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Sparring

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 11:25 — 6.5MB)

DOW – 28 = 21,611
SPX – 0.38 = 2473
NAS + 4 = 6390 (record)
RUT + 0.58 = 1442 (record)
10 Y – .01 = 2.27%
OIL – .39 = 46.73
GOLD + 3.00 = 1245.00
BITCOIN – 1.93% = 2821.99 USD
ETHEREUM – 0.26% = 227.99

Sen. John McCain tweeted a message of gratitude for the outpouring of support that greeted news Wednesday of his brain-cancer diagnosis. He tweeted: “I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support – unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!”

The Dow and the S&P fell slightly from record highs, while the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 squeaked out new record highs. It was close, but the MSCI Emerging Markets Index of stocks managed to eke out its ninth straight increase. That’s the longest rally since April 2015. The 0.02 percent rise in the index was the smallest of the current streak. Still, that brought the index’s gain for the year to 23 percent.

Europe’s economy is experiencing a pickup in both current and forward indicators of growth. Improvements in household and corporate sentiment and activity have been reinforced by a decline in perceptions of political risk following the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the presidential and legislative elections in France.

The European Central Bank may not make a decision on the future of its bond-buying program until October. Policy makers are currently committed to spending 60 billion euros ($70 billion) a month on debt until at least December, and have repeatedly said any winding down must be gradual.

The ECB Governing Council met in Frankfurt today, ECB President Mario Draghi told reporters that policy makers unanimously agreed to put off a formal debate until the fall, but that they opted not to set a precise date for talks.

If you missed out on the euro’s rally because you thought European Central Bank President Mario Draghi was leaning dovish at today’s news conference after policy makers decided to keep interest rates unchanged, you’re forgiven. After all, Draghi emphasized several times the need for patience and evidence that wages and inflation are on the rise before winding down stimulus measures.

All that would normally weigh on a currency. But what Draghi didn’t do was dwell on the recent strength of the euro, other than to say it had received “some attention.” For traders, that was a green light to push it above $1.16 for the first time since May 2016. The euro is spiking because Draghi has not been able to put ‘FX’ and ‘policy’ into the same sentence.

The Fed is on a course of gradual rate increases. Bond guru


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