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.
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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”.
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