|Day's range||42,971.76 - 43,503.16|
|52-week range||39,271.56 - 50,603.39|
Everyone knew China’s economy was slowing, so blaming the Asian nation for a setback was just a convenient excuse to mask a deteriorating business, like when retailers blame the weather for a slump in sales. Apple’s announcement probably would have had only a short-term negative impact on equities, with traders coming around to the idea that Apple’s problems were of its own making if not for a disappointing manufacturing report Thursday morning from the Institute for Supply Management. Its December index of new orders — a key leading indicator of future activity — fell to a level that barely registered as growth.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which measures the currency against a basket of its main peers, tumbled as much as 0.84 percent Thursday in its biggest decline in seven weeks. As one of the ultimate havens in global markets, the dollar should be benefiting from the current turmoil in risky assets and rising concern about a global economic slowdown. “When a central bank is more hawkish than expected and its currency drops, you are witnessing the collective wisdom of the global market.” In another blow to the dollar, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index’s monthly expectations gauge fell to a one-year low in December as more respondents said the economy is getting worse.
With President Donald Trump preparing to slap tariffs on Chinese goods as soon as Friday, much of the talk in financial markets is how the outperformance of American equities relative to the rest of the world is a sign investors expect the U.S. to come out ahead in any trade war. After a spurt of strength starting in mid-April, the rally in the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index has fizzled. The gauge of the greenback’s strength has dropped to its lowest level in three weeks and is little changed from where it was at the end of May. Some might say that the dollar was due for a pause after rallying as much as 6.51 percent since mid-April, but perhaps the reason is also that the currency still faces a stiff headwind in the form of twin budget and current-account deficits. An economic slowdown that a trade war might bring won’t help.