strong U.S. economic data and positive earnings expectations. In the S&P 500, 60 companies are on tap to report this week, including Netflix after the closing bell. Before the market opened Monday, Bank of America-the second-largest U.S. bank by assets-reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, sending shares up 3.8%. The results helped buoy financial stocks, which were the best performers in the broad S&P 500 on Monday, up 1.6%. Energy stocks, meanwhile, were by far the weakest of the S&P 500's 11 sectors, falling 1.4%, on lower oil prices. The US gold price lost 0.1% to finish at 1240 US$/oz.

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16/07/2018- Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks climbed higher on Friday and posted weekly gains, as a solid start to the corporate earnings season helped investors brush aside fears about a global trade rift. Stocks have shown resilience in recent weeks, even as the U.S. and China have ramped up punitive trade measures on each other that some analysts fear could hurt global growth. The S&P 500 dipped midweek after the White House said it would assess 10% tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods-although it then rebounded Thursday as technology shares rallied. Investors say signs of strength in the U.S. economy are helping them remain cautiously optimistic about the nine-year stock rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 95 points, or 0.4%, to 25019 on Friday. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced less than 0.1%, notching a fresh closing high. For the week, the Dow industrials were up 2.3%, while the S&P 500 was up 1.5% and the Nasdaq was up 1.8%. Corporate news drove swings in individual stocks throughout the week, propelling shares of industrial, technology and consumer discretionary firms up more than 2% apiece in the S&P 500. The US gold price lost 0.5% to finish at 1241 US$/oz

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13/07/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose Thursday, putting major indexes on track for a rebound from a midweek selloff. Shares of technology companies led the stock market higher. A major software-deal announcement appeared to fuel the buying spree, sending the S&P 500 technology sector up more than 1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8% in the last half-hour of trading. The S&P 500 gained 0.9%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.3%. CA led tech firms and the broader S&P 500 higher after Broadcom agreed late Wednesday to buy the software company for $18.9 billion. Shares of CA rose 18% and appeared to boost the stocks of other software companies that trade in the S&P 500, including Red Hat and Autodesk, up more than 3% each, while Salesforce.com added 2.4%. Shares of Lockheed Martin rose 2%, while Boeing, a Dow component, added 1.5%. Airline stocks got a boost after Delta Air Lines reported profits that beat analyst expectations, even though the company said higher fuel costs will weigh on profits for the rest of the year. Shares of Delta added 1.5%. Overall, profit results are expected to build on the strong first quarter, analysts said. S&P 500 companies are expected to increase second-quarter earnings 20% from a year earlier. That should help stabilize stock prices and push major indexes higher, with analysts predicting a 13% price increase in the S&P 500 over the next 12 months, FactSet said. The US gold price gained 0.5% to record 1246.90 US$/oz.

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