Might the hedge funds getting hammered and pressed short bets continue a bit longer? Sure; the Fast Money show options jokers all agree (a contraindicator on its own) that the crazy valuations stocks (AMZN, NFLX,FB) may have a more downside to come but that pressing those, already down hard, is dangerous and they "wouldn't short them down here" except with [long] put spreads. (smartest thing ever heard on that show). They also think playing put spreads down on MGM and WYNN is a good trade because "consumer discretionary" will be hurt as the economy slows. Yet they really should play darts -- because otions trading is directional and generally catalyst trades, not so much about global and domestic GDP trends. No wonder those guys are generally wrongside.
Now add China's banks to the list of companies and signs the economy is doing well in China, the key driver for creating the Asian wealth driving Macau's GGR, and confirming that financing is not dead.
"China Construction Bank Says First-Quarter Profit Increases 10%
By Bloomberg News Apr 27, 2014 5:16 AM ET
China Construction Bank Corp. (939), the nation’s second-largest lender by market value, reported 10 percent growth in first-quarter profit.
Net income increased to 65.8 billion yuan ($10.5 billion) for the three months through March from 59.6 billion yuan a year earlier, the Beijing-based lender said in a filing to Shanghai’s stock exchange today.
The profit growth may check investors’ concerns that banks will be hobbled by rising defaults amid a slowdown in an economy that had its first onshore bond default earlier this year. The central bank on April 25 cut the ratio of deposits some rural banks must hold in reserve.
China Construction Bank was the third of China’s four largest lenders to report earnings in the past week. First-quarter profit grew 14 percent at both Ag Bank of China and Bank of China I & C Bank of China Ltd. (1398), the biggest of the four, is due to post results on April 2."
Although investors worry about less-robust growth in China, several U.S. corporate giants hailed Q1 demand in the world's second-largest economy.
China has proven to be a strong engine for Apple (AAPL), with its new partner China Mobile (CHL) helping push fiscal Q2 iPhone sales to more than 43 million, far more than expected. The $9.2 billion that China added to Apple's coffers comprised nearly 25% of the company's total quarterly revenue, up 13% from a year earlier.
Caterpillar (CAT), the giant construction-equipment manufacturer, has struggled with a global commodity slump that#$%$ mining-equipment demand. Overall sales were flat — actually ending a five-quarter decline.
But China sales rose 30% vs. a year earlier. CEO Doug Oberhelman credits increased dealer deliveries and the favorable impact of dealer inventory changes.
Economic growth in China of around 7.5% this year "should support improvements in the machine industry and increase commodity demand."
Yum! Brands (YUM), parent of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant chains, says that its China-division sales grew 17% year over year, with restaurant margins increasingly almost 7% and operating profit up 80%. Yum adds that it expects to open at least 700 restaurants in China this year.
The company is seeing improvement from a year earlier, when a chicken health scare scared jittery diners and investors. CEO David Novak cited KFC in China as "the most significant driver" of Yum's strong bounce back in the first quarter.
Global casino giant Las Vegas Sands (LVS) topped Q1 forecasts Thursday, with strong growth in earnings and revenue driven in part by Sands Macau, its majority-owned unit in China's gaming mecca. Sands Macau revenue climbed 35%, and net income rose 66%. More than 17 million visits to its Macau facilities during Q1 delivered a record $939.8 million of adjusted property EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), said CEO Sheldon Adelson in a statement.
Seems that in addition to our pm pals, the IBD staff writers may also be reading along here (LOL)...
The article frames the point that China is stable and chugging along nicely at 7.5% GDP policy target as noted on the CAT thread. This article even uses many of the same companies on that thread last week: AAPL, CHL, CAT, YUM, and LVS -- and if he had included SBUX, Ford, and GM, he would have captured all of the companies I referenced. LOL