Morning Notes

29/03/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Stocks rebounded from recent declines intraday, as upbeat data pointed to the strength of the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 179 points, or 0.9%, to 20731 intraday, buoyed by gains in shares of financial, industrial and energy companies. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.8%. Major indexes wavered shortly after the opening bell, then climbed steadily following data that showed the U.S. consumer on solid footing. A measure of consumer confidence grew in March to its highest level in 16 years, the Conference Board said. U.S. home prices also rose in January at their fastest pace in 31 months, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, spurred in part by a pickup in job growth. The S&P 500 is still up about 10% since Election Day despite declining in recent sessions. The U.S. gold price finished lower by 0.2% at 1,251.30 US$/oz.

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28/03/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell Monday, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track for its longest losing streak since 2011 as doubts mounted about the Trump administration's ability to deliver on pro-business policies. Government bonds and gold strengthened, while the dollar fell as some investors said political uncertainty was deflating a post-election rally that pushed the Dow to record highs earlier this month. On Friday afternoon, House Republican leaders abandoned a bill to repeal Obamacare amid a lack of support, raising doubts about the likely success of other complex legislative efforts, including a tax overhaul and infrastructure spending. If the Dow closes lower Monday, it would mark the eighth straight declining session. The last time the blue-chip index fell for eight consecutive days was in late July and early August 2011. Financial shares were the biggest decliners in the S&P 500 Monday, falling 0.9%. Some health-care stocks rose after it became clear that the Affordable Care Act was staying in place for now. Bucking the trend for commodities was the U.S. gold price which rose 0.9% to 1,253.80 US$/oz.

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27/03/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The days long struggle to pass a health-care bill spurred the biggest weekly decline for major stocks indexes in months. On Friday, House Republican leaders ultimately abandoned their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, which investors viewed as a key test of the new administration's ability to implement its wider policy agenda. That includes tax overhaul and infrastructure spending plans that helped lift U.S. stocks to record highs earlier this year. After spending much of Friday morning positive, stocks fell sharply as a proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act looked set to fall short of the number of votes needed to pass in the House of Representatives. In late-afternoon trading, major indexes regained ground after the bill was scrapped. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59.86 points, or 0.3%, to 20596.72 after earlier falling as many as 127 points. The fall put its weekly decline at 1.5%, its biggest since September. The S&P 500 declined 1.98 points, or 0.1%, to 2343.98, ending the week down 1.4%, its worst weekly performance since November. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite added 11.04 points, or 0.2%, to 5828.74 on Friday, notching a weekly loss of 1.2%. The health-care bill was viewed as the first real test of the Trump presidency, and some investors and traders had expressed concern that if it didn't pass it would put the rest of Trump's legislative agenda in jeopardy. The U.S. gold price also slumped on Friday, dropping 0.1% at 1,242.9 US$/oz.

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24/03/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Stocks fell intraday ahead of a planned vote on a health-care bill that many investors say could test the viability of the Trump administration's agenda. Major indexes rose through most of the session, then erased their gains in the afternoon as prospects of a Republican plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act appeared to dim. Many investors and analysts have said the vote will be a key test of whether President Donald Trump will be able to push through potential policy changes like tax cuts, fiscal stimulus and deregulation-hopes for which have helped stocks rally since the election. As of the afternoon, Republican lawmakers remained short of the votes needed to pass their health plan in the House of Representatives. Both major U.S. indexes finished lower for the day with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding 5 basis points to 20,657 whilst the S&P 500 dropped 0.1% at 2,346. The U.S. gold price also dropped, falling 0.3% to 1,244.5 US$/oz.

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23/03/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks alternated between slight gains and losses as weakness in the financials sector offset gains in technology shares. Technology stocks were providing a haven for bullish investors avoiding sectors such as financials Wednesday, some analysts said. Financial shares in the S&P 500 suffered their worst percentage decline since June on Tuesday as doubts mounted, ahead of Thursday's scheduled vote to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, about President Donald Trump's ability to enact corporate-friendly policies. Expectations for government stimulus had helped lift U.S. stocks to record highs earlier this year, and some were concerned about the new administration's ability to deliver on campaign promises such as tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure investment as President Trump struggled to round up support for health-care legislation. Technology shares in the S&P 500 rose 0.7%, whilst financial shares fell 0.3%. The U.S. gold price continued its movement upwards rising 0.3% at 1,248.2 US$/oz.

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