Friday, July 13, 2012

China GDP Sparks Rally

On Day 7 they rallied.  That's the mantra this morning as markets are higher around the globe.  The big news overnight was China's latest GDP figures which showed the economy grew at a 7.6% rate.  That's roughly in-line with the 7.7% consensus but higher than some of the whispers numbers that were looking for a number closer to 7.0%.  There are also folks out there that believe the slowing growth in China will be met with a new stimulus program.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore's economy contracted 1.1% in the quarter.  That's not a good showing, and highlights the global contraction we are seeing in economic growth.  Overall Asian markets were higher overnight.

In Europe, Italy held a "successful" bond auction of 3-year notes that garnered a yield of 4.65% vs. 5.30% previously.  Moody's also downgraded Italy's rating two notches to Baa2.  Nonetheless markets across Europe are higher this morning, and the euro is bouncing as well. 

In earnings news, bank bellwethers JPMorgan and Wells Fargo both reported earnings that are being met with buying by investors.  This is helping boost the financial ETF more than 2% higher so far today.

In U.S. economic news, the Univ. of Mich. consumer sentiment survey came in below expectations at 72.0 vs. 73.2 the prior month.  This data is mostly being shrugged off this morning.

The dollar index is lower today which is boosting commodities.  Gold prices are rallying to $1592.  Oil prices are higher near $86.90.  Silver and copper prices are higher as well.

The 10-year yield is up a bit to 1.50%, still a very low absolute level.  And the VIX is getting crushed down -8% below the 17 level on this morning's rally.  I still think the VIX gets back above 20 this summer.

Trading comment: Yesterday we commented that although we are remaining defensive, the market has been down for 6 days and a bounce would not be surprising.  I think many are breathing a sigh of relief that China's GDP figure wasn't worse than the headline print of 7.6%.  But we still have plenty signs of slowing growth, and some potentially difficult earnings announcements ahead of us.  So I don't want to be lulled into a sense of complacency by the price action today.  Bounces are part of the trading process.  It is also very likely that traders are covering short positions which have been profitable over the last week and closing them out ahead of the weekend to reduce event risk in case there is policy news out of China, the EU, or even the U.S.


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