After last week’s historic equity market run to new all-time highs in the S&P 500, we are seeing a notable pullback on the open to begin the week in reaction to weak economic growth data out of China and a concerning read on U.S. regional manufacturing numbers in the U.S. In addition, we are seeing commodities across the board under extreme pressure with Gold leading the way lower, as the yellow metal is down over 6% while Crude Oil is down over 2%.
As of 10AM ET, we are trading just around 0.5% to 0.7% lower on all the broader equity averages the S&P 500 falling back to its near-term support level of 1,576, which was its previous all-time intra-day high from back in 2007.
Main Factors Driving Early Trade:
– The Rout In Gold Continues – Gold officially entered bear market territory on Friday and breaking $1,400 an ounce earlier this morning, loosing close to $200 an ounce this month, as optimism that a U.S. recovery will curb the need for stimulus cut demand for a protection of wealth. Please note that numerous other factors have been cited behind the sell-off, including: Trading desk rumors surrounding the belief that Cyrprus may begin selling off their gold to pay down debt & fears that other EU nations might eventually end up going this route are circulating…There is also chatter that a large hedge fund of group of funds is being forced to unwind a large Gold position, which is creating extreme pressure across the market.
– Weak Chinese GDP & Industrial Production Data – China released a bunch of economic data over the weekend. GDP growth slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter, from 7.9 percent in Q4. Meanwhile, industrial production eased to 8.9 percent in March, from 9.9 percent in Jan-Feb. In addition, retail sales were up 12.6 percent in March, up marginally from 12.3 percent for Jan-Feb.
– Very Weak NY Manufacturing Data – The pace of growth in manufacturing in New York state slowed more than expected in April as new orders tumbled, the latest data to suggest the economy lost some steam heading into the second quarter, data from the New York Federal Reserve showed on Monday. The New York Fed’s “Empire State” general business conditions index fell to 3.05, from 9.24 in March, short of economists’ forecasts for a smaller decline to 7.
– Another Pullback In U.S. Home Sales Data – U.S. homebuilder sentiment waned for the third month in a row in April, with builders citing increasing materials costs and supply chain concerns, the National Association of Home Builders said on Monday. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index slipped to 42 from 44 in March, shy of economists’ expectations for a pick up to 45.