Morning Notes

13/04/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.92 points, or 0.6%, to 18057.65. The S&P 500 added 10.88 points, or 0.5%, to 2102.06 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 21.41 points, or 0.4%, to 4995.98. The moves were led by General Electric, whose shares surged $2.78, or 11%, to $28.51 as the company said it has resolved to part ways with the bulk of finance business GE Capital, and will sell or spin that part off over the next two years. GE's gains added about 19 points to the Dow. Volume was light, however, as just 5.6 billion shares changed hands, compared to an average of 6.7 billion shares so far this year. It was the second-lowest volume day of 2015.

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10/04/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks teetered between gains and losses yesterday, as investors pored through the first batch of first-quarter earnings reports. The S&P gained 0.4% to 2,091 and the Dow rose 0.3% to 17,959. European stock markets climbed to a record high Thursday, capping a blistering rally in 2015. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 1.1% Thursday to close at 409.15, as investors shrugged off minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting that showed some officials think an interest-rate increase in June remains a possibility.

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09/04/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose in choppy trading after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed officials were divided about whether to raise interest rates in June. Stocks briefly turned lower after the release of the Fed minutes before rebounding. At the Fed's March 17-18 policy meeting, the central bank opened the door to raising rates as early as June, while indicating it was in no hurry to do so. The Fed minutes showed some participants believed an increase in rates would not be appropriate until later in the year, while a couple of participants suggested that the economic outlook does not warrant an increase until 2016. The Dow rose 27 points, or 0.2%, to 17,903 and the S&P 500 advanced 6 points, or 0.3%, to 2,082.

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08/04/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks finished slightly lower on Tuesday, with market attention turned to corporate results. First-quarter earnings are expected to decline due to a stronger dollar and its effect on profits at large multinational companies, and weaker commodity prices and their impact on energy companies. Earnings season unofficially begins this week, when Alcoa Inc. reports results after the stock market closes Wednesday. The dollar rose against the euro and the yen for a second straight day, undoing the damage a weak U.S. jobs report wrought, as investors returned to their outlook for a stronger U.S. economy and higher interest rates.

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07/04/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks extended their gains Monday, rebounding from an early loss, in the first trading session following the release of March's disappointing jobs report. The Dow climbed 118 points, or 0.7%, to 17,881. The Labor Department on Friday said U.S. employers added 126,000 jobs in March, the weakest pace of hiring in 15 months. With the U.S. stock market closed for the Good Friday holiday, Monday was the first chance for investors in stocks to react to the report.

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