The major indices are all in the red at midday following a nervous morning session on Wall Street, as investors took a step back ahead of President Trump’s China-related press conference. While we still don’t know any details about the President’s message, rumors of “major move” by the U.S. have been swirling around in the past few days. Analysts fear that the escalating tensions will lead to the collapse of the “phase one” trade deal between the two countries and today’s announcements could prove crucial in the wake of the passing of the controversial new Chinese national security plan for Hong Kong.
New Covid Cases Globally Hit A New High
This morning’s economic releases were clearly bearish, with especially the larger-than-expected 13.6% drop in personal spending casting a shadow on the recovery. The Core PCE Price Index missed expectations as well, just like the Chicago PMI, with the later measure hitting its lowest level since 2009. The daily number of new COVID cases hit a record high globally as the Latin American situation continues to deteriorate, which also contributed to the selling pressure on U.S. and global equities in early trading.
Dow: 25,227, – 174 or 0.7%
S&P 500: 3,015, – 14 or 0.5%
Nasdaq: 9,354, – 14 or 0.2%
Russell 2000: 1,441, – 22 or 1.6%
Market breadth has been relatively weak this morning, mimicking yesterday’s session, with decliners outnumbering advancing issues by an almost 4-to-1 ratio on the NYSE at midday. Only 7 stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 64 stocks hit new 52-week highs. The major indices have been trading below their daily VWAPs (Volume-Weighted Average Price) for most of the morning session, pointing to intraday selling pressure. Apart from the encouragingly stable tech sector, only the traditional safe-haven issues have been showing strength today, and cyclical issues have been losing ground across the board due to the geopolitical fears, which could dominate trading in the afternoon as well. Stay tuned!