Tuesday, October 09, 2012

China Adds Some Stimulus

Our markets are lower on a lack of catalysts and concerns about the upcoming earnings season.  Edwards Lifesciences (EW) is the latest stock to take it on the chin after lowering Q3 guidance.  The stock is down nearly 20% on the news and weighing on medical device stocks.

Asian markets were mixed overnight, although China got a nice 2.0% bounce after the People's Bank of China injected CNY265 billion of cash through repo operations.  This comes as the IMF becomes the second organization this week to lower Chinese GDP forecasts to 7.8% from 8.0%.

European bourses are also mostly lower after German Chancellor Merkel visits Greece and the Troika says Greek debt will reach 150% of GDP in 2020, which is well above the target goal of 120%.  Elsewhere, ECB Pres. Draghi is defending the OMT program, saying that the ESM and IMF support would be be involved first, before resorting to OMT operations.  Last, Portugal was approved for its next tranche of aid.  More can kicking.

The dollar is higher, which is weighing on most commodities.  Gold prices are lower to $1763.  Silver and copper prices are also lower.  But oil prices are bucking the trend, due to concerns over the Turkey/Syria tension and following a pipeline blast that halted gas flow from Iran into Turkey.

Tech stocks are lagging the action again today.  AAPL is down another $10 near the $625 level.  People are really scrutinizing this pullback, but the stock was up nearly 75% already this year, so I think its normal to see the buy the rumor-sell the news reaction into the iPhone5 release.

The 10-year yield is lower today, down to the 1.69% level.  And the VIX is up another 7.5% above 16.25.  It is now back above its 50-day average, a level it has not been able to maintain lately.

Trading comment: The selling is picking up a little steam this morning, but its still early.  Most recent selloff attempts have faded a bit late in the day as buyers used the dip to put money to work.  We will have to see if that same late day bounce pattern emerges again today.  VMW was downgraded this morning and is off nearly 5%. I think this highlights how stocks are a little jittery after a long runup and heading into an iffy earnings season. Tread lightly.


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