Saturday, 24 June 2017

Stocks mixed as oil rebounds

Markets were mixed on Friday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 percent. However, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.2 percent.

Oil rose on Friday with West Texas Intermediate crude rising 0.6 percent but it still ended down 4.4 percent for the week, its fifth consecutive weekly decline.

“There’s a bigger chance that stocks of most oil producers will fail to rise this year, after gaining in 2016,” said Ken Odeluga, City Index market analyst, in a research note.

The stock market as a whole, though, has not been significantly affected by the tumble in oil prices.

Bloomberg reported that the correlation between daily swings in the S&P 500 and crude has been roughly zero the past month, the lowest since January and far below the five-year highs reached in 2016 when oil last plummeted.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Markets flat amid opposing analyst views

Markets were mostly little-changed on Thursday.

In the US, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both fell less than 0.1 percent but the Nasdaq Composite rose less than 0.1 percent.

Elsewhere, the STOXX Europe 600 was flat while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.1 percent.

The flattish market performances come as analysts appear divided on the direction of stocks.

Canaccord Genuity chief market strategist Tony Dwyer told CNBC on Wednesday that the stock market is a “terrific buy”.

This comes just two days after Gluskin Sheff chief economist and strategist David Rosenberg said on CNBC that the booming stock market is in “denial”.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Stocks fall as oil tumbles again

Markets fell on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.2 percent and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 percent.

Stock markets were weighed down by another decline in oil prices on Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate fell 2.3 percent and Brent fell 2.6 percent.

Oil fell despite the US Energy Information Administration reporting on Wednesday that domestic crude supplies fell by 2.5 million barrels for the week ended 16 June, as the report also showed that weekly domestic production rose by 20,000 barrels to 9.35 million barrels a day.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Markets fall, oil in bear market

Markets were mostly lower on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent and the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.7 percent.

Earlier in Asia, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 percent but the Shanghai Composite fell 0.1 percent.

Oil fell on Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.2 percent and is now in bear-market territory. Brent fell 1.9 percent.

“The assumption that extended OPEC supply cuts would underpin the oil price is unraveling by the day,” wrote London Capital Group senior analyst Jasper Lawler.

Also on Tuesday, MSCI announced that China’s domestic equities will join its benchmark indices.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

S&P 500 hits record high but high tech valuations a concern

Markets rose on Monday.

In the US, the S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent to a record high as the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.4 percent.

The STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.9 percent and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 percent.

Peter Lewis, a managing partner at Murphy Capital Management, said that tech valuations are probably near the high end of the band, “but if earnings and merger activity keep going, that could bode well for the sector”.

However, Phil Davis, chief executive officer at PSW Investments, said that 5,600 on the Nasdaq is a key level and warned: “If we fail to hold 5,600, then you will begin to see panic setting in as fund managers are forced to consider the reality of their overvalued holdings.”

Monday, 19 June 2017

Stocks near record highs but "not about to crash"

US stocks had a mixed performance last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5 percent to finish at a record high but the S&P 500 was flat and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1 percent.

Still, all three stock indices are at or near record highs, with many investors viewing stocks as overvalued.

However, James Connington at The Telegraph wrote last week that stock markets "are not about to crash".

The reasons are as follows:
1. The global economic recovery isn't over
2. Centrals banks won't let them
3. Company profits are growing
4. Cash is already sitting on the sidelines
5. Investors aren't 'irrational' yet

In addition, JPMorgan has pointed out that the much-touted concern that the stock market's rally has been concentrated in growth stocks may be misplaced.

"While equity leadership has been narrowing into growth stocks, history suggests it is not at extreme levels and not far from historic norms," JPMorgan equity strategists wrote in a note.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Markets mixed as BoJ leaves monetary policy unchanged

Markets were mixed on Friday.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent but the S&P 500 was flat and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2 percent.

Markets elsewhere were more positive. The STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.7 percent and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 percent.

Early on Friday, the Bank of Japan concluded its meeting by keeping monetary policy steady and upgrading its assessment of private consumption for the first time in six months.

Kuroda told a news conference that there is “some distance to achieving 2 percent inflation” and that the BoJ will debate an exit from its ultra-loose monetary policy only after that is achieved.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Markets fall, risk of more losses for tech and energy stocks

Markets fell on Thursday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.4 percent and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent.

“Our view is that it’s a bit of a correction and we are certainly not surprised by the uptick in volatility,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve, US Bank.

“Given how long they’ve been rising, and by how much, I think there’s still a lot of room to go on the downside,” said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management.

The Nasdaq Composite fell another 0.5 percent on Wednesday and Nigam Arora suggests that the smart money is not buying tech stocks at the moment.

Oil also fell on Thursday. West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.6 percent and Brent slipped 0.2 percent.

Jeff Reeves thinks that “things don't look to be getting better soon” for oil and, with the stock market's recent troubles, traders could go risk-off, and that “spells trouble for energy stocks”.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Markets fall as Fed raises rates

Markets mostly fell on Wednesday.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent to close at a record high but the S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.4 percent.

Elsewhere, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.3 percent and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.1 percent.

Oil fell after US government data showed a smaller-than-expected weekly decline in domestic supplies and an increase in gasoline stockpiles and crude production. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 3.7 percent and Brent fell 3.5 percent.

Markets were little-moved by the Federal Reserve's decision on Wednesday to raise its benchmark rate a quarter point to a range of 1 to 1.25 percent. The Fed also announced that it will begin the process of reducing its balance sheet this year.

The Fed raised interest rates even as it acknowledged that inflation “has declined recently” and “is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term”.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

S&P 500 hits record high even as investors say stocks too expensive

Markets rose on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent to close at a record high while the Nasdaq Composite rebounded 0.7 percent after a two-day decline.

Elsewhere, the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.6 percent and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, suggested that there “will be plenty of dip buyers out there who have been waiting for a pullback”.

Still, many investors think that the US stock market is overvalued. A recent survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed that a record net 44 percent of fund managers polled believe stocks are too expensive, up from a net 37 percent last month.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Markets fall amid tech sell-off but some analysts see buying opportunity

Markets fell on Monday.

In the US, the Nasdaq Composite followed up Friday's plunge with another decline of 0.5 percent. The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent.

Elsewhere, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 1.0 percent and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 percent.

Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist at Voya Financial, said that the tech sell-off is “a little concerning” but still thinks that “any swoon should be a buying opportunity for investors”.

Indeed, several analysts told CNBC that they believe the weakness in tech stocks will be short-lived, and although a summer consolidation is possible, the sell-off is not necessarily an indication that the broader market is about to crack.

In contrast, Howard Gold, founder and editor of GoldenEgg Investing, wrote on MarketWatch that the big run for the tech sector's highest flyers “is coming to an end”.

Monday, 12 June 2017

US stock market about to be hit by a storm?

David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, thinks that the US stock market may be about to be hit by a storm.

“This is one of the most dangerous market environments we've ever been in. It's the calm before a gigantic, horrendous storm that I don't think is too far down the road,” he told CNBC.

In contrast, PNC Asset Management's global chief investment strategist Bill Stone thinks that the market will keep rallying.

“We'll still likely see good [earnings] growth rates for the rest of the year,” he told CNBC last Thursday. He added that the US economy “is probably going to be picking up here”.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Nasdaq plunges, tech bubble bursting?

Markets were mostly higher on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.3 percent and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent.

While most stock markets were able to shrug off the prospect of a hung parliament in the UK after Thursday's election, the Nasdaq Composite plunged 1.8 percent after a warning from Goldman Sachs that the big technology stocks such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet may be overextended.

“This outperformance, driven by secular growth and the death of the reflation narrative, has created positioning extremes, factor crowding and difficult-to-decipher risk narratives,” said Robert Boroujerdi, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, in a note.

Indeed, Mitch Goldberg, president of investing firm ClientFirst Strategy, wrote in a CNBC commentary that the current tech rally looks like the one in 1999.

“Could today be the day we remember as the one in which the tech bubble burst?” he asked.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Markets mixed as ECB drops reference to lower rates

Markets were mixed on Thursday.

In the US, the S&P 500 was little-changed but the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 percent to close at a record.

Elsewhere, the STOXX Europe 600 was also little-changed while in Asia, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.4 percent even as most other Asian stock markets rose.

The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at its monetary policy meeting on Thursday. In addition, it dropped any reference to a future rate cut.

Mario Draghi, president of the ECB, said in a press announcement in Tallinn, Estonia, that the bank considered the risk in the region to now be “broadly balanced”.

On the political front, former FBI Director James Comey’s appearance in front of the US Senate Intelligence Committee concluded without any significant revelations.

However, in the UK election, an exit poll suggested that Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party would fail to secure a majority in parliament, triggering a fall in sterling.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Oil plunges but stocks “able to hold off on a big selloff”

Oil prices plunged on Wednesday.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 5.1 percent while Brent fell 4.1 percent after a report showed that US crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose for the first time in nine weeks.

Stock markets largely shrugged off the turmoil in oil.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.1 percent and the Nikkei 225 was little-changed on Wednesday.

Mark Kepner, managing director of sales and trading at Themis Trading, was impressed by the stock market's resilience, noting that it has “been able to hold off on a big selloff” despite the oil plunge and political concerns.

Still, Jack Bouroudjian, chief economist and co-founder of UCX, told CNBC that the US stock market is “one bad headline” away from a 5 percent to 7 percent drop.

In contrast, Avi Gilburt, founder of ElliottWaveTrader, thinks that there will not be any big correction “until we hit a top probably in 2018”.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Markets fall as investors brace for crucial events

Markets fell on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.7 percent and the Nikkei 225 fell 1.0 percent.

Lisa Kopp, head of Traditional Investments Group at US Bank Wealth Management, expects “sideways markets over the short-term due to seasonality”.

Meanwhile, though, “market sentiment remains very fragile”, said Masashi Murata, a senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

Indeed, with the UK elections, European Central Bank meeting and former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey's testimony on alleged Russian interference in US affairs on Thursday, analysts at Rabobank are braced for “a volatile session on Thursday and Friday”.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Markets fall amid terrorism concerns

Markets fell on Monday.

The S&P 500 and the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.1 percent. Most Asian stock markets also fell.

Reaction to the terrorist attack in London on Saturday was relatively muted.

Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50 Park Investments, said that “the fact that we’re not down more after an attack like this is a sign of strength”.

Oil prices fell, reversing early gains that had followed news that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates had cut relations with Qatar for allegedly interfering in their internal affairs and supporting terrorism.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Record-breaking US bull market may continue but faces turbulent week

The US stock market made record highs last week and some analysts think that the bull run will continue.

Wunderlich Chief Market Strategist Art Hogan is one such analyst.

“People have said ‘we've come too far, too fast,’ and ‘we’ve got to retrace some of this move,’” he said on CNBC.

However, Hogan said: “If you look at the four longest bull markets in terms of duration and percentage moves, we’re in third place right now. So in terms of length and certainly in terms of percentage moves, I think we haven’t run out of runway.”

“The fundamental backdrop is good, both on earnings and the economic data in general. That will continue to be a driver here,” he added.

In the short term, though, the “stock market could face its most turbulent week of trading so far this year”, according to MarketWatch.

It cited “a trio of potentially destabilizing events on deck”: former FBI director James Comey’s testimony, the UK election, and the ECB monetary-policy meeting.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Stocks rise as US employment grows less than expected

Markets rose on Friday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent to another record high, the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.2 percent and the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.6 percent.

A Labor Department report on Friday showed that US employment rose 138,000 in May, below economists' forecasts.

Curt Long, chief economist at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, wrote in a note that while a quarter-point rate hike by the Federal Reserve later this month remains likely, “the slowing pace of job growth combined with still-muted wage growth may lead some officials to downgrade their expectations for further policy tightening in the second half of the year”.

The US 10-year Treasury yield fell nearly six basis points while oil fell 1.5 percent.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Markets rise amid optimism about economy

Markets rose on Thursday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent to close at a record high, the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.4 percent and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent.

Stocks rose amid optimism about the economy.

With US private-sector employment jumping 253,000 in May, exceeding expectations, John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds, thinks “this is not a bad environment we are in”.

Meanwhile Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, wrote in a note that the “eurozone upturn is developing deeper roots as factories enjoy a spring growth spurt” as the eurozone manufacturing PMI was confirmed at 57.0, the highest level since April 2011.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Stocks slip as market leaders look "extended"

Markets mostly closed lower on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent while the STOXX Europe 600 and the Nikkei 225 both fell by 0.1 percent.

Financial stocks were among the biggest losers as JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America both said at an industry conference on Wednesday that trading is weakening in the second quarter.

Ian Winer, head of the equities division at Wedbush Securities, said he was “concerned that there are quantitative models out there that are ‘buy high, buy higher’”.

In contrast, Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said he thinks “some traders are starting to throw in the towel”.

Kevin Marder at MarketWatch noted that the rally has been narrow, involving mainly the largest growth stocks.

While Marder acknowledged that a rally led by quality growth stocks tends to be healthy, the current leaders are nearly all “technically extended above their most recent support areas”, and this “should signal caution as to fresh-money buys”.