Worst Market Crash In A Decade: The Dow Has Fallen More Than 4000 Points As Stocks Rapidly Approach “The Capitulation Phase”

We have not seen anything like this since the financial crisis of 2008.  On Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost another 464 points, and over the last five trading sessions it has lost a total of more than 1,700 points.  CNN’s Fear & Greed index has swung all the way over to “extreme fear”, and there has only been one December in all of U.S. history that was worse for the stock market than this one.  But back at the very beginning of October, most of the experts never would have imagined that the year would end this way.  According to CNBC, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time record high of 26,951.81 in early October, and investors were feeling really good about things at that point.  But on Thursday the index closed at just 22,859.60, and that means that the Dow has lost more than 4,000 points in less than three months.

All of the major trend lines have been shattered and all of the key support levels have been breached.  When analysts look at stock charts these days, all they are seeing is sell signal after sell signal.  One investment strategist told CNN that stocks are “quickly approaching the capitulation phase”

“Equity markets are quickly approaching the capitulation phase after having broken below critical support,” Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research, told CNN Business.

According to Google, “capitulation” means “the action of surrendering or ceasing to resist an opponent or demand.”  In this case, the bulls are on the verge of surrendering to the bears, and if that happens we could see a tremendous amount of chaos break loose on Wall Street.

And the damage that has already been done has been extraordinary.  At this point firms listed on the S&P 500 have seen 2.39 trillion dollars in market cap wiped out, and a grand total of 16.7 trillion dollars in stock market wealth has been wiped out globally.

Many are pointing the blame for what is happening at the Federal Reserve.  Here is just one example

“We, too, were very vocal in recommending heavily that the Fed not hike yesterday,” said Julian Emanuel, chief equity strategist at BTIG.

“This is all about the speed of things,” Emanuel added. “The problem with ignoring the consequences of the balance sheet reduction really tells you that the Fed is not paying attention to that fact that financial markets correct much more rapidly on the downside than they do in bull markets to the upside.”

Even though the U.S. economy is slowing down substantially, and even though financial markets have already been crumbling, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates anyway.

And they knew that the financial markets would respond very negatively, so nothing that has happened the last couple of days is any sort of a surprise.

Of course it isn’t just stocks that are plunging.  Junk bonds just had their worst day since the Brexit vote, and that is an extremely ominous sign.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

High yield bond prices are collapsing, but it is clear that liquidity has evaporated as traders have sent high yield bond ETFs (more liquid) dramatically below its fair-value as they seek hedges ahead of their liquidation needs.

Today is HYG’s worst day since Brexit, with price crashing to lowest since April 2016…

As I have discussed before, the collapse of junk bonds was an early sign that stocks were going to totally crash in 2008, and now we see a very similar pattern playing out in 2018.

One of the signature moments from the crisis of 2008 was Jim Cramer’s famous rant about the Federal Reserve on CNBC, and he referenced that rant during remarks that he made on Thursday

For CNBC’s Jim Cramer , the worst part about the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate hike is that the central bank’s chief, Jerome Powell, seemed to ignore what Cramer regards as “serious” weakness in the U.S. economy.

“I have a better read on the economy than the Fed and I know they’re not going to listen to me,” the “Mad Money” host said Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to a 14-month low . “I feel powerless, just like 2007 , when I ranted that the Fed needed to start easing aggressively in order to stave off a financial catastrophe.”

Does Jim Cramer really believe that he has a better grasp on how the U.S. economy is performing than the Federal Reserve does?

That is quite a bold statement, but based on what the Fed has been doing lately it is tempting to think that they are utterly clueless at this point.

But of course they aren’t clueless.  They know exactly what they are doing, and it isn’t about helping the American people.

Meanwhile, just like we saw in 2008, the mainstream media is trying to assure everybody that they should keep their money in the stock market.  In fact, CNN posted an article earlier today that encouraged people to put more money in because this latest downturn is a “buying opportunity”

“The market’s behaving like a two-year-old,” said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds. “The Federal Reserve is doing its job — and it’s doing it patiently and cautiously.”

Kelly said the recent market slide could present an entry point, especially for investors who previously felt stocks were too expensive.

You can believe that if you want, but there is a reason why corporate insiders were selling stocks at the fastest pace in 10 years just before the market started to crash.

This ridiculously absurd stock market bubble was not going to last forever, and now it is imploding at a speed that is absolutely breathtaking.

Hopefully things will stabilize a bit as we roll through the holidays, but there is no guarantee that will happen.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Stocks Are On Pace For Their Worst December Since The Great Depression – The Dow Is Now Down Over 3,300 Points From The Peak

U.S. stocks have not fallen this dramatically during the month of December since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost another 507 points, and it is now down more than 1,000 points from Thursday’s close.  This fresh downturn has pushed the Dow and the S&P 500 very firmly into correction territory, and the Russell 2000 is now officially in bear market territory.  The ferocity of this stock market crash is stunning many of the experts, and many investors are beginning to panic.  Back in early October, the Dow hit an all-time high of 26,951.81, but on Monday it closed at just 23,592.98.  That means that the Dow has now plunged more than 3,300 points from the peak of the market, and many believe that this stock crash is just getting started.

When it was first being reported that the stock market was on pace for the worst December since the Great Depression, I have to admit that I was skeptical.

But CNBC has the numbers to back up that claim…

Two benchmark U.S. stock indexes are careening toward a historically bad December.

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are on pace for their worst December performance since 1931, when stocks were battered during the Great Depression. The Dow and S&P 500 are down 7.8 percent and 7.6 percent this month, respectively.

And we still have two weeks remaining in December.  If things continue to unravel, we could potentially be talking about a truly historic month for Wall Street.

But we certainly don’t need things to get any worse, because the damage that has already been done has been immense.  The following numbers come from Zero Hedge

  • Dow -12.7% from highs (correction)
  • S&P -13.7% from highs (correction)
  • Nasdaq Composite -17.3% from highs (correction)
  • Dow Transports -19.4% from highs (correction)
  • Russell 2000 -20.6% from highs (bear market)

The Russell 2000 is often an early indicator of where the rest of the market is going, and if that turns out to be the case this time around then we should expect the Dow and the S&P 500 to fall a lot farther.

When asked about this market downturn by CNBC, one equity strategist actually used the “R” word

“The sell-off comes from the risk-off sentiment. Small caps are riskier than large caps, and there are some concerns about the end of a cycle in the U.S. and that we are entering a recession,” said Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citi.

We haven’t even had any sort of a major “trigger event”, and yet stock prices have been steadily falling for weeks.

How bad could things ultimately get if there is some sort of “Lehman Brothers moment” that sets off a full-blown state of panic?

Already, many are using the term “bear market” to describe what is happening.  For instance, Jeffrey Gundlach attracted a huge amount of attention when he made the following statement on Monday…

DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach said Monday that he “absolutely” believes the S&P 500 will go below the lows that the index hit early in 2018.

“I’m pretty sure this is a bear market,” Gundlach told Scott Wapner on CNBC’s Halftime Report. The major averages fell to session lows following his comments.

And some high profile stocks are already well beyond bear market territory.  Goldman Sachs is now down 40 percent from the 52-week high, and the banking sector as a whole is just getting crushed.

Trillions upon trillions of dollars of paper wealth has disappeared, and needless to say, hedge funds are starting to go down like dominoes.  Earlier today, a New York Post article used phrases such as “losing their shirts” and “financial wipeout”…

The stars of the biggest hedge funds are losing their shirts as analysts fear a major financial wipeout is imminent.

From Ken Griffin’s Citadel, to Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, one big name after another is racking up negative returns lately, amid bad bets in a saturated market.

On Monday, we witnessed more forced hedge fund liquidations, and that was one of the major factors that pushed prices down

As we noted previously, you are witnessing a massive culling of the hedge fund industry as hundreds of funds are liquidated and thousands more get sizable redemptions. Many of these funds own the same companies—the outcasts from the indexed world, the cheap, the unloved; the same stocks that many other hedge fund managers own. With the hedge fund industry going in reverse, there is suddenly no natural buyer for what must be sold. As a result, you are seeing waves of forced sell orders and few buyers (which for those so inclined, is creating good bargains all around).

Those of you that have been waiting for the stock market to implode can finally stop waiting.

It is here, and it is really, really bad.

Meanwhile, a new survey contains more evidence that average Americans are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the U.S. economy.  In fact, the numbers in the survey were “essentially reversed” from earlier this year…

Overall, 28 percent of Americans said the economy will get better in the next year, while 33 percent predict it will get worse, according to the survey, which was released Sunday. Those numbers were essentially reversed from January, when 35 percent said the economy would get better and 20 percent said it would get worse.

The psychological shift that I wrote about a few weeks ago appears to be accelerating.  It is starting to become exceedingly clear that a major crisis has begun, and now the big question is this – how bad will things get in 2019?

Well, Ron Paul told CNBC that “it could be worse than 1929″…

Paul said Thursday on CNBC‘sFutures Now that “Once this volatility shows that we’re not going to resume the bull market, then people are going to rush for the exits.”  Paul added that “it could be worse than 1929.”  He was referencing the fateful day in October of 1929 when the stock market crashed, and the United States was flung into the Great Depression that lasted ten years. During that year, a worldwide depression was ignited because of the U.S.’s market crash.  The stock market began hemorrhaging and after falling almost 90 percent, sent the U.S. economy crashing a burning.

Will it ultimately be that bad?

Only time will tell, but right now things certainly do not look good, and I have a feeling that they are about to get a whole lot worse.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

 

“Something Is Wrong Here”: U.S. Stocks Plunge Again And Are Having Their Worst Quarter In 7 Years

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted another 496 points on Friday as panicked investors continue to pull billions of dollars out of the stock market.  With less than two weeks to go until Christmas, the markets are not supposed to be experiencing this kind of turmoil, but it is happening and there is no end in sight.  During the fourth quarter of 2018, we have already seen the S&P 500 fall 11 percent.  Even if it doesn’t go down any further, that will be the worst quarter in 7 years.  And of course the S&P 500 is not alone – at this point all of the major indexes are officially in correction territory.  Things are certainly getting quite frightening on Wall Street, and many believe that the worst is yet to come.

Despite widespread assurances from the mainstream media that the wise thing to do is to keep your money in the market, investors are pulling money out of equities at a near record pace

Jittery investors yanked a record $39 billion from global equities in the latest week, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report released Friday. That included $28 billion that exited US stocks, the second-highest on record. And a record $8.4 billion was pulled from investment grade bonds.

The “race for the exits” that we have been witnessing really is turning into a bit of a stampede, and once panic starts to spread it can be very difficult to stop it.

So why is all of this happening?

Well, one market strategist told CNN that “something is wrong here” and that his firm cannot deny that we are in a “global slowdown”…

Markets were dinged by a batch of negative corporate and economic developments, especially weak growth numbers out of China and Europe.

“Something is wrong here. There is this global slowdown. We can’t deny it,” said Michael Block, market strategist at Third Seven Advisors, a private wealth management firm.

We most certainly are in a global economic slowdown, and this is something that I have been telling my readers for months.

On Friday, we got more troubling numbers out of China.  The following comes from CNBC

China reported industrial output and retail sales growth numbers for November that missed expectations. This is the latest sign shown by China that its economy may be slowing down. The data also underscored the rising risks to China’s economy as Beijing works to resolve an ongoing trade war with the U.S.

“The economic data continues to bear out growth is slowing,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt. “There is still a lot of positive positioning out there. As the data continues to slow, people are feeling less comfortable with that and start to sell.”

Markets tend to go down a whole lot faster than they go up, and the losses are really starting to pile up.

Here is how Zero Hedge summarized the carnage that we have witnessed over the last several months…

  • Dow -10.5% from highs
  • S&P -11.3% from highs – lowest weekly close since March 2018
  • Nasdaq Comp -14.6% from highs
  • Trannies -17.8% from highs – Nov 2017 lows, worst 2-week drop since Aug 2011
  • Russell 2000 -18.5% from highs – lowest since Sept 2017

Financial stocks have been getting hit particularly hard.

S&P financials have now declined 20.3 percent from the 52-week high, and that officially puts them in bear market territory.

The S&P bank index has fallen even farther.  It is now down 24 percent from the 52-week high, and global banking stocks overall have been absolutely crashing.

Banking stocks led the way down in 2008, and now it is happening again.

This is very quickly becoming an extremely serious situation.  Trillions upon trillions of dollars worth of “paper wealth” is evaporating all over the globe, and we are witnessing disappointing economic numbers just about everywhere.

We will see what happens on Wall Street next week.  The second half of December is normally a very sleepy time for the markets, but that may not happen this year.  Volatility has returned with a vengeance, and we have already set an all-time record in 2018 for big moves of the VIX

The S&P 500 has averaged a daily range of 2 percent for the month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed with triple-digit moves in all but three sessions.

Big moves have pushed the VIX to a record 13 one-day moves of more than 20 percent this year.

Over the past few years, a lot of Americans have become deeply complacent, and that is a huge mistake.  Just because our long-term financial problems were delayed does not mean that they were canceled.

The truth is that nothing has changed as far as the long-term outlook is concerned.  Without a doubt we will pay a very great price for our mistakes, and a day of reckoning is inevitably coming.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.  His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.  From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so.  The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time to do so.

Sabotage: The Deep State Has Destroyed Trump’s Chances Of A Trade Deal With China, And The Stock Market Is Tanking As A Result

Somebody out there apparently does not want President Trump to make a trade deal with China.  Just after U.S. and Chinese officials agreed to suspend the implementation of new tariffs for 90 days, one of China’s most important tech executives was literally kidnapped as she was changing planes in Canada.  Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was simply on her way to Mexico, but at the urging of U.S. authorities the Canadians grabbed her and are refusing to let her go.  Reportedly, the plan is to extradite her to the United States where she will apparently face charges relating to Huawei’s evasion of U.S. sanctions against Iran.  When Trump was negotiating face to face with the Chinese, he was not aware that this was taking place.  So now all of Trump’s hard work is out the window, and our relations with the Chinese are probably the worst that they have been since the Korean War.

If U.S. authorities wanted to punish Huawei, they should have just slapped a big fine on them and have been done with it.

The Chinese would have been annoyed, but not that much damage would have been done.

But kidnapping a high profile member of Chinese tech loyalty and throwing her in prison is something that the Chinese will not forgive.

The Chinese are a deeply nationalistic people, and the kidnapping of Meng Wanzhou is being treated as a grave national insult in China.  If the goal of the Deep State was to really upset the Chinese, they picked a perfect target.  The following comes from Robert Wenzel

“This is a really big deal. Ms. Meng is by birth and position a member of China’s corporate royalty,” David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, is quoted by TGM as having said.

According to TGM, Meng, 46, who also goes by the name Sabrina, was appointed CFO of Huawei in 2011 and is also one of four deputy chairs. She appears to be being groomed for the top job at Shenzhen-based Huawei, which is now the world’s second-largest maker of telecommunications equipment.

Just imagine how Americans would feel if China kidnapped a high profile member of our tech royalty and multiply that outrage by about 10.

Until Meng Wanzhou is let go, there is not going to be any deal with China.  Many Americans are not familiar with Huawei, but they are essentially China’s version of Apple or Microsoft.  The following originally comes from CNN

Huawei is one of the world’s biggest makers of smartphones and networking equipment. It is at the heart of China’s ambitions to reduce its reliance on foreign technology and become an innovation powerhouse in its own right.

The country is pumping hundreds of billions into its “Made in China 2025” plan, which aims to make China a global leader in industries such as robotics, electric cars and computer chips. The introduction of 5G wireless technology, which hinges on Huawei, is a top priority.

Meng Wanzhou is not just the CFO of the company.  She is also the daughter of the founder of the company and she is considered to be a hero by millions of Chinese.

So what in the world is the Deep State thinking?  Are we going to start regularly kidnapping individuals that work for foreign corporations that have somehow violated U.S. laws?

And should Americans expect the same treatment?  How would you like it if your mother or daughter was kidnapped while changing planes in a foreign country because the company that she works for had committed some sort of violation?

I don’t want to make it sound like Huawei is perfectly innocent, because they aren’t.  But this is a move that is not just going to ensure a nightmarish trade war with China.  Ultimately, things could get a whole lot worse than that.

At this point, the Chinese have summoned the U.S. ambassador and have formally demanded Meng Wanzhou’s release

The Chinese foreign ministry on Sunday summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to protest the detention of a senior tech executive by the Canadian authorities “at the unreasonable behest of the United States.”

Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng demanded the release of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, who is accused by U.S. officials of attempting to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran.

It would be wonderful if Meng Wanzhou was released, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.

So now our relationship with China is officially in the toilet, and this is one of the factors that could push stock prices much lower once again this week.  In fact, as I write this article Dow futures are way down

U.S. stock futures fell on Sunday night as traders feared an intensifying trade war between the United States and China.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 197 points, implying a decline of 173.95 points at Monday’s open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also declined. The losses would add to a steep decline from last week.

This current “correction” was supposed to be over by the time December rolled around, but instead stock prices accelerated their decline last week.

And many of those that work in financial circles are starting to use language that is much more pessimistic than we have become accustomed to seeing.  Here is just one example

“We’re very mindful once again where we’re at in the cycle,” Gregory Carmichael, chief executive of the Cincinnati-based lender Fifth Third, said at a conference last week. “We’re well positioned to deal with the downturn in the economy, and we’ll be very cautious.”

I don’t know what “well positioned to deal with the downturn in the economy” means exactly, but it sounds nice.

It frustrates me that so few people seem to understand the gravity of the situation that we are facing.  Our stores are filled with cheap products that come from China and they own more than a trillion dollars of our national debt.  The two largest economies in the entire world are decoupling from one another, and if the Chinese conclude that they are not able to salvage the relationship then they will rapidly become an exceedingly dangerous enemy.

This is a major turning point, and the kidnapping of Meng Wanzhou has put us on a road that doesn’t lead anywhere good.  Hopefully things can rapidly be fixed, because if not, events are likely to start escalating quite dramatically.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

“Panic-like selling” grips Wall Street as the economic numbers point to “a lot of unpleasant things that nobody wants to admit”

Fear is spreading like wildfire on Wall Street, and on Friday we witnessed yet another wave of panic selling.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell another 559 points, closing at 24,389.  Previously I had warned that once we solidly broke through 25,000 that it could trigger an avalanche of panic selling, and that is precisely what has happened.  The Dow is now down more than 9 percent from the peak in early October, but the S&P 500 is doing even worse.  The S&P 500 is now down 10.2 percent from the September peak, and that means that it is officially in correction territory.  It has now been two solid months, and the sell-off on Wall Street shows no signs of abating.

And for certain sectors, the carnage that has been unfolding can definitely be called a “crash”.

FANG stocks are now down 24 percent from the peak, and global systemically important banks have now fallen a whopping 33 percent from the 52-week high.

Ladies and gentlemen, the big banks are officially in trouble once again, and it is going to be a wild ride moving forward.

And the way that things wrapped up for the markets on Friday has many wondering what Monday will bring.  According to one key index, investors were dumping stocks so rapidly on the Nasdaq on Friday afternoon that it was officially considered to be “panic-like activity”

Selling on the Nasdaq reached panic-like proportions Friday afternoon with less than an hour left in regular trade, as the exchange’s Arms index rose. The Arms is a volume weighted breadth measure, that tends to rise when the broader market falls, as the intensity of the selling in declining stocks is usually greater than the intensity of buying in rising stocks. Levels above 2.000 are considered panic-like activity. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -3.05% was off 3% at 6,969. The number of advancing stocks compared against decliners was at 2,108 to 787, pushing the Arms index on the exchange to 2.068.

Thanks to Friday’s nightmare, this week ended up being the worst week for U.S. stocks since March.

This wasn’t supposed to happen in December.  According to the experts, we were due for a nice “Santa Claus rally” and everybody was supposed to go home for the holidays really happy.

But that hasn’t happened.  Instead, the markets are coming apart like a 20 dollar suit.

And guess who CNN is blaming for the stock market decline?

I’ll give you just one guess, and his name rhymes with “Gump”.  The following comes from CNN

From “Tariff Man” tweets and inverting yield curves to conflicting messages from Trump advisers and the arrest of a Chinese executive, there is no shortage of headlines keeping investors awake at night.

They don’t want to admit that the same thing would be happening if Hillary Clinton was in the White House.

This isn’t about politics.  This is about a financial system that has always been destined to collapse.

Meanwhile, the stunning implosion of the cryptocurrency bubble continues to accelerate.  At this point, the price of Bitcoin has now fallen more than 80 percent from where it was a year ago…

In December 2017, bitcoin prices hit a record high of just under $20,000. Flash forward to December 2018 and bitcoin is now trading a little below $3,400. That’s a more than 80% plunge. Bitcoin is at a 15-month low.

But prices have really gotten whacked this week, falling nearly 20% in just the past five days alone.

Other major cryptos such as Ripple, Ethereum and Litcoin have experienced similar crashes.

Yes, this is really happening.  Bubble after bubble is bursting, and a day of reckoning for the global financial system is here.

Things are unfolding just as myself and so many others have been warning.  Over the past couple of years, there has been a bubble of false hope even though none of the problems that caused the last financial crisis were ever fixed.  Instead, the Federal Reserve and other global central banks simply patched things together and inflated the bubbles to a much larger degree than we had ever seen before.

Now everything is unraveling, and many of the “experts” are still in denial.  I really like how Peter Schiff made this point during a recent interview…

“What has happened in the last week is very, very bullish for the price of gold, and the price of gold is not catching much of a bid. I think again, the main reason for this is because nobody gets it. People still think this is a bull market. They’re not worried about the decline. They think it’s just a buying opportunity. It’s just a correction. They still think the economy is good. Even though the bond market doesn’t, even though the yield curve is inverting in the front end of the curve, people are dismissing that. They’re dismissing the housing data; they’re dismissing the build in the crude inventories. They’re not looking at any of the real data because nobody wants to believe it. Everybody still wants to believe all the hype — that this economy is great, that this economy is booming. Nobody wants to deal with the truth; because you know how grim the reality is? Because if you have to accept the fact that this economy is going into recession, then you have to accept a lot of unpleasant things that nobody wants to admit.

As always, Peter Schiff is making a lot of sense.

If you follow my work on a regular basis, than you already know that I have been highlighting the gloomy economic numbers as they have been steadily rolling out.

All of the numbers tell us that economic activity is slowing down.

All of the numbers tell us that we are heading into a recession (if we are not already in one).

And all of the numbers tell us that another great financial crisis is now upon us.

The time for false hope is over.  Now is a time to come to grips with reality, because things are going to get very tough in the months ahead.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

U.S. Accused Of “A Declaration Of War” Against China As The Stock Market Teeters On The Precipice Of Disaster

Things are sure getting wild on Wall Street.  On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted almost 800 points before roaring back and recovering nearly all of those losses.  The Dow closed just 79 points lower for the day, and if you only looked at the final number you would be tempted to believe that there is not much reason for concern.  But these wild swings up and down are precisely what we witnessed back in 2008, and they are a sign that the stock market is literally teetering on the precipice of disaster.  And it almost certainly would have been a historically bad day for stocks on Thursday if not for a very well-timed article in the Wall Street Journal.  Once news broke that the Federal Reserve is considering “a wait-and-see approach to rate hikes”, stock prices immediately began to rebound…

Stocks closed well off their session lows on Thursday after news broke that the Federal Reserve could tighten monetary policy at a slower pace than previously expected.

The Wall Street Journal reported the central bank is considering whether to signal a wait-and-see approach to rate hikes at its upcoming meeting this month. The report said Fed officials do not know what their next move on rates will be after December.

This just shows the immense power that the Federal Reserve possesses.

As I have discussed so many times previously, the Federal Reserve has far more power over the U.S. economy than anyone else does, and that includes the president of the United States.  Just the mere suggestion that the Fed may slow down the pace of rate hikes was enough to send Wall Street into a feeding frenzy.  Nothing that President Trump could have possibly said could have had that sort of a positive impact.

And this is a perfect example of how fundamentally flawed our system is.  Personally, I believe in free markets, and so it deeply, deeply offends me that we have an unelected, unaccountable panel of central bankers setting our interest rates for us.  As I have repeatedly proposed, we need to shut down the Federal Reserve and return to a system where interest rates are determined by the marketplace.

I’ll get off my soapbox for now.  As I noted yesterday, stocks originally began plunging when news broke that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou had been arrested in Canada and would be extradited to the United States…

Trade fears ratcheted up after news broke Wednesday that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities in Vancouver, where she faces extradition to the U.S. The arrest — which took place Dec. 1 — decreases the likelihood that a permanent U.S.-China trade deal will be reached. Huawei is one of the largest mobile phone makers in the world.

Meng Wanzhou is also the daughter of the founder of the company, and her arrest apparently has something to do with the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Huawei has violated U.S. sanctions on Iran.

To most U.S. citizens, this is rather meaningless news, but in China there has been a massive explosion of outrage.  The Chinese are demanding her immediate release, and the editor in chief of the Global Times is calling her arrest “a declaration of war”

Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of the Global Times, described the arrest as a “declaration of war” against China, according to the New York Times.  The Global Times is a state-run newspaper whose views are thought to reflect the ruling communist party in China. Hu’s comments were made on Weibo, a Twitter-like service, the New York Times reported.

“Without any solid evidence, the Canadian and US governments trampled on international law by basically ‘kidnapping’ Chinese citizen Meng,” an official with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a Global Times op-ed. “The China-US trade row could become a protracted war.”

Nothing is done or said at the Global Times without the approval of the Communist Party, and if Hu Xijin was out of line he would be immediately fired.

But he wasn’t fired, because he was simply expressing what most Chinese are feeling at this moment.  In China, the consensus is that relations between the U.S. and China have “gone nuclear”, and at this point the only thing that is going to soothe things is the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou.

Meanwhile, we just got more evidence that our trade war with China is not going very well at all.  Today we learned that the U.S. trade deficit shot up to a 10 year high during the month of October…

The U.S. trade deficit jumped to a 10-year high in October as soybean exports continued to fall and imports of consumer goods rose to a record high, suggesting the Trump administration’s tariff-related measures to shrink the trade gap likely have been ineffective.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday the trade deficit increased 1.7 percent to $55.5 billion, the highest level since October 2008. The trade gap has now widened for a five straight months.

And we also just got more evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing down.  Last month, factory orders declined at the fastest pace that we have seen in more than a year

New orders for U.S.-made goods recorded their biggest drop in more than a year in October and business spending on equipment appeared to be softening, suggesting a slowdown in activity in the manufacturing sector.

Factory goods orders fell 2.1 percent amid a decline in demand for a range of goods, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. That was the largest decrease in orders since July 2017.

Economic conditions really are deteriorating, and our financial markets really are headed for big trouble.

But some people out there still refuse to accept reality.  For example, an article that was just posted by USA Today is strongly urging people “to buy the dip”…

If you have the courage, now might be a time to step in to buy stocks when they are beaten down and on sale, says Thorne Perkin, president of Papamarkou Wellner Asset Management.

The worst reaction is to panic and sell, as there’s a good chance you could miss a stock rebound in this environment, he says.

Sadly, a lot of people will take this advice and will watch their retirement savings go up in smoke.

We have reached a critical turning point, and things are really starting to heat up.  Unfortunately, most people out there still don’t seem to realize what is happening…

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Somebody Pressed The Panic Button On Wall Street – Bank Stocks And Tech Stocks Crash As The Yield Curve Inverts

Stocks aren’t supposed to crash in December.  Most of the time we see a nice “Santa Claus rally” to close out the year, and so what happened on Tuesday is definitely extremely unusual.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 799 points, which was the fourth largest single day point decline in stock market history.  In fact, there was not a single day during the entire financial crisis of 2008 when the Dow dropped by as many points as it did on Tuesday.  Many believed that this “stock market correction” would be limited to October, but then it stretched into November, and now it has extended into the “safe month” of December.  What in the world is going on out there?

It would be difficult to overstate the carnage that we just witnessed.  The Russell 2000 had its worst day in seven years, financial stocks plunged 4.4 percent, and as you will see below FAANG stocks lost enough money to literally buy McDonald’s.

There are many factors that are influencing the markets right now, but the biggest thing that spooked investors on Tuesday was an inversion of the yield curve

Just when it looked like the battered bull was healing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered a drop of nearly 800 points Tuesday when the bond market sent an ominous signal: The yield on the two-year U.S. government bond rose above the interest rate paid out by five-year notes.

Why the pessimism over that obscure-sounding shift? Historically, when short-term rates rise above longer rates – which is dubbed an “inversion of the yield curve” – it signals an economic slowdown is coming.

However, it should be noted that the yield on two year bonds has not yet risen above the yield on 10 year bonds, and until that happens many investors will still not consider the yield curve to have “officially” inverted yet.

But any way that you want to look at it, what has been happening in the bond market is really bad news for the big banks, because it is going to eat into their profits.  In an article posted on Tuesday, CNN explained how this works

The flattening yield curve also affects the income banks collect from lending, since banks pay interest on short-term rates and lend at long-term rates. They make money off the difference.

Once the yield on two year bonds fell below the yield on five year bonds, investors took that as a sign of big trouble for the financial sector, and they started dumping bank stocks like crazy

The flattening yield curve caused investors to bail on bank stocks on concern the phenomenon may hurt their lending margins. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) dropped 5.3 percent. Shares of J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America all declined more than 4 percent. Citigroup and Morgan Stanley both reached 52-week lows along with Regionals Financial, Citizens Financial and Capital One.

Of course this is just a continuation of a trend that has been building for quite some time, and at this point the damage that has been done is immense.

The following numbers come from Zero Hedge

  • Global Systemically Important Banks are down 30% from 52-week highs.
  • US Financials down 14.5% from 52-week highs.
  • Goldman Sachs is down 33% from 52-week highs.

We haven’t seen anything like this since 2008, and we will want to watch the “too big to fail” banks very carefully during the weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, the FAANG stocks have been getting monkey-hammered as well.

By the end of the day on Tuesday, those stocks had combined to lose more than 140 billion dollars in market value

  • Facebook fell 2.2 percent, losing $7.6 billion in implied market value
  • Amazon fell 5.9 percent, losing $50.8 billion in implied market value
  • Apple fell 4.4 percent, losing $38.5 billion in implied market value
  • Netflix fell 5.2 percent, losing $6.5 billion in implied market value
  • Alphabet fell 4.8 percent, losing $37.5 billion in implied market value

That would be enough money to buy McDonald’s.

Yes, I am talking about the entire company.

Yesterday, I talked about the psychological shift that we have been witnessing.  Instead of endlessly promoting the idea that the U.S. economy is “booming”, the mainstream media is now using phrases such as “economic slowdown”, “the next recession” and “market crash”.  Here are just a few examples…

“Dow plunges nearly 800 points on rising fears of an economic slowdown”

“Worry Less About Inflation and More About Recession”

“The years of easy money in the stock market are coming to an end”

Normally, the markets get very sleepy during the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but that has not happened this year.

The markets will be closed on Wednesday due to the passing of former president George H.W. Bush, and perhaps this “time out” will have soothed a lot of nerves by the time the markets reopen on Thursday.

But as I have warned before, this crisis is not even close to being over.

In fact, it is only just beginning.

We have been waiting for a long time for the largest financial bubble in American history to burst, and now it is starting to happen.  It is being called “the Everything Bubble”, and as it implodes we are going to see things happen that we have never seen before.

When historians look back on this time of history someday, the crisis of 2008 will be just a footnote compared to what is coming.  It has taken decades of very foolish decisions to get us to this point, and the consequences for our unwise choices are going to be far more painful than most people would dare to imagine.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

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