Wall Street, which had a pretty strong June and July, was hit by a less dovish Fed outlook and renewed trade tensions to start August. At July-end, the Fed cut rates but offered a slightly hawkish guidance saying that was simply a “midcycle adjustment” and that the committee does not see clear economic weakness that would require any longer rate-cutting cycle. The Fed also announced plans to end the normalization of balance sheet two months earlier than previously expected. Wall Street primarily slumped post Fed meeting.
If this was not enough, Donald Trump announced on Aug 1 a surprise decision to heighten the trade war with a levy of 10% tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods, sending shockwaves across the global markets. After market close on Aug 1, the president said the new round of tariffs could be increased beyond 25%.
The net impact is that the S&P 500 recorded the largest two-day decline since May. Volatility product iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX - Free Report) jumped 13.9% on Jul 31. The S&P-based fund SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY lost 2.2% in the past two days. SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA - Free Report) was off 2.24%. Nasdaq-100 ETF Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ lost 1.9% in the last two days (as of Aug 1, 2019).
Investors can go against the S&P 500 with ProShares Short S&P500 ETF (SH - Free Report) (up 2.1% in the past two days) and Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bear 1X Shares (SPDN) (up 1.9% during this phase).
Dow Jones is an extremely trade-sensitive index. So,investors intending to play against the tumbling Dow Jones, may tap ProShares Short Dow 30 (DOG - Free Report) (up 2.3% in past sessions), ProShares UltraShort Dow30 DXD (up 4.7% in the past two days) and ProShares UltraPro Short Dow30 (SDOW - Free Report) (up 7.1% on the past two days) (read: 4 Reasons That Led Dow Jones to 27,000: ETFs in Focus).
ProShares Short QQQ (PSQ - Free Report) (up about 2% in the past two days), ProShares UltraShort QQQ QID (up about 4% in the past two sessions) and ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ (SQQQ - Free Report) (up 5.8% in the past two sessions) are good to play against the Nasdaq.
U.S. semiconductor companies have huge revenue exposure to China, making the sector susceptible to U.S.-China trade relation. While regular semiconductor ETF iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (SOXX - Free Report) dived 2.3% in the past two days (as of Aug 1) on some weak earnings releases and Fed as well as trade shocks, inverse semiconductor ETFs Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x Shares (SOXS) and ProShares UltraShort Semiconductors (SSG) gained 16.4% and 10.4% in the past two days, respectively.
Obviously, things will be unsteady in China given trade tensions. iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI - Free Report) and Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (ASHR - Free Report) lost about 3.1% and 3.6% on Jul 31. So, some of the China-related inverse plays are Direxion Daily CSI 300 China A Share Bear 1X Shares CHAD (up 4.5% in the past two days), Direxion Daily FTSE China 3x Bear Shares YANG (up 11.5%), ProShares UltraShort FTSE China 50 FXP (up 7.5%) and ProShares Short FTSE China 50 YXI (up 3.7%) (read: Will China ETFs Survive the Moving Out of US Firms?).
As the Fed outlook has been perceived as dovish initially, the U.S. dollar gained strength and emerging markets fell. Plus, the recent flare-up in the U.S.-China trade tensions made the space particularly edgy.iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM - Free Report) retreated about 3.2% in the past two days. As a result, inverse EM fund Direxion Daily MSCI Emerging Markets Bear 3X Shares (EDZ - Free Report) added 5.9% in the past two days (as of Aug 1, 2019) (read: ETF Asset Report of Second-Quarter 2019).
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