Morning Notes

20/03/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell Thursday, pulling back a day after the Federal Reserve's cautious stance on interest rates spurred strong gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 104 points, or 0.6%, to 17,959, while the S&P 500 index lost eight points, or 0.5%, to 2,089. Shares of energy companies posted some of the sharpest losses as oil prices retreated, with the S&P 500 Energy Index shedding 1.6%.

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19/03/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks gained strongly after the Federal Reserve signalled a more cautious approach to raising interest rates than investors had expected. While the Fed dropped an assurance it would be "patient" before raising rates, a step seen by investors as laying the groundwork for a rate rise later this year, the central bank also pared back its expectations for how much it will be raising rates and downgraded its forecasts for economic growth and inflation. Stocks leaped, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining nearly 200 points in the minutes following the Fed's release of its post-meeting statement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 227 points, or 1.3%, at 18,076. The S&P 500 was up 25 points, or 1.2%, to 2,100.

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18/03/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks fell Tuesday, as the Federal Reserve kicked off a policy meeting where the central bank is expected to signal that tighter monetary policy is on the horizon. The Dow declined 128 points, or 0.7%, to 17849. The S&P 500 dropped seven points, or 0.3%, to 2074. Meanwhile, the Fed kicks off its two-day policy meeting Tuesday. Investors are looking for clues from the central bank on the timing of interest-rate increases, including the possibility that it removes its promise to be "patient" before raising interest rates. Stocks have seen wider swings this month after strong gains in February, as investors grapple with the Fed's course of action and the strong rally in the U.S. dollar, which is expected to hurt the earnings of U.S. multinational companies. The Dow is down nearly 3% from its March 2 record. At the same time, recent weak economic data, such as Monday's decline in manufacturing output, also have raised questions about the path of the Fed's monetary policy.

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17/03/2015 - Argonaut Morning Note

U.S. stocks rose Monday, rebounding from Friday's losses as the dollar weakened against other currencies and European stocks gained. Market participants remain focused on the Federal Reserve, which begins its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. The Fed statement and Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's remarks in the subsequent news conference on Wednesday will be parsed for clues on the timing and pace of the central bank's eventual rate increases. The Dow rose 228 points, or 1.3%, to 17,977 and the S&P 500 advanced 28 points, or 1.4%, to 2,081.

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16/03/2015 Argonaut Morning Note

Wall Street stocks have ended lower on renewed anxiety over falling oil prices and the rising US dollar. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 145.91 points (0.82 per cent) to 17,749.31. The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 12.55 (0.61 per cent) to 2,053.40, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 21.53 (0.44 per cent) to 4,871.76. US oil prices finished the week below $US45 a barrel after the International Energy Agency warned that rising US crude inventories were approaching the limits of storage capacity amid the global oversupply. The euro got as low as $US1.0466, its lowest level since January 2003. Investors fear the strong US dollar will harm US exports and emerging market economies, analysts said.

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