International Markets: New York: A case of the holiday blues
Sunday 21 December 1997
Such companies as footwear giant Nike and investment bank JP Morgan disappointed investors last week by reporting weak earnings or warning that profits would fall short of estimates. Both companies cited adverse conditions in Asia for the shortfall.
The first sign that turmoil in Asian economies would be more than a blip on the radar screen for the US stock market came in late October, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average took a one-day 554-point tumble. Last week markets in Japan and Hong Kong slumped again on fears of more bankruptcies.
The volatility caused by weakness in Asia may be heightened this week by a dearth of trading activity. In the past three years, the volume of shares traded on the New York exchange during Christmas week has been 30 per cent below its yearly average.
The Dow industrials fell 82.01 points, or 1 per cent, to 7,756.29 last week. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 0.7 per cent. The two worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500 this month are Cabletron Systems and Oracle, down 40 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.
The US stock market may be the victim of its own success. Share prices have more than doubled in the last three years, probably reflecting all the good news to come.
"The market can't afford any disappointments," said Jeff Petherick, a money manager in Loomis Sayles. "But what usually undoes the US stock market is rising interest rates, and we're not seeing that right now."
The yield on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond fell as low as 5.86 per cent on Friday, down from 6.64 per cent when the year began.
The slide in yields came after the Federal Reserve declined to raise the federal funds rate from its current 5.5 per cent at a meeting on Tuesday. Bonds were also helped by tumbling world stock markets.
"The economic slowdown in Asia will help relieve inflationary pressures so that the Fed won't raise interest rates in 1998," said Art Bonnel, manager of the $100m Bonnel Growth Fund. "In fact, it's more likely we'll see a decrease in rates next year."
The US stock market tends to get a case of earnings jitters at this time every quarter, so investors shouldn't attach too much importance to the market's recent woes, said Jack Shaughnessy, president of Boston Security Counsellors.
It is, after all, the holiday season.
Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 4 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Syria conflict: President Assad finally turns on Isis as government steps up campaign against militant strongholds
Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
Ice Bucket Challenge: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Oprah – the most entertaining reactions so far
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
iJobs Money & Business
£200 - £290 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Sales Performance Manager, Key Ba...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, ...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...