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Buckle up, investors. Stocks, crypto, commodities tumble on taper fears

August 19, 2021, 9:34 AM UTC

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Good morning.

Bulls, you might want to head to the beach today for a nice distraction. It’s a rough one out there. From Tokyo to London, stocks are in a tailspin. U.S. futures don’t look much better.

Gold, crude and crypto? Yep, they too are slumping.

Yesterday, we got the news investors were dreading. A majority of Fed officials now feel it’s time to cut back on the bond-buying spree they initiated last March, the same one that’s been the equivalent of rocket fuel for equities over the past 16 months.

Yesterday’s sell-off was a broad-based one, with 450 members of the S&P 500 closing lower on the day. Judging by the U.S. futures, we’re looking at another similar drop at the open.

Let’s see what else is moving the markets.

Markets update

Asia

  • The major Asia indexes are again under pressure with the Hang Seng down 2.1% in afternoon trading with tech stocks leading the way lower.
  • Alibaba shares hit a record low in Hong Kong at one point on Thursday as Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on the tech giants widens. The shares are off 5.2% in late trading, and are down nearly 30% so far in 2021.
  • Toyota shares bombed lower by nearly 4% on a report the carmaker will need to slash production as the chips shortage worsens.

Europe

  • The European bourses were under the cosh at the open, too, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 2% in mid-morning trading. Utilities, up a mere 0.07%, was the lone sector in the green at the start.
  • Shares in Mastercard were down 1.2% in pre-market trading as a mammoth class action lawsuit against the credit card provider moves to a new phase. The plaintiffs seek 14 billion pounds ($19 billion) in damages, Bloomberg reports.

U.S.

  • The U.S. futures picture ain’t a pretty one. That’s after all three major indexes fell sharply on Wednesday on fresh tapering concerns.
  • Shares in Robinhood are down 12.2% in pre-market trading after the investing app told investors it expects trading revenues to decline in the current quarter. That wiped out the euphoria over its big top-line beat.
  • Nvidia’s share are going in the opposite direction, up 2.3% in pre-market after the chips maker reported a big beat on profits.
  • Unemployment claims come out before the bell today and the consensus is for 364,000 new claims in the past week, a new post-pandemic low.

Elsewhere

  • Safe-haven gold is down, trading around $1,780/ounce.
  • The dollar is rallying as stocks sink. No surprise there.
  • The rout in oil continues. Crude is down with Brent around $66/barrel, a three-month low.
  • Bitcoin has fallen below $45,000, wiping out of all the gains from the previous seven days.

***

Buzzworthy

You say INNOVation. I say innoVATION. Let’s call the whole thing off

🍿🍿🍿

All about the Doge

Just to put that into perspective, a little over one in every four bucks in sales Robinhood booked last quarter came from a single type of trade: Dogecoin. And how are investors reacting to the revelation that $HOOD has become a veritable Dogecoin exchange? It’s down more than 12 percent in pre-market trading. Woof!

₿🐶🐾

The new biggest short: Chinese tech stocks

A doubly-bad correction

The chart above is the Hang Seng Tech Index, which is down more than 40% since its February high. Woof, woof!

🐶🐾🐶🐾🐶🐾

***

Have a nice day, everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow… Until then, there’s more news below.

Bernhard Warner
@BernhardWarner
Bernhard.Warner@Fortune.com

As always, you can write to bullsheet@fortune.com or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.

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