Morning Notes

05/07/2018 - Argonaut Morning Note

Concerns that disputes between the U.S. and China would hit the technology sector continued to weigh down stocks. Markets in Asia mostly closed lower, while the Stoxx Europe 600 was flat in afternoon trading despite big gains in telecom companies. Tech stocks were the worst performers in Europe, with the sector dropping 1.5%. This echoed what happened in U.S. markets on Tuesday, when shares of technology companies led the broader S&P 500 to close down 0.5%. U.S. markets were closed Wednesday for the July Fourth holiday. One of the firms leading the losses in Europe on Wednesday was Siltronic, a German semiconductor manufacturer that generates 30% of its revenue from China, according to data provider FactSet. Its shares were down almost 8%. The US gold price gained 0.3% to 1,256 US$/oz.

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04/07/2018 - Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell in the final hour of trading in a holiday-shortened session, dragged down by shares of technology and financial companies. Major indexes had traded higher for most of the day but, for the second consecutive session, changed directions shortly ahead of the close. Technology stocks, which have powered the market this year, took a breather after leading Monday's modest charge higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 132 points, or 0.5%, to 24175, after earlier rising as much as 138 points. The S&P 500 dropped 0.5%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 0.9%. The declines came as trading volumes fell to their lowest level since the abbreviated session on Nov. 24, 2017. U.S. stock markets closed at 1 p.m. EDT ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday. Five of 11 sectors in the broad S&P 500 declined. Energy shares were one of the bright spots in the index, climbing 0.7%, even after U.S. crude prices turned lower after topping $75 a barrel. The US gold price gained 0.9% to 1,252 US$/oz

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03/07/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined intraday as escalating trade rhetoric and downbeat manufacturing readings curbed appetite for risk, though stocks pared some of their earlier losses. The Dow gained 36 points, or 0.1%, to 24307, after earlier declining as much as 194 points. The S&P 500 gained 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite turned higher, rising 0.2%. Analysts pointed to continued uncertainty around global trade as a catalyst for the moves. President Donald Trump said he sees his threat to impose global auto tariffs as his biggest weapon to extract concessions from trading partners, as his administration studies a proposal to impose 20% levies on imported vehicles. China, meanwhile, fulfilled a pledge to slash tariffs on imported cars Sunday, but Beijing is preparing to slap an additional 25% tariff on U.S. auto imports this Friday. The US gold price lost 0.9% to 1,241 US$/oz.

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02/07/2018 - Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks edged higher, as investors took advantage of a momentary pause in trade tensions to boost major indexes' gains for the second quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose as much as 293 points earlier in the session before paring its gain in the final hour of trading. Shares of energy companies rose alongside a spike in oil prices, while Nike, pulled the S&P 500 and Dow industrials higher after the athletic apparel retailer reported its first sales gain in four quarters, sending shares to their highest closing price ever. The developments offered a more stable footing for stocks after the Trump administration backed away from imposing tough new restrictions on Chinese investments in the U.S., helping to ease fears of an all-out trade war between two of the world's biggest economies. All three major indexes notched a second consecutive session of gains Friday after several days when the S&P 500 and Dow industrials switched between gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 55 points, or 0.2%, to 24271. The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.1%. The US gold price gained 0.4% to 1,252 US$/oz.

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29/06/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose intraday as investors weighed uncertainty over trade policy and signs of softening economic momentum around the world. The Dow Jones rose 0.4%, to 24216, rebounding after major indexes had come under broad selling pressure Wednesday. The S&P 500 added 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.5%. The U.S. government has recently taken a more aggressive stance toward China, imposing tariffs on its exports and suggesting it may impose new restrictions on Chinese investment. Some investors and analysts fear that escalating tensions could lead to restrictive trade policies across the world that dent global growth. Money managers are especially cautious because recent economic data coming from Europe and China have not met expectations, and data showed the U.S. economy grew at a 2% rate in the first quarter of year, slower than initially estimated. The US gold price fell 0.3% to 1248 US$/oz.

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