Stock index futures were pointing to a lower opening for Wall Street as investors worried over a trade dispute between the US and China and reflected on the one-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse.
Now, I don't know if one is causing the other. I do, however, know that President Obama has needlessly caused a trade war and there's nothing positive about that. On Friday evening, the Obama administration announced it was slapping a series of tariffs on Chinese tires for autos. CNBC is now reporting that this news is driving the markets downward this morning. Like I said, that's difficult to prove but it's not difficult to prove that the Obama administration's move was a bad idea.
The rates on bonds are a bit higher this morning but still near multi mont lows. The ten year U.S. Treasury is now at 3.38%. That's up four basis points from Friday's close. (four one hundreth of a percent) Still, 3.34% was the low for the last two months plus. At the same time, yield spread premium between the two and ten year is still at 2.48%. That's relatively where it's been for weeks.
Oil continues it's multi day downward trend. It's now comfortably below $70 a barrel. It's currently trading at $68.73 a barrel. Both Europe and the Far East had a bad day this morning. Only the broad Chinese index was up. All other indices were down. The Hang Seng in China was down 1.08%, the NIKKEI in Japan was down 2.32%, and the Straits Time Index was down 1.54%. The aforementioned Chinese index was up 1.24%. In Europe, the FTSE in London was down .6%, the DAX in Germany was down .94%, and the Spanish index was down .7%.
The Dollar appears to at least be stopping its uncontrolled downward spiral. It's at least mixed this morning after spending much of last week in a tail spin. It's currently down .04% against the Euro, up .74% against the British Pound, and up .38% against the Japanese Yen.
The President will make yet another speech today. This one will be about financial regulation. He'll make it from Wall Street. It's the one year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. He made a major speech on health care last week. Yesterday, he showed up on 60 Minutes, and now he's making a major speech. Personally, I think he's overexposed but clearly the administration doesn't agree with me.