Market opens in the green to start the final month of the year, though gains are mild and not looking broad based at the open. December begins the way November ended, with stocks catching a bid, no matter what the news flow. Signs that a trade deal with China is hitting some rocks isn’t dragging stocks lower. It’s been a one-way trade since Summer ended and it’s straight up to new highs. Last year saw a brutal end to the year. This year seems like it’s the opposite where stocks will drift higher to 2020 as sellers sit on their hands. We shall see. It wouldn’t take much to derail this rally, but thus far, so many of the negative issues and risks have been absorbed and the Standard & Poor’s index of 500 kept marching on. Today marks what used to be called “Cyber Monday,” because back in the ’90s and early 2000s, customers had to wait to come to work to access the web and purchase goods on sale online. It follows Black Friday, which earned its name decades ago as the date that retailers first turned a profit for the year, putting them in the black. This year’s Black Friday brought in $7.4 Billion in sales, the second largest ever. 69 Million Americans are expected to shop on Cyber Monday. $9.4 Billion is expected to be spent today, which would represent a 19% increase over last year. The US officially became a net Oil exporter in September, something that seemed darn near impossible a decade ago. President Trump said the US will immediately restore steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina, arguing that those countries have presided over a massive devaluation of their currencies. Trump added that the Fed should “Lower Rates and Loosen” so other countries can no longer take advantage of the strong Dollar, which makes it hard for US manufacturers and farmers to fairly export their goods. International markets were mixed overnight, with gains in Asia followed by losses in Europe. Stocks are now lower in the US, Bonds are lower too as interest rates jump. Gold is flat. The Dollar is weaker while Crude Oil is catching a bid. The VIX is up 12%, now above 14, after spending the last couple of sessions below 12. The last time this occurred, it preempted a large stock selloff. There are 20 ½ trading days left in 2019. Hang on for the ride.
Have a great morning,