Morning Notes

07/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday after a better-than-expected employment report and after crude oil futures rallied. The U.S. economy added 242,000 jobs in February, well above expectations. January's payroll numbers were also revised upward. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9%. Wages and hours worked did fall in the month from January levels. The U.S. trade deficit grew by 2.2% last month to US$45.7 billion. Exports were off 2.1% as the strong dollar and slow global growth weighed. Imports were down 1.3% in the month thanks partially to low oil prices.

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04/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks finished modestly higher Thursday following the release of mixed economic data, and after the U.S. dollar weakened but rebounded in late afternoon trading. Initial U.S. unemployment claims rose by 6,000 to 278,000 last week. The less volatile four-week moving average was off by 1,750 to 270,250. The data comes ahead of Friday's payroll and unemployment rate report. Productivity fell in the fourth quarter of 2015 by 2.2%, according to a revised report released, the weakest reading since the first quarter of 2014. Still, the data was better than the originally reported 3% fall and above expectations.

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03/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks had a choppy session on Wednesday but ended with modest gains after oil prices stabilised. Oil futures fell in the morning after reports of rising crude inventories stoked worries of a continued supply/demand imbalance in the market, but prices recovered by the afternoon. ADP announced that the U.S. private sector added 214,000 jobs in February. Economists had expected a more modest 185,000 jobs added. The data comes ahead of Friday's official payroll and unemployment rate report.

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02/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday as investors scooped up bank and technology stocks, highlighting a renewed appetite for assets considered risky as oil stormed higher. Bolstering investor sentiment was a key report from the Institute for Supply Management that showed American manufacturers shrank their business at a slower pace in February. The closely-watched ISM Manufacturing Index rose to 49.5 in February from 48.2 in January. Any reading below 50 indicates a contraction in the manufacturing sector.

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01/03/2016 Argonaut Morning Note

Stocks were higher in choppy trading on Monday morning as China unveiled new measures designed to boost growth. China's central bank cut the reserve requirement for banks by 0.5 percentage points today. The move comes as the Chinese Government looks for ways to increase economic growth. The central bank also guided the yuan lower today, sending it to its lowest level in three weeks. Pending home sales in the U.S. were down 2.5% in January from December levels according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Pending sales were up 1.4% from 2015 levels.  The NAR said some of the decline was likely driven by poor weather in the month.

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