Morning Notes

24/03/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

US stocks have finished somewhat lower after a quiet day of trade with the Nasdaq lagging the other two indices following last week's surge. Stocks have made strides over the last week, helped by assurances of a go-slow approach to interest rates from the Federal Reserve. The gains have reversed much of an early-March pullback and have brought major stock benchmarks back to within striking distance of all-time records. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 12 points, or 0.1%, to 18,116 and the S&P 500 lost 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,104.

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23/03/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

The Nasdaq has bolted above 5,000 following a surge in biotech company Biogen as US stocks gained more broadly on a pullback in the dollar. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 34.04 (0.68 per cent) to 5,026.42, finishing above 5,000 for only the fourth time in its history. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 168.62 (0.94 per cent) to 18,127.65, while the broad-based S&P 500 rose 18.79 (0.90 per cent) to 2,108.06. US stocks got a lift as the dollar retreated following a Federal Reserve statement two days ago that vowed a cautious approach to lifting interest rates.

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20/03/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell Thursday, pulling back a day after the Federal Reserve's cautious stance on interest rates spurred strong gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 104 points, or 0.6%, to 17,959, while the S&P 500 index lost eight points, or 0.5%, to 2,089. Shares of energy companies posted some of the sharpest losses as oil prices retreated, with the S&P 500 Energy Index shedding 1.6%.

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19/03/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks gained strongly after the Federal Reserve signalled a more cautious approach to raising interest rates than investors had expected. While the Fed dropped an assurance it would be "patient" before raising rates, a step seen by investors as laying the groundwork for a rate rise later this year, the central bank also pared back its expectations for how much it will be raising rates and downgraded its forecasts for economic growth and inflation. Stocks leaped, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining nearly 200 points in the minutes following the Fed's release of its post-meeting statement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 227 points, or 1.3%, at 18,076. The S&P 500 was up 25 points, or 1.2%, to 2,100.

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18/03/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell Tuesday, as the Federal Reserve kicked off a policy meeting where the central bank is expected to signal that tighter monetary policy is on the horizon. The Dow declined 128 points, or 0.7%, to 17849. The S&P 500 dropped seven points, or 0.3%, to 2074. Meanwhile, the Fed kicks off its two-day policy meeting Tuesday. Investors are looking for clues from the central bank on the timing of interest-rate increases, including the possibility that it removes its promise to be "patient" before raising interest rates. Stocks have seen wider swings this month after strong gains in February, as investors grapple with the Fed's course of action and the strong rally in the U.S. dollar, which is expected to hurt the earnings of U.S. multinational companies. The Dow is down nearly 3% from its March 2 record. At the same time, recent weak economic data, such as Monday's decline in manufacturing output, also have raised questions about the path of the Fed's monetary policy.

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