Mid-Day Recap: Global Stocks Lose Balance

by devteam August 17th, 2009 | Share

It's been a brutal day in equity markets so far, not just in the US but globally. China’s Shanghai stock market plunged 5.8%, its worst daily loss since November, sending investors into a global sell-off frenzy. Japan's Nikkei index fell 3.1%, Britain's FTSE 100 slid 1.7%, Germany's DAX closed 2% lower, and France's CAC-40 fell 2.3%. By the time the US markets opened, equity futures had already taken a beating in pre-session trading.

Since the open, markets have moved slightly higher but the mid-day results are still awful. As of 1:30, the Nasdaq is the worst of the bunch, trading down 2.51% to 1,935. The benchmark S&P 500 is 2.16% lower at 982, and the Dow is little better with a 1.70% dip to 9,158.

“Risk is taking a major step back to start the week,” said Sal Guatieri, economist at BMO Capital Markets, during the pre-session sell-off. “There is no clear catalyst, though news on Friday that five more U.S. banks filed for bankruptcy, bringing the total in the past two years to above 100, isn’t helping investor sentiment. News that Japan’s economy grew, as expected, for the first time in five quarters provided little support.”

MND analyst Adam Quinones reports that the market is beginning to focus more on growth fundamentals citing that investors are worried consumers aren’t ready to spend.  The consequence being the jobs market as corporate giants will be reluctant to add expenses to their trimmed down balance sheets. That theory gained some traction as Q2 earnings from Lowe’s, the home-improvement retailer, showed a 19% drop on weaker-than-anticipated sales.

Trading has been heavy, as seen in the volatility index known as the VIX, which jumped 17% in early trading to a one-month high. Moreover, about 2,700 stocks on the New York Stock Exchange fell in the morning, with only 230 heading upwards, according to the Associated Press.

US economic data was mixed this morning, a blend of positives and negatives.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that conditions for New York manufacturers are at their most optimistic level since November 2007. The headline Business Conditions index expanded by 13 points to a +12 reading in August â€

About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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