The first day of the year was met with counter trend moves in yields, the USD and stocks. For the yields, the USD was mostly lower in 2023 vs the major currencies. The exception was vs the JPY. The NZD and AUD were near unchanged for the year. Today, the USD is ending as the strongest of the major currencies with gains of over 1% vs the NZD and the CHF leading the way. The greenback moved the least versus the CAD today with a gain of 0.71%. The runup in the USD was helped by higher US yields. Yields were up and down in 2023, but from October 20 or so, yields moves sharply lower. For the 10 year, it erased large gains into October that saw the yield move up to 5.02% before tumbling to 3.783%. That took the yield back below the closing level from 2022 at 3.88% before rebounding to close the year at 3.866% – about 2 basis points down on the day. Today, the 10-year yield followed the USD strength and is closing up 7.5 basis points at 3.935%. Looking at the other parts of the yield curve: Finally, US stocks rose sharply in 2023 and closed the year with a 9 week winning streak. The gains in 2023 were led by the Nasdaq index which rose over 43% on the year. Today, the fortunes were not so rosy, as it fell -1.63% or -245.42 points to 14765.93. The S&P – which rose to within 3 or so points of the all-time closing level last week at 4796 – fell -27.00 points or -0.57% to 4742.82. The one bright spot was the modest rise in the Dow 30 which had a modest gain of 25.50 points or 0.07% at 37715.05. The catalyst for the moves? For stocks, Apple received a rare downgrade before the open by Barclay’s on concerns for iPhone sales. That helped to send apple shares down -3.64% on the day. Other high flyers from 2023 also felt the profit taking pinch: The rise in rates and the USD may have been on the back of going too far too fast into the year-end. A lack of liquidity can lead to exaggerated moves. That may have contributed to the bounce back higher in yields and the US dollar today. One day does not make a trend, but the first trading day of the calendar year does not look like the days leading up to the close for 2023.

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