Market Brief: Yield Curve Inverts, Panic Ensues
Matt Weller, CFA, CMT August 14, 2019 4:01 PM
- FX: Currency market volatility was relatively constrained given the sharp moves in US equity markets. The safe haven Japanese yen and Swiss franc were the strongest major currencies, while the risk-sensitive commodity dollars (aussie, kiwi, and loonie) were the weakest.
- In addition to the yield curve inversion (see below), an outright contraction in German Q2 GDP and weaker-than-expected Chinese Industrial Production figures raised fears about the macroeconomic environment. Continued tweets from President Trump criticizing the Federal Reserve did little to reassure traders.
- Commodities: Gold gained nearly 1% on the day while oil (WTI) shed about 3.5%
- US indices reversed yesterday’s gains and more as traders panicked after the 10yr-2yr yield spread inverted, leading to one of Wall Street’s worst days of the year (-3% for major indices).
- All eleven sectors fell on the day, though Utilities (XLU) held up the most. Energy (XLE) was the biggest loser on the day.
- Stocks on the Move:
- Shares in retailer Overstock.com (OSTK, -23%) are in freefall after the company’s CEO espoused conspiracy theories about a “deep state” plot against him.
- Previous IPO darling Luckin Coffee (LK) dumped 17% after reporting downbeat earnings.
- Marijuana firm Tilray (TLRY) shed 15% on disappointing earnings.
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