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U.S. Markets Mixed Following Positive JOLTS Report, Falling Oil Prices

With bonds and stocks trading volumes near the lows for the year, the markets are generally trading sideways, reinforced with mixed economic news.  Figures from the JOLTS report, oft-cited by Fed chair Janet Yellen, confirmed the generally optimistic current view of the labor market, showing a rise of 2 percent in job openings from June.  The resulting annualized rate of 5.624 million job openings came in 50k higher than expected.  However, offsetting any positive market momentum from this data was news of a surprise uptick in US crude inventories, sending oil prices 2% lower and consequently weighing down energy stocks.  In addition, the dollar fell in value against other major currencies as investors fear a continued dovish policy approach from the Fed.

Abroad, the Bank of England experienced turbulence in day two of their bond-purchasing program.  The BOE seemingly underestimated the willingness of pension funds and insurance companies to sell their supply of gilts, regardless of the higher than market levels being offered.  As a result, the they only managed to buy back 1.12 billion of the 1.17 billion pounds worth of bonds originally planned, and yields on 3-,5-,10-, and 30y- UK bonds fell to record lows today.
 
Treasury yields and swap rates are down 2-5 bps across major maturities on the day, while all three major US indexes are currently down about .40% from yesterday’s close.  For the second day in a row crude oil prices dropped, with WTI falling to $42/bbl and Brent to just over $44/bbl. 

 

 

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