Morning Notes

25/01/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq setting record highs, while Treasuries tumbled as investors resumed bets that growth in the world’s largest economy is set to accelerate. Commodities rallied, as the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were up 0.6%, 0.7% and 0.9% respectively. In other news, U.S. President Donald Trump has announced plans to "embrace shale oil and gas," end the defense sequester, grow the military, develop "offensive cyber capabilities" and roll back regulation which the White House says cost the economy US$2T in 2015 alone. ANZ says that's equivalent to 11% of nominal GDP which may draw the attention of the Federal Reserve. In commodity news, steel may be the big winner from President Trump's executive orders to restart progress on two major oil pipelines in the U.S. Optimism over the state of the domestic steel industry has risen on Trump's focus on manufacturing jobs and US production.

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24/01/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks, the dollar and yields on government bonds fell after President Donald Trump said he would shake up the country's trade and tax policy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23 points, or 0.1%, to 19803. The S&P 500 dropped 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite was down less than 0.1%. In a meeting with business leaders Monday, Mr. Trump said he would cut taxes "massively" for the middle class and companies, and reduce regulations by at least 75%. He also said the U.S. would impose a "very major" border tax on companies that move overseas. Some market participants said Monday's moves reflected unease over a lack of specifics in Mr. Trump's plans. One factor in the selloff may have been the realization that it will take time for the new administration to formulate details of its economic policies, said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede Trust Co. Energy shares were the biggest losers in the S&P 500, falling 1.1% alongside a drop in the price of oil. U.S. crude oil settled down 0.9% at $52.75 a barrel amid worries over U.S. shale production.

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23/01/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose in choppy trading as Donald Trump was sworn in as president. The Dow industrials rose 95 points, or 0.5%, to 19827. Stock-trading volume spiked during Mr. Trump's speech, according to FactSet. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3%.  Government bonds also swung. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was 2.466% Friday compared with 2.500% ahead of Mr. Trump's speech and 2.461% Thursday. Yields move inversely to prices. Markets have swung in recent sessions on comments by the new president. On Tuesday, the dollar fell to its lowest level in a month after Mr. Trump called the dollar "too strong." Last week, health-care stocks dropped after he criticized the pharmaceutical industry during his first press conference as president-elect. On Friday, Mr. Trump said his administration would follow "two simple rules: Buy American and hire American." It also promised new roads, bridges and highways.

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20/01/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled back from the elusive 20000 mark, after getting closer than ever Friday. The blue-chip index fell 0.3% ahead of Monday's close. The S&P 500 declined 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.3%. The Dow industrials had risen to within one point of the next thousand-point milestone on Friday before retreating slightly. It was the best week for the index since Dec. 9, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed at fresh highs. Many investors and analysts say they expect volatility to pick up in the coming months, when details about President-elect Donald Trump's prospective policies -- including tax cuts and fiscal stimulus -- become clearer. Some investors have dialled back on popular post-election trades in recent weeks.

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19/01/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped overnight as reporting season continues in U.S. equity markets. Financial shares have propelled a post-election rally in U.S. stocks that has carried indexes to new highs and the Dow Jones Industrial Average within reach of 20000. Investors have struck a cautious tone ahead of President-elect Donald Trump taking office Friday, unwinding some risk-driven trades that have dominated since the U.S. election on Nov. 8. While markets initially focused on Mr. Trump's plans to slash taxes and regulations and boost infrastructure spending, the president-elect's rhetoric against free trade has also worried m any analysts. Investors are now waiting for further clarity on such policies, as well as corporate earnings, to decide whether growth and inflation will come through, or whether markets have gotten ahead of themselves after the election.

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