Since Wall Street shed 220 points to end at 11842.69 last Friday (a three-month low sparked by fears about credit market and inflation), I expected the sell-offs to spillover to Asian stock markets.
Indeed, regional stock markets (Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai, etc) were not spared from the destruction. The ST Index fell 22.66 points to close at 2979.15 on a sagging volume of 1.056 billion. Gainers/Losers stand at 177/337.
This Monday, US stock market turned in mixed results even as there were good news of a stronger dollar and mega mergers. In currency trading, the dollar gained versus the euro and the yen.
Two major deals got investors excited that mergers and acquisitions are alive and kicking, amid a bleak landscape of huge banking losses. Republic Services, a disposal company, said it will buy rival Allied Waste Industries in a $6.07 billion stock deal. Farm products company Bunge is buying Corn Products for $4.8 billion in stock and debts.
Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq composite edged higher in the opening but they lacked momentum due to fluctuating oil prices and uncertainty over the Federal Reserve policy meeting, scheduled on Tuesday. It is widely expected that interest rates will be held steady at this stage.
Troubles at Citigroup also dampened investors’ sentiment. They announced plans to layoff thousands from its worldwide investment-banking division, possibly 10% of the 65,000 staff. Last month, Citigroup already unveiled a three-year timetable to offload about $500 billion of its $2.2 trillion in assets which include mortgages, real-estate operations, non-core businesses and jobs.
I am actually pleased by STI’s performance to pull within its key support level after a morning of panic selling. Technical charts maintain STI is an oversold region and a rebound is very much on my radar now.
But I can understand why traders are standing on the sidelines. I mean, supposedly positive announcements about oil only result in volatility instead of stabilizing oil prices. Some commodity traders are even taking the news that Saudi Arabia will boost daily output to 9.7 million barrels from the current 9 million barrels negatively.
I believe it is going to take a lot to establish a sustained bull run. My observation is that investors are not keen to hold onto their stocks now. They may buy in when the price is low but sell immediately on small profits as nobody knows when another bad news is going to hit the stock market.
I will take a hold approach for now, until I hear the message from the Federal Reserve. Not the announcement of maintaining the interest rates, but the message within.