January 2, 2019
Any hope for a reversal of the ominous market trends of last year and a positive start to 2019 were quickly dashed overnight when what was originally a gain of as much as 0.6% in S&P futures early in the session was promptly extinguished as futures slumped deep in the red alongside a sea of red in global stocks, after the Caixin China PMI manufacturing survey fell into contraction territory for the first time since May 2017, sending Asian stocks tumbling to the worst start to the year since 2016, while poor PMI reports out of Europe only confirmed that the global economy is slowing.
Weak manufacturing-activity surveys across Asia were followed by disappointing numbers in the euro zone, sending MSCI’s index of world shares 0.4% lower.
“The disappointment that came through in December has transferred into January as well,” said Jingyi Pan, a Singapore-based market strategist at IG Asia Pte. While there was some small development in uncertain Washington politics, it’s a reminder of the U.S.-China trade tensions and “brings back to the surface worries on growth,” she said.
Initially, S&P500 futures rose 0.6%, after President Trump invited the top congressional leaders from both parties to a White House briefing on border security Wednesday and suggested he wants to “make a deal” to end the government shutdown. However, this initial optimism faded quickly and futures fell as much as 2.3%, down almost 70 points from session highs reaching a low of 2,452 and trading down 1.4% last, after a closely watched index of Chinese manufacturing for small and medium enterprises had its lowest reading since May 2017, confirming a prior contractionary print from the official Chinese PMI which tracks larger companies. Nasdaq 100 Index futures and those on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.2 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, while Dow…