CEO DailyCFO DailyBroadsheetData SheetTerm Sheet

‘Crazy’ bull market: Why a warning shot about China’s bull run is spooking global investors

July 10, 2020, 9:00 AM UTC

This is the web version of the Bull Sheet, Fortune’s no-BS daily newsletter on the markets. Sign up to receive it in your inbox here.

Happy Friday, Bull Sheeters. The Shanghai Composite’s red-hot eight-day stocks rally has come to a resounding end with state-backed funds selling off their gains, sending a very public message to retail investors: Don’t get too carried away with this “crazy” bull market. The douse of cold water has extended to U.S. futures, too.

Let’s check in on the action.

Markets update

Asia

  • The major indexes are all in the red, with the Shanghai Composite’s off 2%.
  • The tech startup QuantumCTek embodies Chinese investor exuberance. It made its trading debut yesterday, and promptly soared 924%. It was a record for Shanghai’s Star market. The previous record had been set just two days prior.
  • Hong Kong will close schools again to combat a surge in coronavirus cases.

Europe

  • It looked to be a risk-off day as European bourses dipped out of the gates. But an hour into the trading session, stocks turned higher with Germany’s DAX up 0.4%.
  • I hope you’re not a fan of French wine, cheese or handbags. The Trump Administration appears dead set on slapping tariffs of as much as $700 million on France in retaliation for its digital tax plan.
  • Summer beer sales are in jeopardy, says Danish Brewer Carlsberg after it announced dismal first-half results this morning.

U.S.

  • The Nasdaq was the lone major index to eke out a gain yesterday. The crummy jobless claims numbers put investors in a selling mood. Futures are pointing to a negative open.
  • It’s not an exaggeration to call Tesla the most-hated stock in the world. The total value of short positions on the electric-carmaker are within a whisker of $20 billion, a record. A reminder: shorts keep losing their battle with Elon Musk.
  • Gold at $1,950? That’s one of the more bullish calls on the shiny yellow stuff. And, no, it has nothing to do with inflation fears.

Elsewhere

  • On cue: Gold is up.
  • As is the dollar.
  • Crude is down, in line with equities; Brent has sunk to below $42/barrel.

By the Numbers

47.3 million. It’s the classic Goldilocks dilemma. Are weekly jobless claims too high, pretty low, or bang in line with expectations? Yesterday, weekly jobless claims came in at a slightly better-than-expected 1.31 million. But investors are finally starting to fret about the stubbornly high numbers, sending the Dow and S&P lower. For 16 straight weeks now, more than 1 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance, all but dashing hopes of a brisk V-shaped recovery. In the last week, United Airlines, American Airlines, Wells Fargo and Harley Davidson have all warned about job cuts. This is what the carnage in the labor markets looks like:

17.8%. The Shanghai Composite closed in the red on Friday, but it’s on an incredible bull run. In late trade today, I calculated, the index was up 17.8% since its June 15 low. (In the same period, the Nasdaq is up a mere 8.4%). Dominated by individual investors, the Chinese equities markets are not for the faint of the heart. And, sure enough there are jitters on the mainland that the rally has grown too big, too fast. Just today, the state-run China Economic Times warned about the dangers of a “crazy” bull market, Bloomberg reports. In the meantime, behold this incredible chart of the SHCOMP, the Shanghai, courtesy of Bloomberg.

Bloomberg

62.197. I leave this here without comment.

HT to The Market Ear for this tally ^^.

***

Postscript

Will be back on Monday.

***

Have a nice weekend, everyone. I’ll see you here on Monday.

Bernhard Warner
@BernhardWarner
Bernhard.Warner@Fortune.com

Today's reads

Free lunch. Stimulus spending plans look a bit different in Europe. Rather than rain helicopter money on the people, alá the CARES ACT checks, they tend to resemble something closer to an oddball gameshow prize: hotel stays, meals out, even babysitters. Fortune's Katherine Dunn explains the latest measure the Brits have cooked up

More stimulus. Speaking of those taxpayer goodies... The big debate in Washington is whether to send out a second version of the CARES ACT checks to Americans in need, an idea that keeps deficit hawks up at night. But a group of over 150 economists thinks such deficit spending is a great investment. There's a catch, though. Instead of doing just another one-time cash payment, "Congress should pass a bill that includes automatic economic triggers for stimulus payments," one of the lead economists tells Fortune's Lance Lambert.

Some of these stories require a subscription to access. There is a discount offer for our loyal readers if you use this link to sign up. Thank you for supporting our journalism.

Market candy

Crypto bull run

Those mischievous TikTokkers are at it again. "Day traders on viral video app TikTok are encouraging people to speculate on a joke cryptocurrency called Dogecoin," reports Fortune's Robert Hackett, sending it up 95% in less than a week. But before you consider liquidating your big Nasdaq or Shanghai Composite bets, you should read this: Dogecoin is a bad investment!