U.S. stocks veer higher in latest bout of market volatility

17 Août, 2019, 06:21 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Markets in Asia were already on the backfoot after all three major USA stock indexes closed down about 3 percent overnight, with the blue-chip Dow posting its biggest one-day point drop since October. That yield has been steadily dropping since late a year ago, when it was above 3%.

Global stocks crumbled and oil prices extended a punishing sell-off on Thursday as an inverted USA bond yield curve intensified fears about a world recession.

On the trade front, China said earlier Thursday that it plans to push back against proposed USA tariffs. The S&P 500 had added 37 points and the Nasdaq 116 by mid-Friday.

Investors paused to catch their breath Thursday, one day after the stock market suffered its worst drop of the year. A report showing stronger-than-expected retail sales and a solid profit outlook from Walmart may allay some concerns about the strength of the USA economy. It also recovered some of its decline and stood at 1.98% Thursday afternoon.

"The yield curves are all crying timber that a recession is nearly a reality and investors are tripping over themselves to get out of the way as economic recession hurts corporate earnings and stocks can drop as much as 20 percent", said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.

The trade war has hammered global demand, with Chinese industrial output hitting a 17-year low while investment and retail sales have also slowed in the world's number two economy.

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The trade war isn't the only worry for investors. The S&P 500, though, remains within 6% of its record set late last month. "It is now threatening to turn what would have been an orderly and gentle slowdown, after ten years of uninterrupted growth, into something potentially much more aggressive", said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley. "However, the signs flashing from the markets are not great".

Cisco Systems jumped 2% Friday, a day after taking a nosedive on a weak forecast.

Besides Walmart's surge, Procter & Gamble rose 1.4% and Coca-Cola gained 1.6%. The FTSE 100 in London dropped 1.1%.

Earlier in the week, US markets were weakened after The People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the daily midpoint for yuan trading at 7.0211 per dollar, which marked the consecutive session below the level of 7 per dollar.

"Worries over the United States economic recession grew, while negative economic data for China and Germany also prompted investors to downgrade their views on the global economy", Mizuho Securities added. Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.8% at 25,495.46. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, rose 48 cents to $58.71.

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