U.S. equity markets continued to set new highs, with the S&P 500 advancing 1.58% and the Russell 2000 climbing 2.31%. As the storm clouds cleared, buyers swooped in to take advantage of any bargains that had been created by fears of Hurricane Irma. Shares of insurance companies fared particularly well as damage estimates from the storm now range from $25 billion to $55 billion, which is substantially below prior expectations. Energy shares also rallied, as crude oil jumped 5% in price. The yield on the Ten-Year Treasury jumped 14 basis points to 2.20%, and the dollar firmed versus the other world currencies.
Could be a long winter as a sports fan. I’m not sure which is worse, the Chicago Bears or my fantasy football team. Meanwhile, the line in Las Vegas has the Chicago Bulls as the worst team in the NBA. Thank goodness for the Chicago Maroons Basketball team (emerging division 3 powerhouse) and the USC Trojans football team.
Politics and monetary policy will be in focus. On Tuesday, President Trump will make his first appearance at the United Nations, and will ask for help in confronting North Korea. Neither Xi Jinping nor Vladimir Putin will be in attendance. On Wednesday, the Fed ends its meeting, and delivers its decision on interest rates and information on the wind down of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Expectations are for rates to remain unchanged, and perhaps for a slower rate hike path to be adopted to provide a buffer against any slowdown in the economy or other shocks to the system.
Stocks in the News:
Lakeland Industries, Inc. (LAKE): Reported a 29% increase in net income for its fiscal 2018 second quarter ended July 31, 2017, on a 7.4% increase in net sales. Christopher J. Ryan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lakeland Industries, stated, “Our solid financial performance in the fiscal 2018 second quarter resulted from the implementation of a diversified growth strategy in the nearly $7 billion market for personal protective equipment (PPE) along with effective management in all facets of our operations.” He continued, “Moreover, in the more than 30 years that I have been involved with Lakeland, the Company has never been better positioned and presented with more global opportunities than it is today.” Lakeland manufactures and sells safety garments and accessories for industrial protective clothing market. It offers limited use disposable protective clothing, chemical protective suits, and firefighting & heat protective apparel.
AMC Entertainment, Inc. (AMC) and National Cinemedia, Inc. (NCMI): Investor sentiment shifted dramatically positive following the unexpected breakout box office performance of the movie “It”. I hear the movie is very scary, so if you have any courage, please go see it.Tagged: AMC, Chicago, Chicago Investment Management, Eric Kuby, finance, financial commentary, Fund Fact, Gold, Kuby's Commentary, Market Commentary, NCMI, North Star, North Star Financial Services, North Star Investment Management, NSIMC, Oil, Russell 2000, S&P 500, Stocks In the News, Wealth Management.
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