Recession fears hit the market; Warren Buffett’s concerns strike against these stocks

Dow Jones futures fell slightly overnight, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. Delta Air Lines earnings and more financial data are in print.


The stock rally pulled back on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve saw the banking crisis spurring a recession.

Recently published minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting on 21-22 March showed that Fed staff predicted “a mild recession starting later this year.” Policymakers expected bank stress to “weigh on economic activity, hiring and inflation,” Fed minutes showed. However, members remained “highly aware” of inflation risks. While several policymakers considered keeping interest rates steady, they ultimately voted for a rate hike of 4.75%-5%.

Ahead of the opening, the consumer price index came in less than expected, with CPI inflation falling a full percentage point to 5%. But core inflation, which excludes food and energy, ticked higher to 5.6%, as expected.

The odds of an interest rate increase by the Fed at the beginning of May fell just short, to around 70%.

Chinese shares were hit hard afterwards Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) CEO Warren Buffett signaled his concern about geopolitical tensions, particularly China and Taiwan. Ali Baba (BABA), (JD), PDD Holdings (PDD) and Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) everything fell hard.

BABA stock continued to slide overnight following a report that SoftBank planned to sell much of its stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant.

TSLA stock hit resistance at a key level and continues to consolidate ahead Tesla ( TSLA ) earnings next week.

Shopify (SHOP), Service Now (NOW), Cloudflare (NET), Crocs (CROX) and Merck (MRK) are all trading near potential entries.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) reports earnings early Thursday, and starts results for carriers. DAL shares fell 2.4% on Wednesday, below its 200-day line, after American Airlines (AAL) reported preliminary first-quarter results that were slightly above January guidance but below analysts’ consensus. AAL shares fell 0.2% to a three-month low.

ServiceNow and CROX stocks are on SwingTrader. NOW stock and Crocs are also on the IBD 50. Shopify was Wednesday’s IBD Stock Of The Day.

Dow Jones Futures today

Dow Jones futures fell 0.15% vs. fair value. S&P 500 futures fell 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures declined.

The Labor Department will release the producer price index for March and weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Keep in mind that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere does not necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular session.

Join IBD experts as they analyze actionable stocks in the stock market rally on IBD Live

Stock market rally

The stock rally initially opened solidly higher on the CPI inflation report, pulled back and then faltered until Fed recession fears took hold.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1 percent in Wednesday’s trading. The S&P 500 index fell 0.4 percent. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.85 percent. The small-cap Russell 2000 gave up 0.7%.

U.S. crude oil prices rose 2.1% to $83.26 a barrel, the highest close in nearly five months.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell 1 basis point to 3.42% after reaching 3.34% shortly after the open. The two-year interest rate fell 9 basis points to 3.97%. The 3-month Treasury yield fell just 2 basis points to 5.01%.


Among growth ETFs, the Innovator IBD 50 ETF ( FFTY ) fell 0.7%, while the Innovator IBD Breakout Opportunities ETF ( BOUT ) rose 0.1%. The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF ( IGV ) fell 0.2%, with the NOW stock a significant component. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF ( SMH ) retreated 1.8%.

The ARK Innovation ETF ( ARKK ) reflected more speculative story stocks, falling 2.9% and the ARK Genomics ETF ( ARKG ) falling 2.3%. Tesla stock is the No. 1 holding across Ark Invest’s ETFs, with Shopify a top-10 holding. Cathie Wood’s Ark also owns a small BYD share.

The SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) fell 0.8% and the Global X US Infrastructure Development ETF (PAVE) rose 0.4%. The US Global Jets ETF (JETS) was down 3.1%, with Delta and AAL making large components. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF ( XHB ) fell 0.1%. The Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) rose 0.1% and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) ended fractionally higher.

The Financial Select SPDR ETF ( XLF ) fell 0.2%. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF ( KRE ) fell 1.1%.

Top five Chinese stocks to watch now

Buffett wary of tensions in China

Warren Buffett said Wednesday on CNBC that he believes China EV giant BID (BYDDF) is “extraordinary” while Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) is a “fabulous company.” But that didn’t stop Berkshire from significantly cutting its stake in both companies.

Buffett bet heavily on TSM in Q3, but then reduced the position by 86% in Q4. He said he was “re-evaluating” tensions between China and Taiwan, not the business or management.

Meanwhile, Berkshire has roughly halved its large, long-term stake in BYD as of August, with the latest share reduction announced earlier this week.

TSM stock fell 2.7% on Wednesday, trading below its 50-day mark. BYD shares fell 3.9%, back below the 50-day.

But many Chinese internet had bigger losses. BABA fell 5.9%, breaking below its 50-day line within a cup handle. SoftBank plans to sell the bulk of its Alibaba stake, the Financial Times reported late Wednesday. Alibaba fell slightly overnight, after initial after-hours declines.

JD stock fell 7.65% to its worst level since its October low. PDD stock slid 5.2%, starting to lose sight of the 200-day line. TCEHY stock gave up 5.4%, and was below the 50-day.

Krane CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) fell 4.5% to 28.62, below its 200-day line. It hit a 52-week high of 36.19 on January 26 after more than doubling from its October low.

Shares close to buy points

SHOP shares climbed 1.2% on Wednesday to 45.30, but recovered from an intraday high of 48.75. Investors can use 48.36 as an early entry. JMP Securities upgraded Shopify shares to a buy rating on Wednesday.

NĂ… stock rose 0.3% to 471.43, but also high sessions. ServiceNow stock now has a handle at the cup base, giving it a buy point of 482.43.

NET shares fell 3.9% to 63.04. Intraday shares topped a 63.19 early entry in a consolidation.

CROX shares fell 1.5% to 126.19. The shares are working with an official buy point of 143.60. But investors could use 130.90 as an early entry, which would remove most of the trade back to January 18.

The MRK share rose 1.1% to 113.75. Shares are near a consolidation buy point of 115.59. The drug giant Dow Jones has ticked up in recent days, and hasn’t created much of a shakeout.

Tesla shares

Tesla shares fell 3.35% to 180.54. reversal lower from near the 50-day moving average. Shares remain within a cup-with-handle base with a buy point of 217.75, according to MarketSmith analysis. The base formed below the 200-day line, which has drifted down to approx. 214. Investors may want to use a decisive clearing of the 200-day line as an entry.

Tesla will cut some Model 3 and Y prices in Hong Kong on April 15, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported on Wednesday, including a 14% reduction for the Model 3 Performance variant.

TSLA shares fell 10.8% last week as Tesla cut electric car prices in the US and Australia after record first-quarter deliveries failed to materialise.

Tesla earnings are due on April 19, with gross margins in focus.

Market rally analysis

The stock market rally went up and down on Wednesday, taking a more decisive trend lower from the afternoon. It’s not just that Fed staff are predicting a recession, it’s that markets see policymakers still raising interest rates, one last time.

Bearish outside reversals are never a good sign, but the major indices haven’t changed character significantly – yet.

The Nasdaq, out for a third straight session, fell below the 12,000 level but remains above its 21-day high. The tech-heavy index has had three distribution days over the past five sessions, something to note.

The S&P 500 briefly topped its highs in early April before fading. The Dow Jones reversed from its best levels in nearly two months.

The Russell 2000 fell back below its 21-day line.

Some leading stocks rose. But many others reversed lower from opening gains.

The Nasdaq, S&P 500 and many growth stocks are close to breaking above key levels. But they are also not far from breaking below important support.

Time the market with IBD’s ETF market strategy

What to do now

This is not a roaring stock market rise. The major indices have moved sideways in the last couple of months, with large swings in sectors and leaders at various points. So while investors should participate, now is not the time to be super aggressive.

How exposed should you be? If your stocks perform, your exposure could be 40%, 50% or more, depending on your risk tolerance. If you have been shaken out of stocks or had to cut a string of losers, your exposure may be quite less.

However, if and when conditions improve, you can gradually make new purchases and increase your exposure. Stay engaged and remain flexible. Have your watch lists ready and your exit strategies in place.

Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with market direction and leading stocks and sectors.

Follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock exchange updates and more.


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