All arrows are green on the market board this morning – something that’s rarely seen. Typically stocks trade in contrast to commodities and bonds and vice versa, but this morning – all arrows are moving up. The Dow is currently up 175 points having topped the 24,800 level for the first time ever. The NASDAQ is up 55 points, dangerously close to the 7,000 level – currently at 6,992. The S&P 500 is up 15 points, Gold is up 8 bucks, Oil is up a .25 of a dollar and the yield on the 10 year Note is up a bp and ½ to 2.37%. Even the VIX is positive – up just 0.08 points to 9.50 – still healthily below the 10 level.
Traders are excited this morning with the news over the weekend about progress on the Tax Reform Act. Several Senators said over the weekend that they are going to vote yes on the bill this week. It appears all the details have been worked out between the 2 house versions and a vote in the Senate is expected tomorrow. Hope is that the bill will be on the President’s desk by the end of the week for signature. Remember, what ever you might be reading or hearing about this tax bill, the cuts in taxes for corporations has always been the major piece of the bill. Stock traders are excited for corporations as this is going to be a boon for companies as well as for our economy.
Helping the stock market rally this morning is a report from the Nat’l Association of Home Builders who reported their Home Builders’ Index this morning. The Index showed a rise of 5 points to its current level of 74 – the highest reading in 18 years! This level has not been seen since December of 1999 when sentiment was at 69. Of the three index’s components, buyer traffic jumped 8 points to 58, current sales conditions rose 4 points to 81, and sales expectations in the next six months increased 3 points to a 79 reading. Home Builders are excited about conditions improving due to new policies aimed at providing regulatory relief to the business community – a topic that we rarely see discussed in the media.
Kevin D. Stevenson | Vice President, Mortgage Division
Integrity Bank & Trust