Morning Notes

20/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks pared gains Tuesday as weak earnings reports dragged down technology shares. The Dow industrials have climbed for four of the past five trading days and risen more than 15% from their lows on Feb. 11. The rally has been spurred by confidence in continued growth in the U.S. economy, a recovery in oil prices and the likelihood that U.S. interest rates will remain low. Some traders said now that the rebound from February's lows have carried major U.S. indexes to near record highs, further gains will require signs of growth in corporate earnings. Better-than-feared results from banks have helped boost indexes in recent sessions and the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index of large U.S. commercial lenders was on pace to finish Tuesday up more than 20% from mid-February lows.

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19/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose, propelling the Dow Jones Industrial Average to 18000 for the first time since July. The blue-chip index has gained nearly 15% since mid-February, as early-year fears about the U.S. economy faded, oil prices rebounded and the Federal Reserve signalled a cautious approach to raising rates. With Monday's advance, the Dow is up 3.3% for the year.  Even as stocks have posted strong gains, the rally has slowed. Global growth remains sluggish, energy prices remain near depressed levels and company earnings aren't particularly encouraging.

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18/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

Stocks retreated slightly Friday following an early-week rally fuelled by a sharp rise in shares of financial companies.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%, the S&P 500 declined 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.2%.  U.S. stocks have had an impressive run. The blue-chip index and the S&P 500 have risen about 14% since their Feb. 11 low. Shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 declined 1.3% on Friday, making them the biggest laggards of the index. European stock markets closed lower, snapping a five-session winning streak, as investors booked some profit ahead of the Doha oil meeting. The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 0.4% to close at 342.79. For the week, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 3.3%.

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15/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

Prices of U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday, with financial shares in the S&P 500 headed toward a fifth straight day of gains.  The moves came after investors got a snapshot of earnings from some large U.S. banks, boosting a sector that remains the worst performer in the S&P 500 so far this year. Bank of America reported a fall in first-quarter profit on Thursday, hurt by declining trading revenue and low interest rates. Wells Fargo also said its first-quarter profit fell, as it dealt with a slump in oil prices. But both banks' results came in above analyst expectations.  Even if first-quarter earnings continue to beat forecasts, some analysts say a weak outlook for global growth and relatively high valuations in the U.S. could make it hard for the market to move much higher from here.

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14/04/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

The beleaguered banking sector surged, pushing the Dow industrials to their highest levels this year. Better-than-expected earnings from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank by assets, ignited gains in financial shares. J.P. Morgan shares jumped 4.4%, and the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index of large U.S. commercial lenders advanced 3.8%, paring the index's 2016 decline to roughly 9%. Regulators ordered five major U.S. banks to revise their so-called living wills or face potential regulatory sanctions, though the move did little to dent shares.  The bank-fueled gains reflect one issue the broader market faces as it climbs. Projections for first-quarter earnings are bleak, so results that beat expectations could propel stocks. But even if earnings clear a lowered bar, the results are expected to be far from rosy, which could create headwinds for a rally that is stretching into its third month.

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