Morning Notes

28/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow industrials climbed to session highs after the Federal Reserve signalled no hurry to raise interest rates in the weeks ahead. Fed officials held interest rates steady as was widely expected. The bank's policy statement was still highly anticipated for any hint of improving financial conditions that could increase expectations for a rate rise later this year. Earlier, Apple's disappointing corporate earnings dragged the Nasdaq Composite lower, another sign of weakness for the technology sector. Shares of the world's most valuable company tumbled 5.9%, leading technology companies in the S&P 500 lower. The group fell 1.2% in recent trading, making it the worst-performing sector of both the day and the year. Trading centered around a slew of corporate earnings reports, many of which were lackluster.

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27/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

Commodity-sensitive stocks rose while health-care shares fell Tuesday, as major U.S. stock indexes were little changed.  Investors were cautious ahead of monetary policy guidance from the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting on Wednesday, analysts said. Most of the large moves on Tuesday were tied to mixed corporate earnings reports. A host of household names report quarterly results this week. Procter & Gamble fell 1.7% after the maker of Bounty paper towels reported higher profits but issued downbeat earnings guidance. Hershey shares fell 2.1% after the candy maker said its profit and revenue declined in the last quarter. Whirlpool fell 3.5% after the appliance-maker said its revenue and profits declined in the last quarter.  Investors don't expect the Fed to raise interest rates this week, but they will look for hints about the strength of the U.S. economy and whether officials might act in June.

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26/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

Declines in commodity-sensitive shares dragged U.S. stocks lower Monday. Traders said volumes were lighter than average, ahead of a slew of corporate earnings this week from companies including Apple, Facebook, Procter & Gamble and Exxon Mobil, as well as two major central bank meetings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced more than 14% since its low for the year in February, propelling the blue-chip index near its all-time high. But the pace of gains has moderated in recent sessions. The Dow's 0.6% increase last week marked its smallest weekly rise this year. European stocks dropped Monday, with German shares falling on the back of downbeat data from the region's largest economy. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5% to close at 346.68, led by losses among oil and gas, basic materials and financial shares. The Ifo Institute reported an unexpected fall in its German business sentiment reading. The Ifo business climate index fell to 106.6 in April, compared with a forecast of 107.0.

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22/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell, led by declines in the telecommunications and utilities shares. Those two sectors, considered relatively stable and safe, have risen the most in the S&P 500 over the past 12 months. Their declines Thursday helped push the Dow industrials below 18000, after the index this week closed above the milestone for the first time since July.  The declines came as the number of U.S. workers who applied for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in 43 years, a sign of ongoing strength in the labour market. Initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 6,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 247,000 in the week ended April 16, the Labor Department said.

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21/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose as a rally in oil prices ignited gains in energy shares. Energy stocks rose the most in the S&P 500, gaining 1.5%. Those shares turned higher along with oil prices after an unexpected and sharp decrease in U.S. distillate stockpiles. Investors were also looking ahead to the European Central Bank's April meeting on Thursday. While few expect policy makers to announce new moves after the central bank's comprehensive easing package last month, the meeting will be closely watched for any comments on the exchange rate and details of the bank's corporate-sector purchase program. 

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