Markets’ Debbie Downer Opening Day
Reading through today’s headlines on CNBC would give any investor a bit of a stomach ache. Words like stagflation, plunge, burst, shaking, and slowdown were prominent among the titles. There were a few hopeful headlines, but nothing as powerful as the downers.
CNBC’s Bob Pisani laid out a smorgasbord of reasons the market was down today:
1) A poor U.S. close to 2015. Momentum traders were sure to press the indifferent, lackluster close to what is normally a positive time of the year.
2) China. Not just the disappointing manufacturing numbers, but the coming lifting of the ban on insider selling from larger shareholders, which was imposed on shareholders who own 5 percent or more of company shares during the big drops earlier in 2015. …
3) The Saudi/Iran conflict, a major geopolitical event.
4) The inability of oil to hold any gain. A major geopolitical event, and the oil market barely reacts? Huh? That is a sure sign no one believes supply is going to come down in a big way anytime soon.
5) ISM U.S. data missed, with December data showing a bigger contraction than expected.
China the Root Cause?
Today’s reckoning was preceded by a selloff in Chinese shares that erased nearly 7% of the index’s value and set off “circuit breakers,” halting trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen.