Morning Notes

07/06/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Stocks slipped intraday while gold and U.S. government bonds gained, signalling a note of caution among investors. Stocks' declines put major U.S. indexes on course for a second straight day of losses after they closed at records last week. Some analysts said there were few potential catalysts for markets ahead of several scheduled events, including the U.K. general election, testimony by former FBI director James Comey and next week's Federal Reserve meeting. Assets that investors typically consider havens gained, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note touching a new 2017 low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 28 points, or 0.2%, to 21156 intraday. The S&P 500 fell 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite edged down less than 0.1%. Rising for the day was the U.S. gold price which jumped 1.1% to 1,293.60 US$/oz.

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06/06/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Stocks around the world were broadly steady after a weekend attack in the U.K. and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Travel and leisure shares lost ground in the U.S. and Europe after a terror attack in London late Saturday that left seven dead. Some investors and analysts said geopolitical forces were having less impact on share prices than signs of a robust global economy and corporate earnings growth that have propelled indexes around the world to record heights. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the S&P 500 Index, reached all-time highs last week. Investor expectations of stock swings over the next 30 days also remained muted. The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, hit its lowest level in almost a quarter-century on Friday, June 2, and slipped even lower earlier today. The volatility gauge is based on options prices on the S&P 500 index and tends to rise when stocks fall. Rising slightly for the day, the U.S. gold price rose 0.1% to 1,279.30 US$/oz. Potential triggers this week for a market wobble include public testimony from former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, a European Central Bank meeting and the U.K.'s general election on Thursday, market participants said.

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05/06/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose to fresh highs Friday, capping a cascade of records around the world. The global economy and corporate profits are showing signs of strength, boosting stocks both in the U.S. and elsewhere, some analysts and investors said. The Dow industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were among the global indexes, including the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and South Korea's Kospi, at records Friday. The gains in the U.S. came after a jobs report that several analysts and investors said was solid enough for the Federal Reserve to raise rates later this month, but also suggested that the central bank would maintain a cautious pace of increases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.11 points, or 0.3%, to 21206.29 on Friday. The S&P 500 added 9.01 points, or 0.4%, to 2439.07 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 58.97, or 0.9%, to 6305.80. All three indexes posted a second consecutive week of gains. Friday's climb came after a mixed jobs report. Hiring slowed in May from the prior month, with payrolls rising by a seasonally adjusted 138,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, the lowest level in 16 years. The U.S. gold price jumped 1.0% for the day finishing at 1,278.50 US$/oz.

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02/06/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks started the month higher as oil prices stabilized after two sessions of declines. Energy shares have weighed on major stock indexes so far this week, as U.S.-traded crude oil fell on investor expectations of production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers. The price of crude oil rose 1.3% to $48.95 a barrel after data released by the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude-oil inventories fell much more than expected for the most recent week. For the week the price of oil remains 1.4% lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average intraday gained 120 points, or 0.6%, to 21129. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6%. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 rose 0.8% in recent trading, though they are down 0.9% so far this week. Also falling was the U.S. gold price which shed 0.3% to finish at 1,265.40 US$/oz. Stock moves have been fairly muted in recent sessions as the first-quarter earnings season has mostly concluded. The monthly average of the VIX, or Wall Street's "fear gauge," in May was the lowest since 2006 and the second lowest in history.

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01/06/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell Wednesday, but major indexes were on track for monthly gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%. The S&P 500 declined 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3%. Financial stocks in the S&P 500 fell 1.3%,deepening their losses for the month, while the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index of large U.S. commercial lenders shed 1.7%. Overall, U.S. stocks climbed in May as upbeat first-quarter corporate earnings and signs of a steadying global economy helped offset sliding commodity prices and political turbulence in Washington. Major U.S. stock indexes have been relatively placid in recent weeks. The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, has posted an average close of 10.89 in May, on track to log its second-lowest monthly average in history. Bucking the trend was the U.S. gold price which rose 0.5% overnight to finish at 1,268.60 US$/oz.

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