So much for fears over the People's National Congress in China. While Chinese stocks held ground and some even soared to new highs — unexpectedly in the eyes of some concerned investors and traders — it was the U.S. market that folded a bit. The Dow Jones fell 108 points (0.77%), Nasdaq dropped 25 points (0.91%) and S&P 500 dipped 13 points (0.84%). The Dow fell under 14,000 to 13,984. Was it Citigroup's dismal earnings report? Possibly, but the Co had already warned about lower earnings. Was it crude oil, which finished the day above $86 a barrel? Not really. The market has gained significantly on oil's up days in the past few weeks.
Maybe it's just a little more fear and profit-taking than usual. More financials will report this week. But with Yahoo (Tuesday), eBay (Wednesday) and Google (Thursday) reporting this week, the Nasdaq will have some volatility. I'm not expecting much from the first two, though Yahoo's earnings from Asia could be significant. How soon will eBay penetrate the Chinese market? I won't be holding my breath. Google failed to meet expectations last quarter, but their game plan is sound. Spending on R&D and new hires as they expand in China is acceptable in my book. The G-phone is a bonus.
China held up, which still sounds a bit surprising. Just a little. New Oriental Education and Technology (EDU) launched to a new high after announcing earnings before the open. EDU closed on Friday above 66, opened today at 71 and closed at 75. That was a nice response to the PNC's first day. Nearly all the Chinese stocks that I watch are virtually the only greenies on my lists. CMED is at 42 (after hours). FMCN is up 1.7% to 59.15. CHL is up 1.9% to 88.80.
China and oil continue to be a glorious combination. PTR is up 9.2% to 236 and CEO is up 5.7% to 188 (after a mid-day high of 192). CEO was at 92 on subprime meltdown day (August 16). The stock was up big in premarket on less than 10,000 shares, triggered by crude oil's gain. I think.
CHL is up 1.9% to 88.80. STV was surprisingly positive, now at 50.15 (up 2.1%).
No, China wasn't perfect. BIDU dropped 2.7% to 314. SINA and YGE were down. Even Macao plays LVS and WYNN were down.
Note to self: don't fight the trends. Oil rules. China energy and pollution are going to be Quarry Logic fixtures for decades to come. The Chinese middle class will not be deprived.