Showing posts with label KFC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KFC. Show all posts

Monday, February 10, 2020

WEEKEND WRAP: Wuhan Flu Shunting Manufacturing Activity; Credit Woes Overflow

With coronavirus sweeping through mainland China, the country's leaders have imposed draconian quarantines on nearly a third of their entire population of 1.2 billion citizens, and, while factories in Hubei province and elsewhere were supposed to resume normal operations on Monday, February 10, this now seems to be not the case.

The Wuhan Flu is simply not cooperating. With the global hub of international manufacturing and commerce at a standstill, the ripple effects are being felt across the worldwide spectrum.

Apple computer's main assembly operations, FoxConn, has been shuttered for a month, while companies such as McDonald's (MCD), Starbucks (SBUX) and Yum Brands (YUM), owners of the wildly popular Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, have had many of their stores closed for as long as two weeks presently.

Beyond the human toll the virus is taking in China, where more alarmist estimates range as high as 25,000 dead, the economic toll is just beginning to be felt. China may not be as concerned about taking a hit to their GDP as the rest of the world, which may exacerbate the financial carnage down the supply chain. The Chinese are more concerned about catching up to a virus that they unfortunately were late in detecting and even later in trying to control. Official numbers have the number of infected at 40,573, and deaths at 910, the numbers still climbing.

Stocks, noting that the virus hasn't spread much beyond China's borders (fewer than 400 total cases reported worldwide), took their cues from economic data, especially in the United States, where the major indices marked their best showing since last June. The NASDAQ registered a four percent gain, the Dow and S&P, three percent, and even the laggard NYSE picked up two-and-a-third.

The enjoyment of good economic news, including Friday's January non-farm payroll data which smashed expectations of 160,000 jobs created by totaling 225,000, may turn out to be near the peak for markets as China's economy implodes.

Bond markets, which dwarf stock markets in size by orders of magnitude, are taking the condition more seriously, as the following clips from Doug Noland's Credit Bubble Bulletin present a gloomier outlook:

  • January 27 – Bloomberg (Sam Potter and John Ainger): “The global rush for safer assets has fueled a huge jump in the world’s stockpile of negative-yielding bonds, snapping months of decline in the value of subzero debt. The pool of securities with a yield below zero surged by $1.16 trillion last week, the largest weekly increase since at least 2016 when Bloomberg began tracking the data daily. Another injection looked certain on Monday, as investors worldwide ditched riskier assets and piled into bonds amid mounting fears over a deadly virus spreading from China.

  • January 30 – Bloomberg (James Hirai and Hannah Benjamin): “It sounds like a tough sales pitch: buy this debt to lose money for the next decade. Yet for bankers helping Austria raise money this week, it proved smart business -- investors threw more than 30 billion euros ($33bn) at the country as they vied for a chunk of the world’s first syndicated 10-year government bond to carry a negative yield. The order deluge meant Austria joined the likes of Spain and Italy in setting demand records this month as investors chase the safety of bonds.”

  • February 3 – Bloomberg (Liz McCormick): “It’s been more than six years since the U.S. bond market’s purest read on the global growth outlook was signaling this much concern. The so-called real yield on 10-year inflation-linked Treasuries fell on Friday to negative 0.147%, its lowest since 2013, when Europe’s sovereign debt crisis was raging. Now it’s the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus that’s fueling worries about the potential hit to the world economy.”

At the Close, Friday, February 7, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 29,102.51, -277.29 (-0.94%)
NASDAQ: 9,520.51, -51.64 (-0.54%)
S&P 500: 3,327.71, -18.07 (-0.54%)
NYSE: 13,931.93, -103.07 (-0.73%)

For the Week:
Dow: +846.48 (+3.00%)
NASDAQ: +369.58 (+4.04%)
S&P 500: +102.19 (+3.17%)
NYSE: +317.83 (+2.33%)