U.S. stocks are set to finish their third consecutive day in the green, recovering some of last week’s worst one-week loss in nearly two years. The stocks gaining on the New York Stock Exchange outnumber the decliners today nearly 3 to 1. My stock indicator is still slightly bearish, suggesting that the recent gains may reflect bargain hunting after last week’s selloff rather than portending another strong rally to new highs. Read more about Stocks Bounce Back for the Third Day 04-16-14
As it does every three months, after the closing bell yesterday aluminum maker Alcoa officially started the quarterly earnings season. The company got the season off on a good note, reporting better-than-expected results, earning 9 cents per share (adjusted) in the first quarter versus the Street’s 4-cent estimate. Alcoa also issued a relatively upbeat demand outlook. Read more about What Recent Market Action May Be Saying About Inflation 04-09-14
Payroll processor ADP reported that in March, the U.S. private sector added 191,000 jobs, the best reading since December. The data supports the notion that the abnormally cold winter was largely to blame for poor hiring activity in recent months. On the other hand, if the bad weather had substantially delayed hiring to subsequent months, the March bounce was not very large either. By and large, the labor market appears on a slow recovery track. Read more about Central Banks' Dovish Signals 04-02-14
The Ukraine situation still brews in the background. Despite vows not to give up Crimea, Ukraine has withdrawn troops from the peninsula, effectively ceding it to Russia without military conflict. Ukraine’s backers, the U.S. and the E.U. have limited their response to only travel bans and asset freezes against certain Russian and Ukrainian figures deemed instrumental in the annexation. Read more about Crimea Is Gone, What's Next? 03-26-14
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded its latest meeting today—the first with new chief Janet Yellen at the helm. As expected, the Fed decreased its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion, effective April 1. While this marks the third consecutive FOMC meeting where the Fed officials have reduced QE by $10 billion, the $55 billion-per-month debt purchase is still quite expansionary. Read more about The Fed Seeks to Steer Expectations 03-19-14
Two situations now dominate investors’ minds: China and Ukraine. In the Far East, fears that China’s growth will slow down continue to impact commodity prices. Copper, a commodity very leveraged to China, has fallen to its lowest point since last June.
China’s General Administration of Customs reported late last week that Chinese February exports were 18.1 percent lower than a year ago. On the other hand, imports rose 10.1 percent. Overall, China logged a trade deficit of $23 billion for the month. Read more about Eastern Worries 03-12-14