Morning Notes

14/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Climbing financial and technology stocks pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average intraday toward its 24th record of the year. Major indexes stuck to a narrow range, with some traders attributing listless activity to investors holding back on bets ahead of a string of bank earnings reports expected Friday. Companies in the S&P 500 are expected to post another quarter of earnings growth, according to analysts polled by FactSet. While growth is expected to slow slightly from the first quarter, signs of broad strength should help stocks keep climbing in the second half of the year, investors say. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21553. The S&P 500 added 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2%. Financial stocks rose 0.6%. The U.S. gold price was slightly lower overnight, finishing 0.2% lower at 1,217.30 US$/oz.

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13/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rallied after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen addressed a slowdown in inflation. In testimony on Capitol Hill, Ms. Yellen said she expects consumer prices to allow the central bank to keep gradually raising interest rates, but that the Fed would alter its plans if weak inflation proved more persistent.

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12/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks recovered intraday after a brief bout of selling sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 100 points. Stocks had dropped after Donald Trump Jr. released emails about meeting with a Russian lawyer to discuss allegedly incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, traders said. But by afternoon, stocks retraced much of their losses - leaving the Dow industrials on track to close slightly higher for the day. Shares of energy companies rose with oil prices, supporting major stock indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1 point to finish at 21409, after losing roughly 129 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3%. Energy stocks rose 0.7% in the S&P 500, leading gains. U.S. crude oil rose 1.4% to $45.03 a barrel. The U.S. gold price once again rose overnight, jumping 0.3% to finish at 1,217.20 US$/oz.

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11/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Rallying technology shares helped put the Nasdaq Composite on course for its second straight session of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.1% in the last 15 minutes of trading, while the S&P 500 rose 0.2% and the Nasdaq added 0.5%. Tech shares in the S&P 500 climbed 0.9%. Tech is down more than 3% from a peak on June 8, but it is still the best-performing sector in the S&P 500 so far this year with a gain of 18%. Shares of materials companies in the S&P 500 also rallied, rising 0.8%. Dow Chemical was up 1.1%. Retailers were among the biggest decliners Monday. Central banks are likely to remain in focus this week, with the Bank of Canada widely expected to raise rates for the first time in seven years and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen set to offer semi-annual testimony before congressional committees on Wednesday and Thursday. The U.S. second-quarter earnings season will also begin in earnest, with analysts estimating a growth rate of 6.6% across the S&P 500, according to FactSet. The U.S. gold price rose slightly overnight by 0.2% to finish at 1,214.10 US$/oz.

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10/07/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks ended the week higher, lifted by shares of financial companies. Bank stocks have been rallying since the firms passed the Federal Reserve's stress tests and some quickly announced higher dividends in late June. Rising government bond yields helped lift banks further this past week, as rising interest rates can boost bank profits. The gains offset losses by energy companies, which were weighed down by a drop in the price of oil.

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