US Markets

June Employment Report Soft: Here’s What To Watch

At 223,000 non-farm jobs, the June employment report was softer than expected. Plus, both April and May were revised lower. These are months in which kids are entering the labor force even as teachers are leaving it. So a lot of things could be at play behind recent softness. After all, in 14 of the last 16 months, north of 200,000 non-farm jobs have been created, one with a four

Outcome In Greece Clouds Stocks vs Bonds Debate

With the sudden rush of news hitting the markets, I thought it would be good to provide a quick market update, hitting on the most important points and how they affect key assets like stocks and bonds. For almost seven years now Central Banks have been pursuing a course of lowering interest rates and devaluing their currencies in an effort to spur growth. In my opinion, it hasn’t worked. And at

Why The Federal Reserve Must Keep Hopes Alive

The third revision of the first quarter of 2015’s Gross Domestic Product was released today and it showed that the economy did slightly better than was reported in the ‘second’ revision. The U.S. economy still shrank in the first quarter (contracting 0.2%), just less than initially reported. Corporate profits declined $110 billion in the first quarter. This is almost 4 times larger than the $30 billion decline that occurred in

Chart Focus: Did The Industrial Production Index Peak?

While my main focus is technical analysis and analyzing and monitoring price action, part of my job as a Portfolio Manager at the asset management firm I work for is to also monitor economic changes. I have two economic models that I track which have done a fairly good job at measuring the economy and forecasting recessions. Neither of my models are suggesting we are on the brink of a recession and

Apple Stock (AAPL) Is In A League Of Its Own… Literally

Just how big is Apple Inc. (AAPL)?  We all know it is a huge company – In fact, Apple is the largest company in the world currently. Here are the 10 largest companies in the S&P 500 as of last night (based on market capitalization). Source: Yahoo Finance So, what would the list look like if Apple’s stock dropped 50%? Now here’s a stat that will blow your mind. Would you

US Corn And Soybeans Weekly Review: Focus Turns To Acreage Adjustments

The market focus has quickly shifted to the upcoming June 30th Planted Acreage report, which could offer potential acreage adjustments to the USDA’s March 31st Prospecting Plantings report. As of the June Crop report, 2015/16 US planted corn acreage was estimated at 89.199 million acres (which was the figure released on 3/31). There are certain private analysts anticipating a reduction to planted corn acreage of up to 500,000 acres due primarily to

Federal Reserve Stays The Course But Economic Data Telling

Over the past several weeks, I have laid out details for why I feel interest rates will continue to trend lower. In a nutshell, I believe that it is unlikely that the Federal Reserve will raise rates in 2015 and it may be mid-2016 until they do… if not longer. The Federal Reserve announcement on Wednesday was true to form – there was just enough information given that regardless of whether you

Thoughts On The FOMC Statement And Key Market Levels

Well, another Fed day came and went in the markets. There’s no need to be consumed by their every word, but there are some quality market insights to share post FOMC statement. In last week’s Top Trading Links, I shared this under-appreciated piece by @MylesUdland. Myles notes that the market is slow to react to Fed tightening cycles as evidenced in the mid 2000’s hiking cycle courtesy of @RobinWigg: Now as investors

Will Higher Interest Rates Hit Home Sales And Builder Sentiment?

U.S. home builder sentiment jumped five points in June to 59, matching the post-bubble high reached last September. The current reading is the highest since November 2005, which was at 61. Sentiment fell to as low as eight in January 2009. Let’s look review the data at hand. U.S. home builder sentiment jumps in June, matches post-bubble high (September ’14) Recent spike in interest rates could potentially be shot across

Greek Financial Crisis: Why Traders Should Tread Lightly On Opinions

The situation in Greece has once again come to the forefront of our attention as the Greek government, the EU, and the IMF try to work out a package to kick the can a little further down the road. So far, this round of debt negotiations doesn’t appear to be going so well. The Guardian is providing live updates. To recap, the Greek financial crisis started in late 2009, burned