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Stocks Mostly Higher with Long Weekend in Sight


      The U.S. equity markets are nudging higher in afternoon action, as European stocks staged a late-day rally to finish to the upside despite festering Ukraine concerns, while domestic economic reports showed consumer sentiment and regional manufacturing activity topped expectations. Meanwhile, volume is lighter than usual and conviction could be getting held in check ahead of some key global economic data next week, which will begin with the U.S. markets closed for Labor Day. Treasuries are mostly unchanged, as the aforementioned upbeat U.S. data was accompanied by a … [Read more...]



        by Larry Levin   The last two missives have dealt with “mixed signals” and believe me, we saw more of the same Thursday. The first 4.5 hours of the day experienced consecutively lower volume on each of the nine 30-minute each period traded higher, and higher, and higher, and higher, and higher, and higher, and higher, and higher...and higher (9 times). Although one could have probably made this same argument from time-to-time over the past few years, this time the S&P is doing it at a record high and therefore makes it … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals

Mixed Signals1

by Larry Levin Everyone’s happy, everyone’s confident. There’s collective euphoria! The market closed higher yet again on Tuesday and futures were higher overnight. This all came after the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence reached a fresh seven-year high this month as Americans are increasingly optimistic about the economy in general and the job market in particular. The group’s confidence index rose from a downwardly revised 90.3 in July to a new recovery high of 92.4 this month as the present situation component jumped 6.7 points to 94.6. The expectations … [Read more...]

Stocks Hugging the Flatline Following Recent Rally


      The U.S. equity markets are hovering around the flatline in afternoon action, pausing from their recent rally that returned the Dow and S&P 500 to record territory, though volume and economic data are on the lighter side. Meanwhile, the Street continues to digest earnings reports from the retail sector, with Tiffany & Co and Express both topping the Street's quarterly expectations and lifting their profit outlooks, while Chico's FAS missed analysts' 2Q forecasts. Treasuries are moving higher, despite a second-consecutive weekly increase for U.S. mortgage … [Read more...]

Upbeat Data Keeping Equity Markets in Drive


      The Dow and S&P 500 are back in record territory as stocks continue their recent rally in afternoon action, with favorable reads on U.S. Consumer Confidence and regional manufacturing activity underpinning sentiment. The data is helping overshadow a noisy durable goods report and a softer-than-expected read on June housing prices, along with lingering geopolitical concerns as leaders in Russia and Ukraine are meeting in Europe. Treasuries are ticking lower following the data and the U.S. dollar is flat, while gold is higher and crude oil prices are mixed. In … [Read more...]

Jackson Hole

jackson hole2

        by Larry Levin   The market waited all week for the Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, to make her speech at the conference of central planners in Jackson Hole Wyoming. The market was expecting to hear of more QE-fairies in the not too distant future; however, it wasn't to be. Wall Street came to the conclusion that Yellen was too ambivalent on the future. The following are some gathered comments. Goldman (Jan Hatzius): •We think the tone from Chair Yellen's Jackson Hole speech was broadly balanced, perhaps slightly more so than in past … [Read more...]

Upward Momentum for Equities Continues


    The U.S. equity markets are higher in late-morning action on the heels of their third-straight weekly advance, with the S&P 500 breaching the 2,000 mark for the first time, despite some mixed domestic reports on new home sales and business activity. Optimism of further stimulus measures out of Japan and Europe are aiding sentiment, along with some M&A news. Burger King Worldwide and Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons confirmed media reports that they are in merger discussions, while Switzerland's Roche Holding announced an agreement to acquire … [Read more...]

Heat Map

Heat Map

by Larry Levin While at the J-Hole symposium, leading global central planners will be explaining why they believe the economy is great, yet at the same time it is so bad that there is still a need for ZIRP and NIRP. It's highly unlikely, however, that the central planning nannies will admit that the charts both above and below from Bloomberg are worrisome. Janet Yellen's 10am ET speech will not be the only one that may cause fireworks; Super-Mario Drahgi will also be speaking at 12pm ET.   … [Read more...]

Mixed Response to Yellen’s Speech


        The U.S. equity markets are mixed in afternoon action, with traders grappling with Fed interest rate hike expectations as Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium appeared to carefully walk the line between hawkish and dovish views. Meanwhile, in the wake of this week's solid gains, conviction could be getting stymied by reports of an unauthorized Russian aid convoy crossing the Ukrainian border. Treasuries are mixed and crude oil prices are lower, while the U.S. dollar and gold prices are higher. In equity news, Gap topped the … [Read more...]



        by Larry Levin   The FOMC released the minutes of its most recent meeting and it was viewed by almost everyone as surprisingly hawkish. In that assemblage of Fed-heads, many expressed the need for higher interest rates much sooner rather than later. This Friday Janet Yellen will give her speech on policy at the Jackson Hole gathering, which should shed some light on this turn of events. Wednesday's data release was summed up by Goldman Sachs as (partially) follows... BOTTOM LINE: The July FOMC minutes generally had a slightly hawkish … [Read more...]