Here is what you need to know.
- 2018 was the stock market’s worst year since the financial crisis. The S&P 500 fell 6.2% last year, capped off by a 9.2% plunge in December – the worst final month of the year since 1931.
- More weak data emerges from China. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December printed 49.7, its first contractionary reading since May 2017, according to Reuters.
- It’s a New Year’s bloodbath. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was set to open down more than 360 points, or 1.5%, continuing the stock market’s slide in the final quarter of 2018. Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 2.77% and the EURO STOXX 50 was down 0.93%.
- The 10-year is on track for its lowest close in over 11 months. The 10-year yield is down 3 basis points at 2.65%, and looking at its lowest close since January 2018.
- Investors are deserting markets at a pace that echoes the run up to the financial crisis. Hedge-fund redemptions are piling up and a similar unwinding of quant funds in August 2007 and macro funds in October 2015 were “harbingers of subsequent market turbulence,” according to a a Deutsche Bank team led by Masao Muraki.
- The world’s biggest stock bear says don’t be fooled by the market’s rebound. John Hussman – the outspoken investor and former professor who’s been predicting a crash – explains why stocks are still doomed to lose 50% from current levels.
- Saudi Arabia made Netflix delete a comedy show that accused it of covering up Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Netflix removed an episode of Hasan Minhaj’s “Patriot Act” in Saudi Arabia after the kingdom said it violated its anti-cybercrime law.
- Commercial-passenger aircraft fatalities climb in 2018.There were more than 500 fatalities on commercial-passenger aircraft in 2018 – up from zero the prior year – making for a fatal-accident rate of 0.36 per million flights, Reuters reports, citing Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network.
- China’s video-game freeze is over. China’s Online Game Ethics Committee, recently approved 80 new video games – ending the freeze that began in March – but video-game giant Tencent was left out despite its efforts to implement mandatory time limits and age restrictions for its games.
- US economic data trickles out. Market US Manufacturing PMI will cross the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET.
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