All good things must come to an end...in life and in markets, eventually. The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s streak of “up” days ended at 13 when the index suffered after a late-day slump yesterday. Meanwhile, Treasuries, the dollar, crude oil, and precious metals were mostly flat in the early going today.
On the news front...
Of all the things that could stop the Dow from making it 14 “up” days in a row, it was rumors of a Bank of Japan policy shift that did it. Then overnight, the BOJ confirmed it would no longer treat 0.5% on 10-year Japanese bond yields as a firm “cap.” Instead it will be a guideline or reference point, a change the markets interpreted as a de facto rate hike.
Ten-year Japanese bond yields were up about 11 basis points to 0.54% at last check. The move spooked markets (mildly) because it could prompt more Japanese investors to sell foreign bonds and bring money back home to invest in domestic debt that will now offer higher yields. That, in turn, could drive up business, government, and consumer borrowing costs in the US and other markets where Japanese investors have significant bond holdings.
Could “Big Oil” be on the prowl for more deals? That’s what some on Wall Street are wondering after Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) reported a combined $14 billion in Q2 earnings. While profit fell from year-ago levels, both companies said they’re continuing to scour the market for more potential acquisitions. XOM agreed to buy Denbury for $4.9 billion in July, while CVX said in May it would purchase PDC Energy for $6.3 billion.
Finally, the brutal summer heat that baked the Southwest first, then the Southeast next, is migrating to the US Northeast. The greater New York City area is under excessive heat warnings due to temperatures in the low-to-mid-90s and humidity strong enough to push the “feels like” temp to as much as 110.