Morning Notes

28/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Technology stocks marked a sudden drop on Thursday, dragging down the broader benchmarks in the latest instance of the high-flying sector changing course. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down more than 1% in recent trading, on pace its worst performance of the month, after earlier falling as much as 1.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Index rose 86 points overnight to finish at 21,797, whilst the S&P 500 finished slightly lower by 0.1%. Thursday's declines follow another abrupt selloff last month that similarly confounded traders. The drop came in the middle of earnings season for the biggest tech giants. The surge in volatility affected Wall Street's "fear gauge," the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX. The index, which uses S&P 500 options prices to project expected stock market swings over the next 30 days, has closed under 10 in 10 straight sessions, by far its longest streak ever, but was recently up 17.4% at 11.3 after earlier dipping 2.8% to 9.33. The nearly 20% increase would be its largest one-day advance in more than two months. The U.S. gold price fell slightly overnight, shedding 0.1% to 1,258.60 US$/oz.

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27/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stock indexes held steady Wednesday, on course to close at records, after the Federal Reserve left short-term interest rates unchanged and indicated it would likely act soon to begin shrinking its bond portfolio. Fed officials voted unanimously to leave their benchmark rate unchanged--a decision that was widely expected by investors and analysts ahead of Wednesday afternoon. With the Fed's commentary suggesting the central bank will keep rates low for the time being, investors say U.S. stocks should keep eking out gains, provided that corporate earnings continue to be supportive.

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26/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday, bolstered by a flurry of upbeat earnings results. Company earnings are expected to drive much of the trading action this week, analysts say, with roughly 40% of S&P 500 firms scheduled to post quarterly results through Friday. Solid reports should help major indexes keep climbing, investors say, even as many have expressed concerns about stocks looking pricey relative to their historical valuations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.5% after three consecutive sessions of declines. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite added less than 0.1%. Stock indexes also received a boost from energy shares, which jumped 1.5% in the S&P 500, buoyed by a climb in oil prices. Energy stocks, the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 this year, have come under pressure this year as oil prices have slid. The U.S. gold price dropped overnight, shedding 0.4% to finish at 1,249.60 US$/oz.

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25/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell Monday, putting the blue-chip index on track for its third consecutive session of declines. Some investors said they were awaiting a string of earnings results this week and a policy statement from the Federal Reserve due Wednesday. Economists don't expect a change in U.S. interest rates, but the central bank could announce the beginning of its balance-sheet reduction.

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24/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The S&P 500 edged lower Friday, but notched a gain for the week as corporate earnings continued to drive some of the biggest moves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 32 points, or 0.2%, to 21580. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite declined less than 0.1%. Friday's declines end the Nasdaq's 10-session winning streak, the tech-heavy index's longest such streak since February 2015. Technology shares have notched fresh milestones this week, with the S&P 500's best-performing sector this year continuing to attract investors for its ability to increase earnings amid soft economic growth. On Wednesday, the information technology sector set a new all-time high for the first time in almost 20 years. Despite a 0.1% decline Friday, it still sits at levels not seen since the dot-com boom. With U.S. stocks resting near records, many analysts and investors say robust corporate earnings and forecasts will need to continue to help push major indexes even higher. The U.S. gold price had a strong gain to end the week, jumping 0.8% to finish at 1,254.50 US$/oz.

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