Daily Market Color

Robust Earnings Boost US Financial Markets

Strong Earnings Propel US Markets

The quarterly earnings reports and forward guidance of 3M and Caterpillar provided an early boost to US financial markets this morning, as shares in those companies rose 5.9% and 5%, respectively, following the announcements.  The robust performance reported by both manufacturing giants painted a healthy picture of the US economy, a refreshing viewpoint for investors given the recent struggles of tax reform and other pro-growth policy implementation by the Trump administration.  All three major US stock indices gained on the day, led by a 0.7% rise in the DJIA.  US Treasury yields also surged amid the expansionary outlook, as yields/swap rates increased 2-6 bps across the curve.  The yield on the 10-year note rose to 2.42% – its highest level in five months.  The dollar also benefited and extended yesterday’s rally, climbing 0.3% on the day to a 15-week high against major currencies.  In commodities, WTI crude oil surged above $52/barrel after a surprise drop in gasoline stockpiles was reported by the API.        



Why Can’t We Be Friends?

The political stratosphere was less than hunky-dory today as the feud between President Trump and Republican Senator Bob Corker escalated further.  Tensions rose just prior to Trump’s meeting at Capitol Hill today, where he planned to discuss (and hopefully make progress on) the tax overhaul and gain solidarity amongst Republican senators.  In an interview earlier today, Corker attacked the future legacy of President Trump, stating amongst several other items that “the debasement of our nation will be what he will be remembered most for, and that’s regretful.”  As to be expected, Trump retaliated via Twitter, attacking Corker’s recently announced decision not to re-run for Senate next year, calling him a “lightweight” that “couldn’t get elected dog catcher”.  For any tax plan to pass, the GOP can only afford to have two Senators vote against the measure.  As it stands currently, Republicans John McCain and Rand Paul have joined the likes of Bob Corker, albeit not portraying the same hostility, to express a wavering opinion.


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