Daily Market Color

Stock, Bond Market Volatility Eases While U.S. Dollar Touches 14-Year High

Stock, Bond Volatility Simmers Down Both stock and bond markets seemed to step back and take a breather today from the recent post-election volatility.  The DJIA ended its longest rally in nearly four months and fell from yesterday’s all-time high as it trimmed 0.3%.  Bank stocks stood as the main driver for the decrease as they pulled back from their historic rally over the past five trading sessions.  The S&P 500 similarly took a small step back, dropping 0.16% on the day while the Nasdaq posted a marginal gain of 0.36%.  US Treasurys sold off overnight before recovering throughout the day to finish the session near flat.  The widest move came from a 3bp decline in 30-year Treasury yields.  While headlines over the future plans of Donald Trump and his cabinet continue to be the most significant market influence, investors will get to analyze inflation data released tomorrow morning to complement speeches from New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley and Janet Yellen. 

US Dollar Hits 14-Year High
In the early part of today’s session, the dollar index touched 100.57, notching the highest level since April 2003.  Against the euro, the dollar gained for the eighth straight day, its longest streak in four years as the EUR-USD spot rate approached $1.06 per euro.  The US currency also went on to hit eight-year highs against the Chinese yuan, at 6.879 yuan/$.  This week’s move builds upon the 2.8% jump from last week that matched the steepest climb since 2011.  Today’s gain was ultimately capped after US producer prices and industrial production data came in weaker than expected.  The Producer Price Index recorded no change in levels for October where a 0.3% increase was forecasted, while industrial production similarly remained flat for the month as it missed a +0.2% consensus.  

Increasing Crude Stockpiles Offset by OPEC Deal Optimism
As released by the Energy Information Administration today, US supply of crude rose by 5.27 million barrels last week, outpacing expectations of 1.5 million barrels.  The increase pushed the total US crude stockpile to $490.3 million as of last week, hitting the highest seasonal level in the past 30 years.  The inflated figure sets a bearish tone for prices as it comes in spite of refineries boosting their operating rates in order to prepare for the winter demand.  Refinery utilization climbed by 2.1% (309,000 barrels) last week to reach 89.2% of capacity, the largest gain since February.  Partially offsetting concerns surrounding the buildup, speculation of an OPEC production deal continues to capture headlines, with today’s update displaying public support from Russia’s energy minister.  WTI crude ultimately finished down near 0.7% on the day to $45.50/barrel while Brent crude fell 1% to $46.45/barrel.

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