The big market news of this week may have been supplied by China, where the major stock indexes fell 8.5% on Monday, after which the government said it would prop up the market by buying shares and warned against the “malicious shorting of stocks.” Bloomberg reported earlier this month that China’s Ministry of Public Security, its police ministry, used similar language about shorting and said it would work with the government’s securities regulator to probe short selling by institutions.
However, additional market-moving news this week occurs on Tuesday, when the Conference Board announces its monthly Consumer Confidence Index; on Tuesday and Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meets; and on Thursday, when the Commerce Dept’s Bureau of Economic Analysis will provide its first estimate of second-quarter GDP. The Wall Street Journal’s monthly consensus estimate of GDP is for 2.7% growth in Q2, following Q1’s 0.2% decline.
So where do the markets and economy stand as of the last week of July?
In his weekly commentary published Monday, BlackRock’s global chief investment strategist, Russ Koesterich, noted U.S. stocks’ “abysmal” performance in the previous trading week, blaming “disappointing” revenue growth for U.S. corporations — notably IBM, Yahoo “and even Apple” — even though U.S. corporate earnings are beating expectations over all. He’s especially concerned that the strong dollar was cited by several firms for their revenue shortfalls and said the dollar’s strength may remain a problem in Q3.