Morning Notes

05/04/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher intraday, led by a rise in shares of industrial companies. The blue-chip index rose 39 points, or 0.2%, to 20,689. The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%. Stocks have made few big moves in recent sessions, with major indexes recently closing out their quietest quarter in decades. Some investors and analysts have attributed the sluggish trading in stocks to a reluctance to make new bets ahead of a number of key events this week, including minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting, due Wednesday, Friday's U.S. jobs report and a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday and Friday. Energy stocks were among the best performers, rising 0.6% in the S&P 500 as oil prices climbed. U.S. crude oil rose 1.7% to $51.11 a barrel. Industrial stocks led gains in the Dow industrials whilst the U.S. price of gold jumped 0.2% at 1,255.70 US$/oz.

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04/04/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks kicked off the second quarter with declines Monday. Investors have been wagering on a stronger U.S. economy and have dialled back on some popular postelection trades recently. Shares of financial companies were among Monday's biggest decliners, with the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index of large U.S. commercial lenders shedding 1.3%. Jumping again overnight was the U.S. gold price which gained 0.3% at 1,253 US$/oz. Investors are likely to continue focusing on the outlook for U.S. policy, including a potential tax overhaul and a summit later this week between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that could shed light on prospects for trade. The week is set to include monthly U.S. jobs figures and minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting, where officials voted to raise interest rates for the third time since the end of the financial crisis. On Friday, Mr. Trump signed executive orders meant to curb what he calls unfair trade practices.

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03/04/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The S&P 500 posted its biggest quarterly gain since 2015, lifted by a brightening economic outlook and rising confidence among businesses and consumers. Stocks extended their post-election climb in the first three months of the year, adding to fourth-quarter gains. A growing uncertainty over whether the Trump administration can enact a pro-business economic agenda hurt sections of what had been known as the Trump trade, financial stocks and industrial companies. Investors instead turned to companies that grow with the economy, such as large technology and internet companies. That uncertainty was exacerbated in March during the struggle by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to pass a health-care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. In March, financial company stocks in the S&P 500 declined 2.9%, and industrial companies declined 0.8%. Tech stocks in the S&P 500 have jumped 12% in the first three months of the year, by far the best performers in the index during that period. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 65 points, or 0.3%, to 20663. The S&P 500 slipped 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell less than 0.1%. Bucking the trend was the U.S. gold price which rose 0.5% at 1,249.20 US$/oz.

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31/03/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stock indexes climbed intraday, buoyed by gains in shares of financial companies. Stocks have largely bounced back since last Friday, when they posted their biggest weekly drop in months. Some investors say data pointing to health in the U.S. economy should help stocks keep moving upward, even as uncertainty lingers over the Trump administration's ability to push through its agenda. A fresh round of upbeat economic data lifted stocks, government bond yields and the dollar. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62 points, or 0.3%, to 20721 intraday. The S&P 500 added 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2%. The U.S. gold price was down for the day, falling 0.9% to 1,242.50 US$/oz.

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30/03/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The Nasdaq Composite rose Wednesday, heading for a fourth straight session of gains. The Nasdaq's gains came even as other indexes wobbled after the failure of a health-care overhaul spurred concerns that President Donald Trump would struggle to enact key corporate-friendly policies such as tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending. The tech-heavy index rose 0.4% Wednesday, poised for a roughly 1% climb in March, boosted by an advance in biotechnology shares. Expectations for market-friendly politics from the new administration had helped send U.S. stocks to record highs earlier this year and have continued to keep many investors optimistic about U.S. stocks. Upbeat economic data have also helped lift stocks and shortened pullbacks in recent months. Still, investors have pointed to a modest divergence between survey-based measures of consumer and business confidence and readings on real economic output, such as retail and housing sales that have roughly matched expectations. Rebounding for the day was the U.S. gold price which jumped 0.2% at 1,253.40 US$/oz.

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