S&P500 is out of a bear market; retailers outperform, China exposed stocks cop a blow. Nasdaq 100 still in the bear woods, down 40%
S&P 500 rose 1.6% last week with retailers shares rising the most; Best Buy
rose 12%+, Ross Stores
followed), while China’s Jd.com
fell 12%. All in all; the S&P500 is up 12% from its October low and 16% away from its all-time high (meaning it’s officially out of a bear market). While the Nasdaq 100 is still in a bear market, down over 40% from its high, and up just 10% from its October low after gaining 0.7% last week. This shows tech investor are concerned as Chinese covid cases are rising and forward earnings is likely to be diminished again. A lot of tech companies are pegged to Chinese consumer demand, and a lot of tech companies make their products
in China (Apple
makes most of its iPhones in China). As for what to watch this week that could cause market volatility; America’s ADP employment data, GPD estimates, consumer confidence and the closely watched Personal Consumer Expenditures (PCE) are released. Given the Fed meets in just three weeks it will be watching for further clues inflation is slowing and that employment is waning (which is expected), as that gives it impetus to be less aggressive with hikes.
The Australian share market is just 5% off its all time high; but seems vulnerable
The Aussie share market has gained 12% from its October low, after rising 1.5% last week; with Virgin Money was up the most last week, about 23%, on upgrading its outlook, while gold company Ramelius Resources rose 15% on maintaining its production outlook. This week stocks exposed to China are vulnerable of a pullback given forward earnings are likely to be downgraded following further China lockdowns and protests. So be mindful investors could be looking to take profits or write options for downside protection on China concerns. It also means commodities, oil – iron ore, copper, lithium may see demand slow down and their prices fall – that’s important as its underpin some of our largest companies profits. Fresh data on Friday showed the major iron ore companies, BHP, Rio, Fortescue, will be shipping almost 6% less than last year in the final quarter of this year. So the risk is the situation in China worsens, iron ore shipments could continue to fall and hurt iron ore majors earnings and shares. Early Monday morning, iron ore trades 0.6% lower. Inversely; note that stocks not exposed to China could likely continue to rally given it’s the first Christmas with no global lockdowns (excluding China). Consider looking at retailers doing well following Black Friday sales and ahead of the likely Santa rally; Shares in JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman, Premier Investments (owner of Jay Jays and Peter Alexander) are all trading up 20% from June. So they could be worth watching as examples.
Asian markets are on notice this week
All eyes are on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s CSI 300 which could be vulnerable of pulling back and trimming their 20% and 8% respective gains from their October lows, amid new lockdowns and unrest.
Commodities in focus; demand likely to slow from China, production increases
Oil (WTI) trades 0.3% lower in early trade Monday at $76.01 after falling 2% on Friday, losing almost 5% in total over the week. The bottom line is oil prices almost back at January levels on forward demand likely slowing, while production is rising. BP is restarting its Rotterdam refinery. Iraq plans to start increasing oil export capacity from its southern ports from 2023, adding up to 250,000 barrels a day next year and as much as 1.5 million by 2025. This is good for consumers and inflation though, and it also gives room for the share market to be supported higher as the Fed has ammunition to be less aggressive with rates (if inflation pressures from oil remain contained).
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