Morning Note: Never Content With “Discoveries Already Made”

Allow me to offer up the opposite to yesterday’s metaphor, as asset prices, the world over, are swimming in a sea of green to start the month of December.

Further positives on the vaccine front along with virtually across the board better than expected November Manufacturing PMIs (Purchasing Manager Index [surveys]) saw all but 1 of the 16 Asian markets we track higher overnight. 

Europe’s following suit this morning, with all but 2 of the 19 bourses we follow solidly in the green. 

As are the U.S. major averages: Dow up 412 points (1.30%), S&P 500 up 1.39%, Nasdaq up 1.20%, Russell 2000 up 1.40%.

The VIX (SP500 implied volatility) is down a paltry (given this morning’s strong rally in stocks) 0.83%. VXN (Nasdaq vol) is surprisingly (and concerningly) up 2.77% as I type. Hmm…

Oil futures are down (on OPEC internal strife) 1.37%, gold’s up 1.75%, silver’s up 4.23%, copper futures are up 1.93% and the ag complex is down 0.19%.

The 10-year treasury is down (yield up) and the dollar is down a notable 0.30%.

Led by energy, silver, banks, financials and Eurozone equities, our core portfolio is up 1.32% to start the day. Ag commodities and the yen being the only drags, but barely; down 0.19% and 0.15% respectively.

About those Manufacturing PMIs; amid what we know about current general conditions, I suspect that the pickup in activity has much to do with accumulating inventories. That speaks to optimism going forward… Let’s hope things play out as expected, as inventory gluts can be ugly things when they have to be worked through an economy.

As I’ve expressed herein many times over the years, I seem to find investing metaphors virtually everywhere I look. Even, as it turns out, in ancient literature.

This from Seneca speaks to the importance of doing our own work (research), particularly as the waters we must navigate going forward are largely unchartered:

“…the truth will never be discovered if we rest contented with discoveries already made. Besides, he who follows another not only discovers nothing but is not even investigating.”

–Lucius Seneca: Letters from a Stoic 

Have a great day!


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