Mike’s Morning Brief – July 31, 2019

What’s going on in the world…

Market opens in the green on the back of a better than expected Apple report. Apple is driving the DOW by roughly 84 points alone. But the headline of the day will undoubtedly be the Fed, which is expected to make its first interest rate cut since the Financial Crisis a decade ago when the Stock Market was reeling. Today, the Stock Market is at all-time highs. The unemployment rate is at a 5-decade low. This would usually be a time for a rate hike. These are not usual times. Trade talks continued in China yesterday with no breakthrough. That wasn’t a surprise. Asian markets were lower overnight. Tensions in Hong Kong seem to be building and could lead to increased violence and uncertainty. North Korea reportedly fired more projectiles ahead of a planned US-South Korea military exercises, though the White House is still planning talks with Pyongyang soon. It’s the final day of July. For the month, the S&P 500 is up 2.4% and 20% for the year, on track for its best performance in the first seven months of any year since 1998. The British Pound fell against the dollar for the 7th time in 8 sessions Tuesday, dropping to its lowest level since January 2017. The currency is down 18% from its pre-Brexit vote level in 2016 on concerns of economic disruption. It is near its lowest value in more than 34 years. Oil is higher. Interest rates and Gold are lower. The S&P 500 fell at least 2% a total of 5 times during the month of December 2018. It has happened only once the past 6 months. That is why they say the stock market takes an escalator up, but an elevator down. Brace yourself for the Fed and a whole lot of volatility ahead.

Have a great morning,

Mike Frazier