In a bizzaro world good data often means bad market as worries that the Federal Reserve will tighten cause traders to exit positions. That happened Friday. The S&P 500 fell 1.42% and the NASDAQ 1.11%. While the employment report looked “great” on the surface a few key areas still stink – the quality of job, wage growth, and people dropping out of the workforce. If you are not familiar with how it works, if a person does not actively seek work for a number of weeks he/she is no longer part of the workforce and this has contributed greatly to the low unemployment rate. We are at multi decade lows in the % of the population seeking work.Continue reading
Details of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program didn’t move the U.S. market much as the S&P 500 gained 0.12% and the NASDAQ 0.32%. Traders are looking ahead to Friday’s employment data. Analysts expect about 240,000 nonfarm payrolls, below last month’s 257,000.
The European Central Bank will start its 1 trillion euro ($1.1 trillion) bond-buying program on Monday, March 9, with expectations to end in September 2016, President Mario Draghi said during a press conference on Thursday.Continue reading
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The indexes had a second day of a slow motion pullback that was much needed – at least on the NASDAQ. The S&P 500 fell 0.44% and the NASDAQ 0.26%. The Fed’s Beige Book showed optimism on an expanding economy in most regions, with some pressure from energy and winter weather. The report also said there are some wage hikes in separate industries. The ISM non-manufacturing index posted 56.9 for February, above estimates of 56.5; any reading >50 shows expansion. Some items of note later this week – the European Central Bank will unveil details of its quantitative easing program Thursday and the U.S. labor data is released Friday.
The S&P 500 trades at 18.9 times earnings, an almost a five-year high and compared with an average of 16.9 since 1936, data compiled by Bloomberg and S&P Dow Jones Indices show.Continue reading
Tuesday gave us a rare down day on the NASDAQ of late – only the third in nearly a month (and one of those 3 was a fractional drop). The S&P 500 fell 0.45% and the NASDAQ 0.56% – while many reasons could be offered the NASDAQ simply needs a breather. There was some weak auto sales data but considering the weather in February it should not come as a surprise.Continue reading
The train keeps on rolling as we’ve exited the best month in a few years and entered March with a bang. The S&P 500 gained 0.61% and the NASDAQ 0.90% to kick off the new month. NASDAQ 5000 has become a rallying cry for much of the financial media and today that level was hit. This was the first time it has crossed this level since March 2000 i.e. the month that the great crash began. By October 2002, the NASDAQ had fallen all the way back to the 1100 level! Relatively modest economic news had no effect on animal spirits:
ISM Manufacturing for February was 52.9, its slowest pace in 13 months; any reading over 50 signals expansion. Construction spending fell 1.1 percent in January. Personal income increased of 0.3 percent, while personal spending fell 0.2 percent in January.
People were more interested in news out of China – remember all central bank easing is a “good thing” to investors in this era.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) cut benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points to 5.35 percent on Saturday—the second cut in three months—as deteriorating economic conditions forced the central bank to shorten the time gap between policy moves.Continue reading