A significant selloff Friday had bears continuing to enjoy December and calls for the bulls for the Federal Reserve to save them. It’s been a very long time since bears have had the upper hand for such an extended period. Volatility continues to be very high and the charts continue to say “remain in safety”. The Russell 2000 – the laggard of 2018 – broke a yearly low set in February and the S&P 500 broke October lows to create a “lower low”.
Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist with Voya Investment Management, said that disappointing economic data out of China was the biggest driver of Friday’s losses. “The Chinese data was a dirt sandwich, not because it showed deceleration in the Chinese economy, but because it’s showing that all the stimulus they’ve done can’t turn it around.” She argued that the losses snowballed throughout the day because “people are worried that we will reach technical indicators” that could trigger a bout of algorithmic selling.
“Indeed, investors are right to be worried about global growth as China economy continues to sputter,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at Oanda, in a note to clients. “The data lend support to the market’s view that things will get worse in China before they get better, this despite investment rising.”