"Morning Memo" begins below this "NOTE for NEWCOMERS" to "Morning Memo"...... Each morning, we post a short bullet-point list of noteworthy events, data, etc that find their way into the assessment of global markets. It's far from complete and is not meant to be an exhaustive reconciliation of all things that could possibly impact stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities! Rather, it's best viewed as a cryptic memo of "highlights", noteworthy items that took place in Asia, European and US hours.....and color-coded 'Red' for seemingly negative impact on equity markets, 'Green' for positive.
This will also serve as a useful review mechanism, as scrolling through the series of "Morning Memo" posts over time ought to summarily highlight what generally drove price action.
We hope you find this useful and informative....and as always, that you'll share feedback!!
- 2014 started out on the downside yesterday, the first time since 2008 that US stocks fell on the first trading day of the year. If you value such historical signs, or not, it's interesting, nonetheless, to consider this factoid:
According to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P/Capital IQ , the opening trading day and the S&P 500's move for the year have been correlated in the same direction just over 50 percent of the time. But more telling is how the whole month of January fares.
As January goes, so goes the year, has been right for 62 of the last 85 years, or 73 percent of the time. January has been positive for stocks 55 times since 1929, and when it has been, the year has been up 80 percent of the time, Silverblatt noted. (Source: CNBC.com article)
- Asia...followed the US lead lower.
- China's non-manufacturing PMI was lower than expected @ 54.6 in Dec, down fr 56 in Nov. This indicator for industries such as real estate, retail and construction, while still over 50, indicating expansion, surprised markets by slipping from November's level.
- India...PM Singh announced that he will not seek a third term. His Congress Party has been under fire during his second term with complaints of less than fully effective leadership, allegations of corruption and blame for the economic slowdown. The change in leadership will be watched closely, and was likely triggered by the big defeat that the Congress Party took in many state elections this past December.
- Thailand...political crisis looms. Stocks fall further, expect for some foreign 'bottom fishing', after Thursday's 5% rout! New elections have been called for Feb 2, but protests may thwart the process leaving leadership a question-mark!
- Japan...still closed for holidays.
- Europe...shaking off US and Asian activity, opens higher.
- UK...construction sector expands for 8th consecutive month.And mortgage approvals hit high in Nov.
- Italy...CPI rises in Dec.
- Spain...good news on the employment front: Unemployment fell in Dec by over 107k vs Nov, better than expected. Youth unemployment dropped 10% over '13 vs '12. (Not to be 'debbie downer', but keep in mind that the total number of people still out of work is close to 5 million, and the unemployment rate is still over 25%).
- Brazil...yesterday, saw its currency and stock market fall as trade data showed their surplus fall to levels not seen in years, partly blamed on the rising cost of imports and on weakness in exports due to falling demand from Brazil's key trading partner, China.
- Middle East...tensions remain high on the Israel/Lebanon border as Hezbollah is reportedly smuggling advanced guided-missile systems into Lebanon from Syria.
- more later....
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(Please note: This article is solely meant to be thought provoking and is not in any way meant to be personal investment advice. Each investor is obligated to opine and decide for themselves as to the appropriateness of anything said in this article to their unique financial profile, risk tolerances and portfolio goals).
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