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November 19, 2018

Risk Off Mood Grips Markets to Start the Week


Equity Markets Plunge

The S&P 500 began the holiday-shortened week by dropping 1.66%, resulting in 38% of the index’s names now trading in bear market territory. The selloff was led by Apple, the tech giant falling 3.96%, as the company is reported to have slashed its iPhone production plans by as much as 1/3 of the 70 million units expected between September and February. Some of biggest news in equity markets came from overseas- with Nissan Chairman / Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn being arrested in Japan for financial misconduct. Nissan’s stock traded down...

November 16, 2018

Yields Trend Lower Despite Trade Optimism


All Hope is Not Lost

Today President Trump expressed optimism at the prospect of a trade resolution with China as he commented on the most recent trade offer sent by the Chinese government earlier this week.  “It's a pretty complete list, a lot of the things we asked for, but there are four or five things left off," said Trump, "we'll probably get them, too. But as you know it's a very complete list."   The document from China included 142 items, broken into three categories – 1) issues to be negotiated further 2) negotiations already in the works and 3)...

November 15, 2018

More Market Volatility with Heightened Brexit Uncertainty


DisMAY in the UK

Political turmoil in the UK rattled global financial markets as British Prime Minister Theresa May received the resignations of six government ministers who were unhappy with the recently presented terms of the nation’s departure from the European Union.  Reports have stated that members within Theresa May’s Conservative Party have even been plotting to activate a no-confidence vote to try and sway their PM to restructure the agreement.  Much of the dissatisfaction with the current deal relates to the fact that the UK would remain closely...

November 14, 2018

Inflation Data Meets Expectations, Crude Selloff Finally Takes Break


October’s US Consumer Price Index was reported in line with expectations with a 0.3% increase month over month (+0.2% core) – and as such is still trending higher but does not seem to be indicative of accelerating inflation.  Compared to a year earlier, headline CPI climbed 2.5% while core CPI rose 2.1% and remained firm above the Fed’s 2% target.


November 13, 2018

Crude Oil Extends Record-Long Selloff


Despite a promising start to the session, the S&P 500 (along with other major indices) ended in negative territory for the day:


November 9, 2018

Crude Oil Selloff Weighs on Risk Assets


Crude Slide Continues, Bleeds into Equities

All major US equity indices finished in the red today, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq faring the worst as it declined 1.65%.  Overall, stocks remained positive on the week despite US crude’s fall down to its lowest level since February.  WTI futures sold off for a tenth consecutive session, its longest losing streak in the past 34 years, sliding 0.8% to $60.20/barrel.  All eyes will be on the OPEC meeting this weekend, as market participants closely monitor what could be a contentious meeting between Saudi Arabia and...

November 8, 2018

Fed Holds Rates Steady, Reinforces Robust Economy


Fed Maintains Plan for Future Hikes

Today the Fed concluded its two-day policy meeting with the unanimous decision to leave benchmark borrowing rates unchanged at a target range of 2.00%-2.25%, as expected.  While there was no press conference at the conclusion of the meeting (to change going forward) or updated Fed dot plot, the FOMC statement released afterwards reflected a sense of shared optimism amongst the Fed members with regard to the current state of the US economy:

  • Household spending continuing to grow strongly

  • ...

November 7, 2018

Risk Assets Rise as Midterm Elections Wrap Up

Equities Celebrate End of Midterm Election Uncertainty

There were a number of notable themes to emerge from yesterday’s election results ,which ultimately led to a split Congress as financial markets had anticipated:

  • Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives – will now have a 9-seat advantage

  • Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate - went from a 2-seat to 6-seat advantage

  • A record number of women were elected to the House - at least 89

  • The first two Muslim women were...

November 6, 2018

US Elections Take Center Stage in Global Financial Markets


Midterm Elections Temper Equity Markets

Trading volumes in stocks were thinner than usual today as equity investors exhibited caution with the commencement of midterm elections.  While the expectation is for Republicans to retain control of the Senate and cede the majority in the House of Representatives, effectively creating a gridlock for the passing of new policies, there always remains the potential for a surprise (see US presidential election of 2016).  All three major equity indices posted steady gains of roughly 0.65%, while US Treasurys experienced...

November 5, 2018

Financial Markets Mixed Ahead of Midterm Elections, Iran Sanctions


Stocks Mixed to Open Week

Major US equity indices were mixed on the day as strength in the financial and energy sectors helped to offset a slide in technology stocks.  The DJIA (+0.76%) and S&P 500 (+0.56%) posted modest gains while the Nasdaq finished 0.38% in the red, heavily weighed down by a 2.8% drop in shares of Apple.  Overall, investors displayed a sense of caution ahead of tomorrow’s midterms elections, where probabilities currently point towards a split Congress – a result that would make it more difficult for the Trump administration to push...


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