The market stumbled out of the starting block launching the new week with a loss. Heavy selling in Europe spread to the U.S. following negative comments from the World Bank. Meanwhile strength in the U.S. dollar continues to weigh on commodities. The July oil futures, which expire today, are down almost $2.60 to $66.96. August oil futures are off more than $2.00 trading under $68.00 a barrel.
Asian markets were positive. The Japanese NIKKEI, after turning in one of its worst weeks in three months last week, managed a 0.4% bounce. The Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 0.77% as investors bid up a couple of new IPOs. The Chinese Shanghai index marked its fourth gain in a row (+0.5%) thanks to strength in financials and steel stocks.
Across the globe steel stocks didn't fare so well. European markets were down sharply with commodities leading the way. The negative forecast from the World Bank fueled a widespread sell-off. In England news that home prices turned lower in June following four months of gains sapped investor confidence. The French CAC-40 index lost 3%. The German DAX lost 2.7% The English FTSE gave up 2.2%.
The big story today was the World Bank's new 2009 forecast for the global economy. It appears the recession is getting worse and will be the worst on record. The World Bank now believes that global GDP will fall from -1.7% to -2.9% thanks to an estimated 10% plunge in world trade. The forecast went on to say that any economic recovery would be a lot weaker than expected.
In corporate news Apple Inc. (AAPL) was making headlines. The company announced it had sold one million of its new 3GS iPhones in the first three days, which was significantly higher than many had forecasted. Unfortunately this positive news was encumbered by reports that Steve Jobs had received a liver transplant a couple of months ago and the news was just disclosed over the weekend. Investors are slowly starting to feel more comfortable with the idea that AAPL will be successful given the strength of its management team without Steve Jobs but there is still fear the company will suffer if Jobs doesn't return.
Tomorrow begins a two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) where the Federal Reserve will determine any changes on interest rates. Expectations are for rates to remain unchanged in the 0.0% to 0.25% zone so the focus will be on the Fed's statement. Pundits are wondering if the Fed will announce new plans to buy more U.S. bonds, especially this week with the U.S. Treasury selling an all-time record $104 billion worth of debt. Later this week the market will digest the existing home sales, new home sales figures, durable goods orders, personal income and spending data, and the next GDP estimate.
Let's take a quick look at charts for the major averages:
Chart of the S&P 500:
Chart of the NASDAQ:
Chart of the Dow Industrials:
Chart of the Russell 2000 index:
Reviewing the OptionInvestor.com play list I see that AAPL is showing some volatility. The stock gapped open above $140.00 and promptly reversed. The move thus far looks like a bearish engulfing reversal candlestick pattern. Not good news for AAPL bulls. Shares of Amazon.com (AMZN) are being sold sharply with a 4.4% decline and a breakdown under support at $80.00, support at its 50-dma and support at the bottom of its bullish channel. APOL is back under resistance in the $66-65 zone. IBM is breaking down and now under the $105 level. This is the seventh decline in a row for IBM. Shares of NAV are also reversing hard with a 4.9% decline. Put play SYMC is off 4.9% and testing its 200-dma.