U.S. equities are back in the dog house
U.S. equities are back in the dog house as investor focus reverts to the opening salvos in the trade war with China and Zuckerberg's mea culpa on the Facebook data crisis was less satisfactory than hoped. Initial jobless claims rose slightly and home prices predictably gained. Talk is centering around a $50 B tariff on China high-tech exports to the U.S. along with other penalties to protect intellectual capital. There reportedly will be a "presidential memorandum" on China trade at 12:30 ET, as the next step towards tariffs. The Dow is 301-points lower, S&P sank 30-points and NASDAQ is off 109-points ahead of the opening clang. This followed mixed trade in Asia after Japan reopened 1% higher on the Nikkei, but HK and China sank over 1% after the PBoC lifted the 7-day repo rate. In Europe, stocks are 1.3-1.7% lower after hawkish dissention among the BoE ranks and following weak Eurozone PMIs. The dollar index has recovered slightly to 89.72 and the VIX equity volatility index is 13.5% higher near 20.28. Leading indicators remain on the docket, though typically ignored.