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Markets / Commentaries

Stock Market Today: September 20, 2019

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and Robert Mitkowski | 9/20/2019

Stocks closed down to end the week following unhelpful news on trade negotiations with China. Early in the afternoon, word came that a delegation from the Asian nation cancelled a visit scheduled to farmland in the United States. The market had moved modestly higher by mid-morning on Friday in a bit of a news vacuum, since there was no major economic data scheduled to be released. The impact of the Federal Reserve’s Wednesday decision to lower interest rates was also largely factored into stock prices.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: September 19, 2019

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and John Seibert III | 9/19/2019

The stock market started in the green today, aided by Dow-component Microsoft (MSFT), which announced a dividend hike and a $40 billion-dollar stock-repurchase authorization after the closing bell yesterday. Additionally, existing-home sales, leading indicators (which were flat), and the Philadelphia Fed survey were all better than forecast. Meantime, initial jobless claims were lower than expected.

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Markets / Commentaries
The Federal Reserve Reduces Interest Rates Once More

Harvey S. Katz, CFA | 9/18/2019

In a widely telegraphed and, therefore, fully expected move, the Federal Reserve Board voted to reduce its federal funds rate target by another 25 basis points this afternoon. That was the second such rate cut in as many meetings and followed a decade in which there had been no reductions--only increases in 2017 and 2018.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: September 18, 2019

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and John Seibert III | 9/18/2019

The stock market started in the red today, ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting as traders waited for the outcome and the accompanying Fed monetary statement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by as many as 93 points in early action, while the other indices followed.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: September 17, 2019

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and Adam Rosner | 9/17/2019

Stocks got off to a weak start this morning, but managed to firm in the afternoon, aided by some buying late in the day. Early in the session, traders seemed hesitant to enter the market, as they were likely waiting for word from the Federal Reserve. While no concrete announcement was offered, it seems sentiment started to shift and the mood became more supportive. The sense on Wall Street is that the central bank will agree to another 25 basis point reduction in rates, as it looks to keep the economy expanding. At the end of today’s session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead about 34 points; the broader S&P 500 Index was up eight points; and the NASDAQ was higher by 32 points.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: September 16, 2019

William G. Ferguson and John E. Seibert III | 9/16/2019

The futures markets were in the red this morning, as a swift increase in the price of oil occurred due to an attack on Saudi Arabian production. Around 19 strikes at two facilities have eliminated about 5.7 million barrels of oil per day from the global market, or roughly 5% of worldwide oil production. The price of oil was up as much as 20% at one point in the overnight session, while the stock market fell with that development. However, both these moves had reversed some by the time the opening bell rang. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down around 125 points in the first few moments of trading, while the other indices were lower in tandem. The markets then traded sideways for much of the day, making little progress in either direction. Overall, the Dow snapped an 8-day winning streak and closed down 143 points, the S&P 500 was lower by nine points, and the NASDAQ fell 23 points.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: September 13, 2019

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and Mario Ferro | 9/13/2019

Stocks started the day mostly to the upside, but trading became more mixed as the session wore on. On the economic front, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales were up 0.4% in August, which was above the consensus forecast, with the increase largely driven by car and truck sales. Also, the July figure was revised to a gain of 0.8% from 0.7%. Altogether, sales have been up for six consecutive months. Meanwhile, and more importantly, the two-year trade dispute between China and the U.S. took another step toward a potential resolution.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: September 12, 2019

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and John E. Seibert III | 9/12/2019

The futures market started positively, as a de-escalation of trade tensions between the U.S. and China occurred overnight. The United States stated that it would delay some tariffs on goods from China from October 1st to October 15th “in a gesture of goodwill.” So, the stock market started the day higher, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 132 points quickly, while the other indices were higher in tandem. Ultimately, the Dow traded just under all-time highs. The NASDAQ and S&P 500 also traded within 1% of their highest levels. In the final part of the session, the markets gave back a large portion of the daily gains. All told, the Dow closed higher by 45 points, the S&P 500 was up nine points, and the NASDAQ increased 25 points.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: September 11, 2019

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and Adam Rosner | 9/11/2019

The equity market moved nicely higher this morning, and managed to extend its gains through the afternoon. Today, investors seemed pleased to learn that China has decided to suspend tariffs on some U.S. goods. While it is still unclear if the upcoming trade negotiations will be successful, the decision to ease restrictions is a definite plus for businesses. At the end of today’s session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 228 points; the broader S&P 500 Index was up 22 points; and the NASDAQ was higher by 86 points.

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