Morning Notes

10/08/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

The S&P 500 drifted between small gains and losses intraday, as the latest round of corporate earnings reports offered some support to a stock market reckoning with yet another trade volley. The broad index struggled to move higher most of the morning, even after shares of several companies, including telecommunications firm CenturyLink and energy drink maker Monster Beverage, gained following upbeat earnings results. Investors said renewed trade tensions sapped some of the market's enthusiasm after China threatened Wednesday to slap new tariffs various chemicals and medical equipment, among other goods. Beijing released the list of items as part of its promise to keep pace with the U.S.'s trade threats, which caused stocks to sputter Wednesday, snapping a four-session streak of gains for the S&P 500 and Dow industrials. The US Gold price decreased 0.1% to 1212.10 US$/oz.

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09/08/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks waffled between small gains and losses intraday as shares of utilities and energy companies slumped and the S&P 500 hovered just below its all-time high. The broad stock-market index rose less than 0.1% after closing at its second-highest level ever Tuesday. The S&P 500 is about 0.5% away from its January high. The Dow Jones dropped, or 0.2%, to 25584, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1%. Investors continue to parse corporate-earnings results, with the bulk of companies done reporting numbers for the most recent quarter. U.S. economic data has pointed to a strong economy, and investors have remained hesitantly optimistic as companies this year have reported positive earnings growth, pushing the S&P 500 up 3.6% in the past month. Shares of energy companies were the worst performers in the S&P 500, with the sector losing 0.9% as oil prices tumbled. U.S. crude for September delivery settled down 3.2% at $66.94 a barrel after data showed total U.S. stockpiles of oil and fuel hit a seven-month high, suggesting supply was outpacing demand. Declines in the utilities and consumer-staples sectors also dragged on the broad index, while the financials, tech and health-care sectors edged higher. The US gold price gained 0.2% to record 1213.50 US$/oz.

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08/08/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks climbed intraday, with corporate earnings growth lifting major indexes as tariff tensions continue to loom over markets. The Dow Jones added or 0.5%, to 25629, while the S&P 500 gained 0.3%. The broad market index is on track for its fourth consecutive session of gains and is less than 1% away from its January high. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3%. While trade concerns continued to linger in the background, strong corporate earnings reports and positive economic data have bolstered stocks. "Management teams so far this earnings season sound very confident," said Robert Hinchliffe, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments. Mosaic was among the S&P 500's top gainers, with shares rising 6.5% after the fertilizer maker said higher prices helped boost its sales in the latest quarter. Online retailer Etsy increased its revenue guidance for the year and posted stronger-than-expected quarterly sales growth. The US gold price increased 0.3% to 12105 US$/oz.

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07/08/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

The S&P 500 climbed for the fourth time in the past five sessions intraday, lifted by the latest flurry of corporate earnings. Robust second-quarter earnings growth has pushed the index near its January all-time high despite escalating tariff threats from the U.S. and China. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% Monday and was on track for its third-highest close ever. The Dow Jones was recently up 0.2%, at 25,502. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4%. Tyson Foods was among the S&P 500's biggest gainers, adding 3.2% after the firm reported higher quarterly profit, despite challenges related to oversupply and pricing due to tariffs. Facebook shares climbed 3.4% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the social-media firm has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users. Among decliners, consumer-products maker Newell Brands lowered its earnings guidance for the year after reporting falling quarterly sales. Shares fell 13%. More than 80% of S&P 500 firms have already reported earnings, so traders are looking for fresh factors that swing stocks, analysts said. Investors are looking ahead to inflation data later this week, after some said Friday's jobs report showed few signs of a pickup that would accelerate the Federal Reserve's pace of interest-rate increases. On Monday, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 2.934%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.952% Friday. Yields fall as prices rise. The US gold price fell 0.5% to 1207.20US$/oz.

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06/08/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose, lifting the S&P 500 to its fifth consecutive weekly gain, after a string of upbeat earnings helped reassure investors that the market is on solid footing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 136.42 points, or 0.5%, to 25462.58. The S&P 500 was up 0.5%, to 25,436 while the Nasdaq Composite edged up 9.33 points, or 0.1%, to 7812.01. For the week, the Dow industrials rose less than 0.1%, the S&P 500 rose 0.5% and the NASDAQ advanced 1%. Stocks were steady after Labor Department data Friday showed U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 157,000 in July, less than the 190,000 that economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected. Still, over a broader period, job growth looks strong, analysts said-with the pace of hiring through the first seven months of this year rising from last year's average through July. Robust economic data and corporate earnings have helped keep investors relatively optimistic in recent months, even as global trade tensions have ratcheted higher. After reporting solid revenue and profit gains this week, Apple became the first U.S. company to surpass $1 trillion in market value. On Friday, Kellogg shares jumped $2.27, or 3.2%, to $72.15 after the cereal maker raised its full-year guidance Thursday, and Dish Network soared 4.34, or 15%, to 34.20 after posting better-than-expected results. The US gold price gained 0.5% to 1213.3 US$/oz.

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