Morning Notes

17/05/2018 - Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%. The blue-chip index snapped an eight-session winning streak Tuesday and remains about 7% off its January all-time high. The S&P 500 added 0.4%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.8%. Macy's shares surged 11% after the department store exceeded same-store sales expectations in the most recent quarter and lifted its targets for the 2018 fiscal year. Other retailers such as Target and L Brands were also among the S&P 500's best performers. Cisco Systems is scheduled to report earnings after the market closes Wednesday, while Walmart and J.C. Penney are on tap for early Thursday. Rosy retail sales data Tuesday have also supported consumer stocks and expectations for robust growth in the U.S., though the figures also reignited worries about higher interest rates. The dollar has also climbed to fresh 2018 highs, stoking fears that it will become more expensive for foreign governments and companies to repay dollar-denominated debt. Still, some investors think markets can withstand higher rates as long as the Fed sticks with its current gradual pace of tightening.

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16/05/2018 - Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell and bond yields rose intraday amid mixed data from key global economies and as trade negotiations between the U.S. and China continued. In the U.S., data have also been coming in somewhat below expectations in recent months.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 220 points, or 0.9%, to 24679, on track to break an eight-session winning streak. The S&P 500 dropped 0.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1%.  Through Monday, the blue-chip index had risen 974 points, or 4.1%, since May 3 as stocks appeared to be regaining their footing after several months of rocky trading. But declines pushed the Dow industrials back into negative territory for the year. A number of factors, including trade concerns, geopolitical tensions, signs of a pickup in inflation and peaking corporate earnings, have kept some investors on the sidelines. 

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15/05/2018 - Argonaut Morning Notes

U.S. stocks rose Monday afternoon as investors digested signs of easing between the U.S. and China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.3%, putting it on track for its eighth consecutive session of gains -- its longest streak since September 2017, when it rose for nine straight sessions. The blue-chip index remains down about 6% from its Jan. 26 high.  The S&P 500 rose 0.1%, with six of 11 sectors trading higher, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.2%.  Energy stocks were the biggest gainers in the S&P 500, rising 0.7%, as U.S. crude prices edged up 0.5% to $71.03 a barrel. Health-care stocks added 0.4% after President Donald Trump on Friday unveiled a raft of modest measures to curb high drug prices that left the pharmaceutical industry relieved and buoyed their stocks. And shares of gaming firms climbed following the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let states permit sports betting. Caesars Entertainment rose 6.7%, and Penn National Gaming climbed 4.3%. The US gold price finished 0.4% lower at 1313.00 US$/oz

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14/05/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

Bets on inflation remaining muted helped push investors back into the stock market, driving the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to their biggest one-week gains since March.  Stocks have rebounded in recent sessions, with the Dow rising seven straight sessions through Friday - its longest such streak since November. And shares of technology companies that came under pressure earlier in the year extended their recovery, with names like Google parent Alphabet, Facebook and PayPal all up more than 4% apiece for the week. The Dow industrials rose 92 points, or 0.4%, to 24831, advancing 2.3% for the week. The S&P 500 added 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2728 and posted a 2.4% weekly gain, while the Nasdaq Composite edged down 2.09 points, or less than 0.1%, to 7402.88 for a 2.7% weekly advance. Nvidia, which posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings Thursday, fell $5.60, or 2.2%, to $254.53, with some analysts attributing the decline to investors taking profits following a recent run-up in the stock.  Despite the day's moves, Nvidia jumped 6.5% for the week and remained up 32% for the year. The US gold price was up 0.4% to 1317.90 US$/oz

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11/05/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose intraday, as fears of runaway inflation abated to help send the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher for a sixth consecutive session. The Dow rose 197 points to near its longest winning streak since February, as investors got another sign that inflation may be rising, but not so rapidly that the Federal Reserve would have to take aggressive actions to keep the economy from overheating. New Labor Department data indicated U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in April and followed last Friday's unemployment report that showed wage growth remains sluggish, alleviating some recent worries and removing a major hurdle for the Dow and other indexes to move higher. The volatility that rocked the stock market this year and sent major indexes into correction territory has gradually faded, giving some money managers hope that stocks are gaining some upward momentum. A key measure of expected market swings, the Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, has fallen six straight trading sessions, settling near levels that were last seen in early January, when stocks were in so-called melt-up mode following the passage of Republicans' tax overhaul. The U.S gold price rose 0.7% to 1,321.2 US$/Oz.

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