Morning Notes

07/08/2018 Argonaut Morning Note

Market Update & Important Indicators

The S&P 500 climbed for the fourth time in the past five sessions intraday, lifted by the latest flurry of corporate earnings. Robust second-quarter earnings growth has pushed the index near its January all-time high despite escalating tariff threats from the U.S. and China. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% Monday and was on track for its third-highest close ever. The Dow Jones was recently up 0.2%, at 25,502. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4%. Tyson Foods was among the S&P 500's biggest gainers, adding 3.2% after the firm reported higher quarterly profit, despite challenges related to oversupply and pricing due to tariffs. Facebook shares climbed 3.4% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the social-media firm has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users. Among decliners, consumer-products maker Newell Brands lowered its earnings guidance for the year after reporting falling quarterly sales. Shares fell 13%. More than 80% of S&P 500 firms have already reported earnings, so traders are looking for fresh factors that swing stocks, analysts said. Investors are looking ahead to inflation data later this week, after some said Friday's jobs report showed few signs of a pickup that would accelerate the Federal Reserve's pace of interest-rate increases. On Monday, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 2.934%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.952% Friday. Yields fall as prices rise. The US gold price fell 0.5% to 1207.20US$/oz.

The Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 0.1%. Germany's economics ministry blamed trade uncertainty for helping drive manufacturing orders down 4% in June.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.3% to its lowest level since February 2016, and the China Shenzhen A Share index dropped 2.1%. Japan's Nikkei edged lower by 0.1%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5%. The moves came after China on Friday threatened to impose tariffs, ranging from 5% to 25%, on $60 billion of U.S. goods. The penalties would add to the $50 billion in American goods on which Beijing already has imposed or said it would impose tariffs, bringing the total amount of U.S. products potentially subject to Chinese tariffs to $110 billion -- or 85% of U.S. goods entering China last year, according to U.S. statistics.

Australia's stock market held up throughout the day as other markets faded. The ASX all ords rose 0.5% to 6359 after three-straight declines, putting it back near 10 1/2-year highs. The materials sector rebounded 1.3% after last week's selling in big miners; BHP rose 2.2%. Meanwhile, REITs climbed 1.2% as bond yields eased following the U.S. jobs report Friday. And the major banks rose solidly, led by CBA rebounding 1% ahead of Wednesday's fiscal-year report. But the smaller health-care and information-technology sectors respectively rose 0.2% and fell 0.9%. Job-ad company Seek slumped 8.8% following its update for last FY and guidance for the new year. It was the stock's biggest decline since 2015.

Base metal prices were mostly down on the London Metal Exchange. Nickel recorded a 1% gain to 13,594/t whilst tin fell 0.4% to 19,595/t. The 3-month copper contract lost 1.2% to 6,104/t, Zinc depreciated 2.0% to close at 2,620/t. Aluminium recorded a 0.7% increase to 2,016/t.

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