Several stock trends have been emerging in the past several days:
First: limited visibility for the fourth quarter. You can see this today in the guidance from big tech companies. Cree (CREE), Juniper Networks (JNPR), Altera (ALTR), STMicro (STM), and Broadcom (BRCM) all gave revenue guidance that was disappointing.
What's up? We have in-line earnings with weak revenue guidance. Two conclusions: a) expectations appear too high, and b) visibility during the critical Q4 season is not high.
Second: big momentum names are breaking down. For the second day stocks with heavy volume and high volatility are weak again...Tesla (TSLA), Yelp (YELP), LinkedIn (LNKD), Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), Priceline (PCLN), and the Chinese internet names are weak.
Since Monday's close:
- YELP: -7.7%
- TSLA: -5.8%
- LNKD: -3.8%
- FB: -3.8%
- PCLN: -2.4%
Chinese internet stocks:
Third: oil is dropping due to the weak economy and oversupply. West Texas Intermediate has gone from $110 a month ago to $96 and change today...the lowest level since June.
Good news for consumers and many companies that use oil and gas as a raw material, but bad news for investors in energy stocks.
Oil service company Nabors (NBR) reported a loss last night amid oversupply in North America. It's down five percent today along with many other energy names.
Fourth: bond yields are continuing to break down. Everyone was positioned the wrong way on this trade. Since the deal to reopen the government a week ago, the 10-year yield has moved from 2.75 percent to 2.48 percent in the last six days, the lowest yield since July. The weak Nonfarm Payrolls report yesterday was another catalyst for lower yields.
Interest-rate sensitive stocks have gained in that time: home builders (ITB) up 6.7 percent, Utilities up 4.7 percent, and REITs (VNQ) up 3.7 percent in the last week.
Fifth: the Euro/U.S. Dollar is at new highs for the year. Traders believe that the prospects the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its bond purchases have been put off until at least March of next year, which is weighing on the dollar.
The weak dollar is a boost for U.S. multinationals and is likely hurting European multinationals like Nestle or Mercedes. I would expect some earnings misses from European companies on currency strength if this continues.
Still, don't think this strength in the euro will last forever. The Europeans are going to push back soon, even though ECB head Mario Draghi has been relatively nonchalant until now. The ECB, for example, could even go to a "nuclear option" and put up negative interest rates.