Morning Notes

28/01/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell Tuesday after disappointing results at blue-chip companies like Microsoft Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. sparked concerns about the strong dollar's drag on earnings growth. Microsoft shares fell after the company set its financial forecast for the fiscal year, which ends in June, below Wall Street estimates, citing the strong U.S. dollar. The surge in the U.S. dollar has helped drive current earnings season's tepid outlook. The drop in oil prices and weak economic activity overseas are also contributing to low expectations. Concerns about a strong U.S. currency are driving some investors to small-cap stocks. The sector lagged behind the broader market in 2014, with the Russell 2000 index ending the year up 3.5% compared with the S&P 500's 11.4% rise. But with the strengthening U.S. dollar hurting multinational companies' profits, some money managers say now may be the time to move money into small-cap names.

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27/01/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks were little changed Monday, as investors took the victory of an anti-austerity party in Greece's weekend election in stride. U.S. stocks were nearly flat, which investors and traders attribute to the belief that financial stress in Greece is unlikely to spread the effect to other countries in the European Union. Others said that the European Central Bank's bond-buying program, announced last week, leaves markets less vulnerable to fears of a eurozone breakup than they were during past crises.

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23/01/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

The big news overnight was the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to buy 60 billion euros (US$69 billion) a month of public and private debt until September 2016 in an attempt to ward off a deflation spiral in the region, causing global stocks to rally. In the US stocks rose for the fourth consecutive day with the S&P 500 gaining 1.5% to 2,063.1, the highest since Dec. 30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 259.7 points, or 1.5%, to 17,814.0.

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22/01/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

The Dow industrials turned little changed amid mixed corporate earnings from UnitedHealth Group Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. Earlier, stocks gained after reports suggested the European Central Bank was set to deliver a bond-buying program that matched investors' expectations. The Dow advanced 39 points, or 0.2%, to 17,554 and the S&P 500 rose 10 points, or 0.5%, to 2,032.

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21/01/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks finished flat on Tuesday, as the continued slide in oil prices fuelled investor concerns about global economic growth. Investors say the months-long decline raises worries about demand, since it comes alongside slowing growth in Asia and economic troubles in Europe. While lower oil prices are expected to help some consumer-focused shares, stocks of retailers fell sharply on Tuesday. Investors are closely watching fourth-quarter earnings reports to determine the implications of falling oil prices and sluggish international demand. The dollar traded at its highest level against the Canadian dollar since April 2009, as investors bet that the Bank of Canada would lower its expectations for economic growth as falling crude oil prices have hamstrung the country's energy sector.

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