In Portfolioticker today
- Today at the stock market
- The portfolio today
- Energy: Oil and Gas Futures
- AU: Lending Finance. Feb 2018
- US: Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services. Mar 2018
- US: Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Sales. Feb 2018
- Japan Update
- China Update
Today at the stock market
“U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday, with the biggest boosts from technology and healthcare sectors as investors were optimistic about earnings season and appeared less worried about U.S.-led missile attacks in Syria.
The weekend’s air strikes marked the biggest intervention yet by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia, which is facing further economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.
Stocks had ended lower on Friday on worries about Syria. But investors seemed less anxious about he potential for retaliation from Russia, an Assad ally, since there was none at the weekend.
“Geopolitical conditions calmed. There’s a lot of anticipation about very strong earnings growth in the quarter. That may be attracting traders and even longer-term investors back into the market,” said Tim Ghriskey, Chief Investment Strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.
The S&P 500’s technology sector was the biggest boost to the benchmark on a weighted basis, with a 0.7% increase, followed by the healthcare index which rose 0.8%.
Netflix shares gained around 7% after the market closed following its quarterly report. Its subscriber growth beat analyst expectations. It had ended the regular session down 1.2%. More
UnitedHealth provided the second-biggest boost to the S&P from a single stock a day ahead of its earnings report with a 2.7% gain.
Microsoft Corp was the biggest positive contributor with a 1.2% gain, on a weighted basis.
Merck rose 2.6% after it presented positive data on its cancer drug Keytruda, also boosting the S&P healthcare index.
Shares of optical components makers, including those of Acacia Communications and Oclaro, took a beating after Reuters reported that the U.S. government was banning American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp . Acacia slumped almost 36%, compared with a 15.2-percent drop for Oclaro.
JB Hunt Transport Services (JBHT.O) jumped 6.2 percent after the trucking company’s profit topped estimates.
Bank of America rose 0.44% after a bigger-than-expected increase in quarterly profit.” Reuters
^ S&P500 Index today (mouseover for 12 month view) [Chart: Google Finance]
|Index||Ticker||Today||Change||31 Dec 17||YTD|
|S&P 500||SPX (INX)||2,677.84||+0.81%||2,673.61||+0.15%|
^ USD and AUD denominated indices over the past 52 weeks Chart: Bunting
|Index||Currency||Today||Change||31 Dec 17||YTD|
Portfolio stock prices
|Stock||Ticker||Today||Change||31 Dec 17||YTD|
Selected Tech News Headlines
- Pentagon revises request for cloud computing services: “The U.S. Department of Defense on Monday updated its request for proposals from potential bidders on a $10 billion project for cloud computing services, in a deal that has been closely watched because Amazon.com Inc has been considered to be a top contender. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump said he would take a serious look at policies to address what he says are the unfair business advantages of online retailer Amazon, which has been interpreted as a threat to Amazon winning the cloud deal. The competition has attracted criticism from companies that fear Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud unit, will win the contract, snuffing out hopes that others will break into government cloud computing. Amazon Web Services is the only company the U.S. government has approved to handle secret and top secret data.” Chart: Reuters
- U.S. bans American companies from selling to Chinese phone maker ZTE: “The U.S. Department of Commerce has banned American companies from selling components to leading Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for seven years for violating the terms of a sanctions violation case, U.S. officials said on Monday. The U.S. action, first reported by Reuters, could be devastating to ZTE since American companies are estimated to provide 25 percent to 30 percent of the components used in ZTE’s equipment, which includes networking gear and smartphones. The ban is the result of ZTE’s failure to comply with an agreement with the U.S. government after it pleaded guilty last year in federal court in Texas to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions by illegally shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran.” Reuters
- UK’s NCSC says national security risk from equipment from China’s ZTE cannot be mitigated: “Britain’s main cyber security agency said on Monday it had written to organizations in the UK’s telecommunications sector warning them about using services or equipment from Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp. “NCSC assess that the national security risks arising from the use of ZTE equipment or services within the context of the existing UK telecommunications infrastructure cannot be mitigated,” said Ian Levy, the Technical Director of the National Cyber Security Center.” Reuters
- Russia Steps Up Hacking, Spurring Rare U.S.-U.K. Warning on Risk: “Russia is using compromised computer-network equipment to attack U.S. and British companies and government agencies, the two countries warned in an unprecedented joint alert. The warning on Monday came from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation and Britain’s National Cyber Security Center. It included advice to companies about how to protect themselves and warned specifically of attacks on routers, the devices that channel data around a network. “Russian state-sponsored actors are using compromised routers to conduct spoofing ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations,” according to a joint statement. “Multiple sources including private and public-sector cybersecurity research organizations and allies have reported this activity to the U.S. and U.K. governments.”” Bloomberg
^ Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index (DXY) movements today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: Bloomberg
“The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index (DXY) fell 0.3% to the lowest in three weeks.
The EUR rose 0.4% to USD 1.2375.
Britain’s GBP rose 0.7% to USD 1.4333, hitting the strongest in about 22 months.
Japan’s JPY rose 0.2% to 107.14 per USD.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries were little changed at 2.83%.
Britain’s 10-year yield increased 3 basis points to 1.463%.
Germany’s 10-year yield rose 1 basis point to 0.525%.” Bloomberg
^ AUD movements against the USD today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: xe.com
Oil and Gas Futures
Prices are as at 15:48 EDT
- NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI): $66.31/barrel -1.60% Chart
- ICE (London) Brent North Sea Crude: $71.49/barrel -1.50% Chart
- NYMEX Natural gas futures: $2.75/MMBTU +0.62% Chart
AU: Lending Finance. Feb 2018
Press Release Extract [au_lending]
FEBRUARY 2018 COMPARED WITH JANUARY 2018:
Housing Finance for Owner Occupation
The total value of owner occupied housing commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 0.4% in trend terms, and the seasonally adjusted series rose 1.3%.
The trend series for the value of total personal finance commitments fell 0.1%. Fixed lending commitments fell 0.7%, while revolving credit commitments rose 1.0%.
The seasonally adjusted series for the value of total personal finance commitments was flat. Revolving credit commitments rose 3.7%, while fixed lending commitments fell 2.2%.
The trend series for the value of total commercial finance commitments rose 0.2%. Fixed lending commitments rose 0.5%, while revolving credit commitments fell 0.6%.
The seasonally adjusted series for the value of total commercial finance commitments fell 2.1%. Revolving credit commitments fell 18.7%, while fixed lending commitments rose 3.4%.
The trend series for the value of total lease finance commitments fell 1.1% in February 2018 and the seasonally adjusted series fell 2.6%, following a fall of 6.3% in January 2018.”
Australian Bureau of Statistics, “5671.0 – Lending Finance, Australia, February 2018“, 18 Apr 2018 (11:30 AET) More
US: Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services. Mar 2018
Press Release Extract [us_retail]
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March 2018, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $494.6 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 4.5 percent (±0.5 percent) above March 2017. Total sales for the January 2018 through March 2018 period were up 4.1 percent (±0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The January 2018 to February 2018 percent change was unrevised from down 0.1 percent (±0.2 percent).
Retail trade sales were up 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) from February 2018, and 4.7 percent (±0.5 percent) above last year. Gasoline Stations were up 9.7 percent (±1.6 percent) from March 2017, while Nonstore Retailers were up 9.7 percent (±1.4 percent) from last year.”
US Census Bureau, “Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services. Mar 2018“, 18 Apr 2018 (08:30) More
US: Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Sales. Feb 2018
Press Release Extract [us_manufinv]
The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for February, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,430.4 billion, up 0.4 percent (±0.2 percent) from January 2018 and was up 5.8 percent (±0.3 percent) from February 2017.
Manufacturers’ and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1,928.8 billion, up 0.6 percent (±0.1 percent) from January 2018 and were up 4.0 percent (±0.3 percent) from February 2017.
The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of February was 1.35. The February 2017 ratio was 1.37.”
US Census Bureau, “Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Sales. Feb 2018“, 18 Apr 2018 (10:00) More
^ JPY movements against the USD over the past month (mouseover for inverse) Chart: xe.com
Stockmarket: Nikkei 225
^ Nikkei 225 movements over the past week [Chart: Google Finance]
^ CNY movements against the USD over the past month (mouseover for inverse) Chart: xe.com
^ CSI 300 movements over the past week [Chart: Google Finance]