Morning Notes

17/11/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Soaring Wal-Mart shares and the passage of a tax-overhaul bill in the House helped send U.S. stock indexes toward their biggest gains since September intraday. The moves reflected what has powered much of this year's rally: improving profits and sales at American companies, plus the prospect that corporate tax cuts could boost earnings even further. After the S&P 500 posted its steepest one-day decline since September a day earlier, investors snapped up shares across several sectors of the stock market. Some of the biggest gainers: groups that have struggled this year, such as consumer staples companies, and technology stocks, major contributors to this year's gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 187 points, or 0.8%, to 23458, while the S&P 500 also rose 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.4%. The U.S. gold price finished ever so slightly up for the day’s trading at 1,278.1 US$/oz.

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16/11/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Stocks and commodities extended declines Wednesday as investors dialled back on riskier assets. Investors have enjoyed a broad run-up in markets around the world this year that has sent major stock indexes to records and prices of oil and raw materials to multi-year highs. Declines are natural after such a strong rally and the peak of earnings season, some investors and analysts said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6% to 23271. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% after posting its lowest close this month on Tuesday, and the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.4%. The Dow industrials and S&P 500 experienced their fourth day of declines in the past five sessions. The U.S. gold price also lost some ground overnight, shedding 0.1% to 1,278.5 US$/oz.

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15/11/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

Shares of energy and materials companies dragged down major indexes intraday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 30 points, or 0.1%, to 23409. The S&P 500 slid 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite also fell 0.2%. Shares of chemicals companies, miners and oil-and-gas firms tracked a recent drop in crude and metals prices. U.S. crude oil was off 2.4% at $55.41 a barrel after the International Energy Agency said the oil price rally could be short-lived and global oil demand would be weaker than expected this year and next. The U.S. gold price rose for a second straight day, jumping 0.2% to finish at 1,280.4 US$/oz.

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14/11/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stock indexes inched higher Monday amid a flurry of corporate news. Reports on takeover bids and profit forecasts drove swings in shares of companies across the industrial, consumer-discretionary and technology sectors while leaving major indexes little changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1% to 23,440. The S&P 500 added 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1%. Senate and House Republicans have released two different bills that diverge in some key areas, including the timing of a corporate tax cut. Hopes for tax cuts helped bank stocks, bond yields and the U.S. dollar jump after the November 2016 election, although many of those moves have faded this year as investors have contended with uncertainty around policy changes. Later this week, analysts say they will be eyeing addresses by central bank leaders, with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen both set to speak Tuesday. Analysts will also be watching for the latest consumer-price index reading due Wednesday, which should shed light on the state of inflation with the Federal Reserve widely expected to increase rates in December. The U.S. gold price was mildly stronger overnight, rising 0.2% to finish at 1,277.4 US$/oz.

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13/11/2017 Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped Friday, notching its first weekly decline since September. Investors' concerns about the status of a U.S. tax overhaul weighed on stocks during the week, though Friday's moves were relatively muted. The Dow industrials lost 39.73 points, or 0.2%, to 23422 on Friday. The S&P 500 fell 2.32 points, or 0.1%, to 2582.30 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.89 point, or less than 0.1%, to 6750.94. All three indexes posted weekly declines, though the losses were relatively modest. Solid corporate earnings have helped U.S. stocks rise this year, analysts say, even as the timing and scale of policy changes in Washington have remained uncertain. With roughly 91% of S&P 500 companies having reported results, firms are on track to post another quarter of earnings growth, according to FactSet. On Friday, shares of energy companies fell with oil prices, pressuring major stock indexes. The S&P 500 energy sector lost 0.8% on the day but notched a weekly gain as U.S. crude oil ended the week at $56.74 a barrel -- its fifth highest level of the year. Consumer-staples shares jumped 1% in the S&P 500, finishing the day as the best-performing sector in the broad index. The U.S. gold price fell Friday, shedding 0.7% to finish at 1,274.9 US$/oz.

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