Some crazy lucky person is $1.6 billion richer this morning, but chances are slim it’s you, unfortunately.
Here’s some Mega Millions perspective from Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid: “To put this mind-boggling sum in some context…the Bloomberg global equity index lost $637 billion in market cap yesterday (Tuesday). So we’ll need a few lottery winners to fill the gap at the moment.”
And that gap could get bigger, with the mood on Wall Street not exactly looking fired up this morning. On that gloomy note, our call of the day, from Wolf Richter of the Wolf Street blog, warns investors not to be fooled by the “hunky-dory” surface of this market as the rot is setting in.
Sure, the S&P 500 has gained 6.7% over the past 52 weeks, the Nasdaq has logged a 12.7% rise over the same period and the Dow has risen 7.5%. But Richter’s blog is strewn with evidence that the market is in serious trouble. Those signs include the fact that 353 stocks on the S&P 500 are down 10% from 52-week highs and 179 have lost at least 20%.
Overall, stocks would be sunk by a more substantial amount, if it weren’t for some heavyweight tech performers like Apple
and Microsoft (reporting later Wednesday), whose 52-week losses are in the mere single digits, he notes. And those performances have helped soften the blow of other big tech losses, such as the 21% drop for shares of Netflix
over the same period.
And then there is the bruising that smaller-capitalization stocks, which brushed off that bigger market selloff in early February, have endured recently, says Richter. The Russell 2000 index
is down 12% since Aug. 31, he notes.
“These are the hallmarks of a market that is rotting ‘gradually,’ as the Fed would say, at every corner underneath the covers—the covers being a few large stocks, such as Apple, that have held up reasonably well. But they can no longer cover the rotting process,” says Richter.
But let’s leave things on a less dire note, with insight from Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, who says the short, sharp pullbacks that have been hitting stocks aren’t too dissimilar to what was seen in early 2018, early 2016 and 2011.
He admits that the risks are piling up that investor confidence will probably crack and take this market down “significantly”, with headwinds such as looming Fed hikes looming, a housing market that is rolling over and growth and trade-war worries festering.
But investors should always remember that the market tends to recover in “reasonably short order, says McMillan. Like that crash in 2016, for example, of which he says: “Almost no one remembers that crash today. Why? Over time, it didn’t matter, which is exactly the point.”
It is worth noting that this time, market downturns also are occurring against the backdrop of a Federal Reserve that is on a determined path toward raising interest rates. So, this time investors are wading through some uncharted waters.
Interest rates rising “for the right reasons”? Gimme a break. Ask any homebuilder CEO. Ask any automaker CEO. Ask any financial company CEO.
— Jeffrey Gundlach (@TruthGundlach) October 24, 2018
Indeed it is a bit grim out there, with Dow
futures again in the red after Tuesday’s volatile session that saw the S&P
log its fifth-straight loss. The Dow
lost ground for that session, while the Nasdaq
squeaked past with a gain.
Check out the Market Snapshot column for the latest action.
and Brent crude
are slipping. The dollar is fired up
against the pound
as PM Theresa May gets ready for a big cabinet meeting, amid near-mutiny over her Brexit plan. The loonie
could be active ahead of a Bank of Canada meeting.
Speaking of Apple, Michael Kramer, founder of Mott Capital Management, has been tracking some “highly unusual” activity for those shares lately, noting “serious money” being through at defending a certain level. Here’s that chart of the day:
“Every time the stock falls it never goes below the $215 price. If you look at the chart you can see there have been several times now the price has fallen but it never goes below 215. Even on days when the market is down a lot,” says Kramer, in emailed comments.
His “gut” tells him that it is one big buyer of Apple, and not the company, given earning are due soon. “Whoever is buying the stock is taking a stand with conviction. Guys this is Apple. This a $1 trillion market cap company. We are talking about serious money here,” he says on the blog.
are some of the names rolling out with reports, with Tesla
expected after the close.
is down after reporting the first slowdown in demand since 2015, and some are talking about a “death cross” for the sector. Note, Europe chip makers haven’t been so chipper either.
Trump came out swinging against Fed hikes in a WSJ interview late Tuesday, saying Chairman Jerome Powell “almost looks like he’s happy raising interest rates,” and he might just be regretting that nomination.
— Douglas Kass (@DougKass) October 24, 2018
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to give his first public address since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his country’s consulate in Istanbul three weeks ago, the handling of which POTUS referred to as “the worst coverup in history.” He’ll speak at the widely shunned Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh.
Markit manufacturing and services PMI data are due after the market open, followed by new home sales and later on, the Fed’s Beige Book.
Latest victim of U.S.-China trade tensions: Baseball caps
So far, a ticket in South Carolina matches winning numbers for the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot
Russian football fans injured as escalator in Rome goes haywire
Need to Know starts early and is updated until the opening bell, but sign up here to get it delivered once to your email box. Be sure to check the Need to Know item. The emailed version will be sent out at about 7:30 a.m. Eastern.
Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.