Morning Note: Stay Tuned, And Stay Hedged…

Asian stocks closed mostly (10 of 16 markets we track) in the green overnight, Europe, however, is not following suit this morning; with 17 of the 19 indices we track trading lower. U.S. equities are essentially flat as I type: Dow up 6 points (+0.02%), S&P 500 down -.14%, Nasdaq down -.10%, Russell 2000 down -0.12%.

The VIX (SP500 volatility) is up 2.26% to 23.51, VXN (Nasdaq vol) is higher by 2.60% to 29.24.
Oil’s flat, gold’s up another $18, silver’s up another 4.7%, copper’s off .57% and the ag complex is leaning lower.
The 10-year treasury is rallying (yield falling) and the dollar’s up 0.11%.
With 9 or its 17 components trading lower, our core portfolio is flat (+.10%) as well so far this morning. Silver, gold, utilities, Verizon and base metals are leading the way to the upside, while energy, emerging markets, Europe, materials and health care are having a rough go of it to start the day.
Weekly jobless claims reported this morning is being couched as a positive, as they came in better than expected. Although, while we’re all about direction and rate-of-change as we crunch data, I’m struggling to feel good about 1.19 million folks filing first-time unemployment claims. 
On a less “optimistic” note, there’s growing evidence that — as is often the case when it comes to temporary government stimulus plans — the propping up resulting from the “Paycheck Protection Program” is likely to abate in the coming months; barring of course an extension, or something similar, that employers would be willing to take up.
Click to enlarge…

August is about to settle into itself. We’re pretty much through earnings season, the July employment report hits tomorrow morning, and — brinkmanship notwithstanding — we’re within hours of a brand new round of “stimulus”. 
The next few weeks/months will be very telling…
Stay tuned, and, again, stay hedged…
Have a great day!


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