Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Markets fluctuate awaiting the start of earnings season

Dow rose 74, decliners over advancers almost 3-2 & NAZ pulled back 7.  The MLP index was fractionally higher to 290.  Junk bond funds did little & Treasuries retreated again.  Oil climbed higher in  the 61s & gold dropped 8 to 1312.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CL=FCrude Oil61.96

GC=FGold   1,311.80

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Stocks pared early gains to fluctuate near all-time highs before the start of earnings season.  The $ got a boost from policy steps in Asia that propelled Treasury yields to the highest level in 9 months.  The S&P 500 stumbled in its quest for a 6th straight advance, while the Dow resumed its march higher.  European equities climbed for a 5th day as unemployment in the region fell to the lowest since 2009.  China's yuan dropped after the central bank adjusted its currency-fixing mechanism.  The 10-year Treasury yield hit 2.52%  after Bank of Japan cut purchases of long-dated bonds.  The £ fell as a reshuffle of senior UK gov ministers descended into chaos.  The torrid start to the year for risk assets paused with investors confident that synchronous global growth will boost earnings around the world even as central banks move to withdraw monetary support.  Corp profit reports will set the tone as traders look for more reasons to chase stocks trading at or near record highs. 

U.S. Stocks Pare Gains as 10-Year Yield Tops 2.5%: Markets Wrapr

US job openings decreased in Nov to a level that's still consistent with a robust labor market, Labor Dept data showed.  The number of positions waiting to be filled fell 46K to a 6-month low of 5.88M, according to the Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).  The forecast called for 6.03M openings & the prior month was revised down slightly to 5.93M.

Job Openings in U.S. Declined in November to a Six-Month Low

Target, a Dividend Aristocrat,emerged as a winner this holiday season, boosting its turnaround plan & pressuring rivals to match the performance.  The shares jumped after raising its full-year revenue & profit forecasts thanks to a 3.4% increase in holiday-period sales.  That’s an acceleration from the Q3 pace & a turnaround from last year's disappointing Yuletide performance.  “We saw increased guest traffic in November and December and strength in all five of our core merchandise categories,” CEO Brian Cornell said.  TGT strong holiday sales are a balm for Cornell, who's nearly a year into a $7B turnaround plan that includes opening smaller urban locations, introducing more store brands & lowering prices on everyday items.  The company made several moves last year to upgrade its web operations to keep pace with rivals, most recently the $550M acquisition of startup Shipt, which will speed the rollout of same-day delivery.  The stock  jumped up 1.71 (3%).
If you would like to learn more about TGT, click on this link:

Target Rises After Brisk Holiday Sales Help Boost Forecast

Until earnings begins there is not much for stock traders to do.  Those guys in DC are back stumbling around trying to figure out how to fund gov spending this year & avoid a shutdown.  With today's rise, Dow is up 7K since the election.

Dow Jones Industrials

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