Stocks Dip On Tax Reform Concerns

Hello traders everywhere. Tax Reform has taken center stage this week as the House approved its version of the legislation. We now wait on the Senate who is still debating its own plan.

I feel like the market is uncertain about the tax bill's ability to move to the next stage of approval, thus letting some volatility enter the picture as indicated by the VIX and the recent market action over the past few days. The VIX hit it's highest level since August.

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Elsewhere, bitcoin is hovering just under $8000. Crude oil jumped to $56 a barrel as Saudi Arabia, and OPEC moved to dispel doubts over Russia's readiness to extend output curbs. The Japanese yen gained the most in more than two months against the dollar and the emerging market shares headed for the highest close in six years.

Key levels to watch next week: Continue reading "Stocks Dip On Tax Reform Concerns"

Bitcoin Fights Back

Hello traders everywhere. Bitcoin (CME:BRTI) is staging a comeback today recovering more than $1,000 after losing almost a third of its value in less than five days as traders started buying back the volatile cryptocurrency.

The drop started mid-week last week with Bitcoin falling to a low of 5,645.66 on Sunday culminating a 5-day streak of losses. As trading opened today, Bitcoin rose as much as 14% before backing off the highs in afternoon trading.

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Most traders believe that the fall had been driven by a decision on Wednesday to abandon a planned software upgrade that could have split the cryptocurrency in a so-called "fork." A move that had initially had a positive impact, sending it to a record high of $7,823.46 on the view that this marked a resolution of a long-term dispute.

But some were disappointed that "Segwit2x" fork had been abandoned. It would have increased the capacity of the "blocks" transactions are processed in, thereby reducing competition to get payments processed and lowering transaction fees.

Key levels to watch this week: Continue reading "Bitcoin Fights Back"

Stock Market Heading For Weekly Loss

Hello traders everywhere. The stock market is heading for its first weekly loss in six weeks after hitting all-time highs earlier in the week. The reason for the late week weakness, the tax plan that was released Thursday by the U.S. Senate.

Senate Republicans have unveiled a tax-cut plan that would delay lowering the corporate rate to 20% by a year to 2019 and provide small-business owners with a deduction rather than an exclusive business rate.

The Senate Republicans' version of the bill differs markedly on corporate, business and individual tax cuts from legislation detailed by their counterparts in the House of Representatives who want to enact the corporate tax reduction in 2018.

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Meanwhile, crude oil is set to extend its longest stretch of weekly gains since October of 2016 with instability flooding the Middle East.

The arrests of Saudi Arabian royals and investors in an anti-corruption sweep compounded tensions between the world’s largest oil exporter and longtime rival Iran, heightening concerns about potential supply disruptions. Crude futures have risen 2.8% this week in New York, despite record high oil production from U.S. oil fields.

Key levels to watch next week: Continue reading "Stock Market Heading For Weekly Loss"

Crude Oil Bounces Back

Hello traders everywhere. Crude Oil (NYMEX:CL.Z17.E) had fallen as much as 1.4% in early morning trading heading for its first two-day decline in more than a month, but has since reversed course and is heading higher on the day. The reason for the early fall was a report on Wednesday by the U.S. Government that found swelling crude stockpiles, shrinking overseas demand and skyrocketing output from American wells.

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The output from U.S. oil wells climbed by 0.7% last week to 9.62 million barrels a day, the highest seven-day figure since federal officials began tracking weekly data in 1983.

Crude stockpiles climbed to 457.1 million barrels last week, while inventories at the key Cushing, Oklahoma, pipeline hub rose by 720,000 barrels to the highest level since May, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Crude exports fell by 1.26 million barrels a day. Meanwhile, gasoline stockpiles declined to the lowest level since November 2014 and distillate stocks were at the lowest since March 2015.

Earlier in the day, ConocoPhillips announced a surprise 22% increase in next year's drilling budget, the latest signal that U.S. output may not be slowing down anytime soon.

Key levels to watch this week: Continue reading "Crude Oil Bounces Back"

Job Growth Spurs Stock Market Higher

Hello traders everywhere. U.S. job growth accelerated in October after hurricane-related disruptions in the prior month, but a sharp retreat in annual wage gains and surge in the number of people dropping out of the workforce cast a cloud over the labor market. Despite the mixed news, the stock market is heading towards record highs after a somewhat weak opening.

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Nonfarm payrolls increased by 261,000 jobs last month as 106,000 leisure and hospitality workers returned to work, the Labor Department said in its closely watched employment report on Friday. That was the largest gain since July 2016 but below economists’ expectations for an increase of 310,000 jobs. Continue reading "Job Growth Spurs Stock Market Higher"