Morning Notes

30/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

Stocks pared early losses to trade mixed on Tuesday morning as oil fell and ahead of a speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Stocks rose after Yellen announced that the Fed needed to proceed cautiously on raising interest rates given fears about the domestic and global economies. Home prices rose 5.4% in January compared to January 2015 levels according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. That's an acceleration from the 5.3% year-over-year gain seen in December. The Conference Board said this morning that consumer confidence rose in March. The reading of 96.2 was higher than the 94.0 seen in February and above the 94.2 expected by economists.

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29/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose slightly on Monday on the back of consumer-discretionary and consumer-staples companies, but a fall in oil prices and the release of disappointing data, capped the gains. Consumer spending rose just 0.1% in February and January's spending was revised lower to a 0.1% gain from an initially reported 0.5% uptick. Incomes rose 0.2% last month. The PCE price index, the Fed's preferred inflation measure, was down 0.1% from the previous month as low energy prices continued to weigh. Prices were up 1% year-over-year. Excluding food and energy, prices were up 1.7% year-over-year.

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24/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks finished lower Wednesday as U.S.-traded crude-oil futures dived 4%, their biggest percentage-point drop since Feb. 23, weighing on energy and materials shares. The biggest loser on the blue-chip average was Nike, which tumbled after delivering a disappointing earnings report. At the close the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ were down 0.5%, 0.6% and 1.1%, respectively.

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23/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks finished mostly lower on Tuesday after a series of deadly attacks in Brussels rattled global markets. Sharp gains in healthcare shares helped both the S&P 500 and Dow finish off their session lows. At the close the Dow was down 0.2%, the S&P 500 had lost 0.1%, while the NASDAQ was up 0.3%. The Markit Flash PMI, which provides an early look at March's manufacturing activity, was up slightly to 51.4 from February's reading of 51.3. Any reading over 50 indicates an expansion, but the index is still below its recovery average of 54.1.

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22/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks eked out small gains Monday as an advance in telecom and healthcare stocks offset declines in energy and materials. The Dow Jones Industrial Average logged its seventh straight session of gains--its longest winning streak since October 2015. At the close, the Dow and S&P 500 were each up around 0.1%, while the NASDAQ had gained 0.3%. In economic news, existing U.S. home sales fell 7.1% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million, well below the 5.3 million expected by economists.

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