Morning Notes

16/02/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Investors bought financial stocks Wednesday following data that suggested ongoing growth in the U.S. economy. The strongest monthly gain for inflation in almost four years in January and retail sales that rose more than expected helped boost confidence in ongoing U.S. growth, some analysts said. Along with an upbeat assessment of the economy from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who returned to Capital Hill Wednesday to testify before the House Financial Services Committee, that data could spur the central bank to raise rates sooner than some expected. Low interest rates have helped underpin stock and bond prices in recent years. Still, many investors say the kind of gradual path of rate increases the Fed has signalled amid a growing economy shouldn't derail major stock indexes and would be positive for financial stocks that tend to benefit from higher rates.

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15/02/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Investors scooped up stocks on fresh optimism about the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average intraday climbed toward its sixth record of the year on gains in bank shares. The moves came after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signalled the central bank could consider raising short-term interest rates at its next policy meeting in March, citing recent job gains and rising inflation. Earlier in the day, government data showed that the U.S. producer-price index rose in January at the quickest rate in more than four years, another sign of higher inflation. Some investors and analysts caution that a more aggressive approach from the Fed could derail the stock rally that has taken indexes to records multiple times this year. Still, others say continuing growth in the U.S. economy should support stocks. Investors have also been expecting tax cuts, fiscal stimulus and looser regulations under President Donald Trump to stoke growth. The Dow industrials intraday was up 64 points, or 0.3%, to 20476, led by gains in the banking sector.

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14/02/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Gains in shares of Apple and Goldman Sachs Group helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average jump more than 100 points Monday. Solid earnings and hints about U.S. tax cuts have helped reinvigorate appetite for equities in recent sessions. Shares were on track for fresh records again, after U.S. stocks rose last week following President Donald Trump's comments that his plans for lowering taxes were moving ahead of schedule. Shares of banks and industrial companies were among the biggest gainers of the day. Investors also were looking ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who is scheduled to appear before the U.S. Senate on Tuesday and the House on Wednesday to give testimony about monetary policy. Investors don't expect another interest-rate increase in the U.S. until June, according to Fed funds futures tracked by CME Group.

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13/02/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Major U.S. stock indexes ended the week at fresh records buoyed by corporate earnings as well as the prospect of tax cuts and relaxed regulation.  Stocks have been rising since Mr. Trump's election partly on expectations that his proposed tax cuts would energize the U.S. economy and lift corporate earnings. Gains accelerated Thursday after Mr. Trump said his goal of lowering taxes for businesses was moving "ahead of schedule." He plans to send Congress an outline for a tax-code overhaul for individuals and businesses by the end of the month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose roughly 97 points, or 0.5%, to 20269. The S&P 500 climbed 0.4% and Nasdaq Composite added 0.3%. All three closed at records Friday and posted weekly gains. Bank stocks got a lift early Friday afternoon as the Federal Reserve announced that Daniel Tarullo, its regulatory point man who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009, will resign this spring.

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10/02/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks headed toward fresh closing highs after President Donald Trump signalled he would advance campaign promises to lower taxes. Stocks climbed in early trading following some upbeat earnings. The rally intensified after Mr. Trump said at a White House meeting with airline executives that he would make an announcement that would be "phenomenal in terms of tax" within the next three weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average intraday rose 125 points, or 0.6%, to 2018. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6%. All three were on pace to close at records. But financials were the biggest gainers of the day-a hallmark of the post-election rally. The KBW Nasdaq Bank Index of large U.S. commercial lenders rose 1.5% and the financial sector led gains in the S&P 500.

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