Friday, December 29, 2017 U.S. equities open the session near the highs, adding to record gains for the Dow Industrials while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Comp remain not far from their recent closing levels…however, stocks have since slipped. Volumes are light thus far ahead of the three-day New Year’s Day holiday weekend (market closed Monday – full day today for stocks, while bonds close at 2:00 PM). Coming into today, the Dow Industrials are up 25%, the S&P 500 20% and the Nasdaq Comp 29% in a year filled with optimism, strong economic indicators and improved earnings. Oil prices on track for 2 ½ year highs, while gold rallies for a 7th day as the dollar late year slump continues. Emerging-market stocks and currencies rose, heading for their biggest gains since 2009. Overall, it has been a banner year for global equities with hopes for infrastructure spending and new Healthcare bills in 2018 after the Trump administration passed the tax reform bill last week, lowering corporate and individual tax rates.
Treasuries, Currencies and Commodities
- In currency markets, the dollar falls to 3-month lows, with the dollar index slipping under 92.30 and is on track for a yearly decline of over 10%; the euro broke the $1.20 level against the dollar for the first time since Sept 22nd and is up over 11% YTD
- Precious metals extend gains, looking to end the year with a 7-day win streak for gold prices, topping the $1,300 an ounce level for the first time in over a month and on track for a more than 12% gain for the year helped by a pullback in the dollar the last few weeks. Gold had topped out above $1,355 an ounce in early September before sliding to lows around $1,240 an ounce on December 12th, but has risen stealthily the last few weeks
- Energy futures are higher, with WTI crude topping $60 per barrel and is on track to settle at fresh 2 ½ year highs following mixed inventory data yesterday and a falling dollar making commodity prices more attractive
- Treasury markets are gaining this final trading day of the year, though the 10-yr yield remains not far from its 2.44% closing total of 2016 (today around 2.42%); yields on the shorter terms 2-yr (best levels since 2008) and 5-yr are up on the year given rising rate hike expectations
- ATRA +33%; received FDA clearance to start two Phase 3 clinical studies with tabelecleucel
- AZN +2%; upgraded to overweight at JP Morgan
- GCAP +24%; Mox Reports positive on shares, saying yesterday that the company’s shares may triple after global bitcoin rollout, which is expected to be announced within weeks
- PGNX +15%; after the company said the U.S. FDA has accepted for review its new drug application for Azedra in patients with rare neuroendocrine tumors.
- TIVO +8%; received multiple expressions of interest for just more than $20 a share from potential private equity buyers, though it hasn’t launched a strategic review process https://goo.gl/6s9gfj
- UCTT +11%; will replace SGMS in the S&P SmallCap 600 effective January 3rd
- ADTN -17%; as they guide Q4 EPS 1c on revs $125M, below prior view $155M-$165M
- AMZN ; as President Trump, in a tweet earlier today, calls for the U.S. Post Office to raise price of shipments, including those made by AMZN
- BCEI -6%; agreed to terminate its previously announced agreement to merge with SD
- SYNT -5%; downgraded to underperform at Wells Fargo
- WATT -8%; mentioned cautiously by Citron Research
Market commentary provided by Hammerstone Markets, a division The Hammerstone Group, a firm separate from and not affiliated with Regal Securities L.P. Regal Securities L.P. has not participated in the creation of the content, and does not explicitly or implicitly endorse the content.