Need to Know: China’s stock selloff could wreak a lot more havoc before it’s over—Merrill Lynch

Top Stories


China growth and financial market worries have morphed into the latest buzzkill for global investors, adding to a list that includes earnings jitters and rate-hike worries.

A two-day rally sputtered out for the Shanghai Composite despite all the jawboning from Beijing officials, with an equity selloff spreading globally. That means a big haul of U.S. earnings Tuesday may need to be extra perky to reinstate any kind of ebullience on Wall Street.

“At the very least, we should be prepared for this to get worse before it gets better,” blogger Jani Ziedins at CrackedMarket told clients late Monday, though he added that the supply of nervous sellers out there could run out at any moment.

Read: Watch out for the dead-cat bounce for stocks, warns Morgan Stanley

Just in time for a China crisis is our call of the day, from David Cui, who heads up equity strategy for that country at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Cui, who predicted the 2015 blowout for Chinese stocks three months before it happened, said in a Monday report that no one should have expected the win streak—two sessions as of Monday—in China to last. He said if that market loses confidence and starts to see consecutive days of sharp declines with lots of participants, China officials may bring out the big guns.

“We cannot rule out such a scenario because the sentiment is jittery and fundamentals are still deteriorating,” he said, according to Bloomberg, which notes that Cui isn’t always 100% right. He called for a 20% rout in Chinese stocks in July, but the market is only about 11% off that level.

China’s latest meltdown came after the country announced new measures to ease funding worries for private companies. The market has chewed it all over and decided that such stimulus measures are “cushioning a fall rather than boosting the economy. The yuan has displayed this glass half full sentiment all along as it remains little changed around a 21 month low,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group.

The market

Dow

YMZ8, -1.05%

S&P 500

ESZ8, -1.23%

 and Nasdaq

NQZ8, -1.53%

 futures are deep in the red. That continues Monday’s selloff for the S&P

SPX, -0.43%

 and Dow

DJIA, -0.50%

though the Nasdaq

COMP, +0.26%

 squeaked by with a gain.

Read: Would you be ready for the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop 5,700 points?

As mentioned, China stocks

SHCOMP, -2.26%

 walked back part of a two-day rally, dragging down the rest of the region. Europe

SXXP, -1.06%

 is also lower.

Check out the Market Snapshot column for the latest action.

You know investors are nervous when gold

GCZ8, +1.08%

—gaining 1%—wakes up and the

USDJPY, -0.44%

 starts dominating. Along with that, the yield on 10-year U.S. government debt

TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.39%

 which was last yielding 3.146% from 3.196% on Monday (yields fall as prices rise). Crude

US:CLU8

is also tumbling.

The chart

Northman Trader’s Sven Henrich has been watching parallels between how stocks performed in 2007 and this year so far. “An early correction, followed by multiple months of recovery and then making new highs on negative divergences all the while volatility is increasing versus the previous year,” he writes.

Henrich provides our chart of the day, which zeroes in on fresh lows for financials—a sector that should benefit, (but isn’t) from the prospect of higher rates—on Monday. His chart shows the S&P (green line) going one way and the PHLX/KBW Bank Index (red)

BKX, -2.74%

 and Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (purple)

XLF, -2.14%

headed the other:

XLF, -2.14%

Here’s that chart in case the tweet isn’t clear enough:




Now look at his tweet about that same setup in 2007:

And here’s that chart blown up:




Read more about what Henrich has to say about other critical levels to watch in his weekly market update.

The buzz

Caterpillar

CAT, -1.99%

McDonald’s

MCD, -0.51%

3M

MMM, +0.76%

Lockheed

LMT, -0.41%

Harley-Davidson

HOG, -2.12%

United Tech

UTX, -1.77%

Biogen and Verizon

VZ, +0.15%

are the big-name results out this morning.

Earnings previews: Biogen, AMD, Intel, Amazon, Whirlpool, Ford

Tesla

TSLA, +0.37%

 has moved up its earnings release by 48 hours, now expected after the closing bell Wednesday. CEO Elon Musk, who says that tunnel under LA will be ready for the public Dec. 10, has been tweeting random stuff, alarming the Twitter police:

Marijuana-related investments will be in the spotlight after Monday’s beatdown for Aurora

ACBFF, -12.80%

 and ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF

MJ, -9.36%

to name a few.

European chip stock AMS

AMS, -25.70%

 is notable for its 30% plunge on Tuesday after a warning over the fourth-quarter and 2019.

A judge upheld Bayer’s weedkiller cancer link, but cut the jury award by more than $200 million.

The quote


Getty Images

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

“We have strong evidence that this murder was planned. He was brutally murdered.”—That was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing lawmakers Tuesday, over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi three weeks ago at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

As for the widely shunned “Davos in the Desert” conference in Riyadh, hackers took over the main website and dropped an image of Khashoggi on the home page.

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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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