Stocks continue to waver with some investors fretting about overall slowing global economic growth. The September Manufacturing PMI numbers were released this morning by the Institute for Supply Management showing a fall to 56.6 from August's 59.0 reading. The reading remains above 50 showing continued expansion but the pace slowed and that is feeding into those concerns noted above.
The one number that I found noteworthy was the New Orders index. That fell to 60.0 from August's 66.7, which was a multi-year high according to Dow Jones. Again, nothing strongly negative but it does reflect a slowing trend and that is spooking equity bulls somewhat.
That is bringing some strong buying into the bond market which notched a three week high today.
The flip side to this were numbers out of China. It's version of the manufacturing PMI came in at a 51.1 reading for September. That was steady with the August reading.
Investors/traders are looking at this and seeing the glass half full this morning ( especially in the copper and silver markets). The thinking is, "Yes, we knew China was slowing down but at least it seems to have stabilized". One month does not a trend make but for today, copper is breathing a sigh of relief and has thus managed to hold above $3.00. Silver seems to be taking its cues from the red metal and has clawed back above $17 on the number.
The weakness in the stock markets has sent some safe haven buying into gold this morning ( note the Yen is also higher confirming the safe haven bid seen in the gold and bond markets ) and that is keeping the metal afloat above psychological and round number support at $1200. Even the HUI is bouncing today.
Something also I am watching this morning is the further melt-up in the feeder cattle market. In going over the COT data for this very small and thinly traded futures market, I noted that the small specs or general public, have been holding the bulk of the short position in there and they are being mercilessly brutalized by the hedge funds who are squeezing them to kingdom come. Again, this market is currently experiencing a parabolic blow off run which I want to hasten to add makes it EXTREMELY DANGEROUS for all by the most experienced and nimble trader. Be careful with it unless you have some very deep pockets.
Every now and then a mania comes along in the futures world and this market is one of them. When the panic buying out at the auction barns in the country is going to come to an end is anyone's guess but with replacement feeders fetching such nose-bleed prices, my view is that once the panic ends, the fall will be quite dramatic. Oh would I have loved being a cattle guy at this time in the industry with calves to sell! it was not that long ago when you could not GIVE them away.
Crude oil has erased half of yesterday's massive losses as an unexpected drop in supplies.
"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat
Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput
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