Market Commentary

Daily reports from our Chief Economic Strategist.

MARKETS WHIPSAWED BY TRADE TALKS
As widely accepted the markets are now dominated by algorithmic and technology based trading. The SEC has stated that over 90% of trading is the result of technology based trading, comprised of about 60% to 65% algorithmic and 25% to 30% indexing
ARE THE MARKETS REVERTING BACK TO NORMALCY?
Perhaps I should have titled today’s remarks that the markets have never really deviated from normalcy. I have written many times that I believe interest rates are the largest component of valuation (and technology based trading) formulas. Markets today are only reacting in greater fortitude if
NO CLEAR INDICATIONS REGARDING THE NEXT MONETARY POLICY MOVE
Monetary policy makers gave no clear signal that their next move would be a hike or a cut, or that any adjustment should be expected at their next meeting in June. Officials slightly upgraded their assessment of the economy saying “economic activity rose at solid rate while the
FED MEETING CONCLUDES TODAY
Equity markets declined yesterday on mixed earnings. Disappointing results from both Alphabet and Samsung overshadowed stronger than expected profits from GE and Pfizer. Oil rose on Venezuelan unrest, Saudi Arabia signaling a
CAN THIS BE A SIGNIFICANT WEEK?
The VIX or a measurement of volatility (aka risk) has plunged. However as measured by other benchmarks, conviction is very low. Volume has been anemic. The CME stated it has become increasingly easy to exaggerate the price movement of almost any security, the result of the lack of
FIRST QUARTER GDP AT 8:30
First quarter GDP is released at 8:30. Consensus is expecting a first quarter growth rate of 2.3% albeit the range of estimates is wide with some suggesting a 1.5% growth rate while others a 3.1% pace. In early March consensus was predicating
WHAT A STATISTIC
A statistic from Art Cashin places the myopicy of today’s market into proper perspective. There are only 13 stocks in the S & P 500 making new highs. This is the narrowest advance in history, being pushed by an
WHAT MARKET IS IMBALANCED?
The NASDAQ 100 is up over 23% for the year. Approximate half of the gains are from four stocks according to Bloomberg. What is more striking the NASDAQ 100 has hit three consecutive highs while the equal weight index
A QUIET DAY EXCEPT FOR OIL
Markets were quiet on light volume ahead of an earnings deluge, a deluge that includes some of the companies that have powered the rebound from its December lows. The oil market however was not quiet. Crude leapt to its highest level in almost six months after the Trump Administration ended all waivers to buyers of Iranian crude. In response, Iran
STRONGER THAN EXPECTED DATA IS CONTINUING
Retail sales jumped the most since September 2017 and first time filings for unemployment benefits dropped to a fresh 49 year low, as a strong labor market gives consumers the wherewithal to keep spending. When first quarter GDP is released on April 26, analysts are now expecting

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