The Hong Kong Stock Exchange suspended trading in shares of China Evergrande after the Chinese developer missed a key bond interest payment last week.
That’s led to selling across Chinese stocks with, as of the close in New York, shares of Alibaba (BABA), Tencent Holdings (TCEHY), and Didi Global (DIDI) down 3.17%, 1.68%, and 4.09%, respectively.
But the biggest selling today has been among U.S. technology shares with SentinelOne (S) down 7.01%, OKTA (OKTA) off 5.51%, Amazon (AMZN) lower by 2.85%, and Facebook (FB) falling 4.89%.
Which actually makes some sense.
As of Friday, October 1, shares of Alibaba were already down 38.04% for 2021 to date, while shares of Facebook, to take one U.S. technology example, were up 25.5% for the year.
So which would you sell if you’re looking to protect/take profits?
What I call the “reopening” stocks that rose so strongly on Friday on news that Merck (MRK) had completed clinical trials of an anti-viral for Covid-19 in easy to take pill form (although the five-day regimen requires 8 pills a day) are lower today but they haven’t fallen as much as tech shares. Disney (DIS) is down 1.45%, for example, and Six Flags (SIX) is lower by 2.85%. Same logic on where the profits are to protect applies here too. Merck was up 1.68% as of 11:30 a.m. after gaining 8.3% on Friday.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury was up 2 basis points for the day to 1.49%, adding to the stock market’s nervousness. It looks likely that the 10-year yield will move above 1.50% this week–although a weak September jobs report could limit any increase in yields.
The selling hadn’t yet produced panic buying of hedges on the Standard & Poor’s 500. The CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) was up 8.56% to 22.91. But that’s actually only a moderate increase for the volatile volatility index.
As of the close the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 1.30% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by 0.94%. The NASDAQ Composite and the NASDAQ 100, both technology heavy indexes, had lost 2.14% and 2.16%, respectively. The small cap Russell 2000 was down 1.08% and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) was off 1.47%.