The hot commodity riding in Tesla’s slipstream — and ho…

Oh-so-many traders have been bracing for a selloff, and now the S&P looks set for its biggest weekly setback in nine months.

It’s thanks in large part to North Korea fears that haven’t gone away yet. But this market was also way overdue for a daily drop of 1% or more — that’s the suggestion from this chart shared by DailyFX’s John Kicklighter:

But it’s no time to be chicken, according to all sorts of pundits. It’s never a good idea to sell into a panic, says MarketWatch’s Mark Hulbert. Meanwhile, CrackedMarket’s Jani Ziedins says “don’t lose your nerve now,” doubling down on his comment from a couple of days ago (that seems to be a thing this week).

“If you don’t think the U.S. will start a war with North Korea, then this is a better place to be buying stocks than selling them,” Ziedins writes. “Many of us have been praying for a buyable dip. Here it is.”

One set of stocks worth buying is names tied to “the hottest commodity in the world,” says our call of the day, which comes from’s Joao Peixe.

Higher demand for lithium is guaranteed, but supplies might be constrained, Peixe writes over at that site focused on energy news. Demand is expected to keep coming thanks to lithium batteries, the key component in all those electric vehicles that Tesla and its rivals have promised to make.

There are five stock plays that Peixe recommends for betting on the soft, silvery-white alkali metal: Charlotte-based specialty chemicals provider Albemarle

ALB, -1.95%

 , Canadian producer Southern Lithium

SNL, -8.00%

 , Chilean chemicals giant Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile

SQM, -2.53%

 , the Global X Lithium ETF

LIT, -2.39%

 and, of course, Tesla

TSLA, -2.24%


“Three companies currently control most of the entire world’s supply of lithium, and Albemarle is the biggest play here,” Peixe says.

Josh “The Reformed Broker” Brown also recently noted that Albemarle has caught his eye as a play.

Southern Lithium looks poised to capitalize on “a major lithium volcano” in Argentina, and SQM is the world’s largest producer of the commodity, the post says. (SQM also is the No. 1 producer of iodine, used to fight nuclear radiation).

Go here to read the full post.

Key market gauges

Futures for the Dow

YMU7, -0.07%

 , S&P 500

ESU7, -0.12%

 and Nasdaq-100

NQU7, -0.22%

 are modestly lower after yesterday’s drubbing. The Dow

DJIA, -0.93%

 , S&P

SPX, -1.45%

and Nasdaq Composite

COMP, -2.13%

 are all on track for sizable weekly drops, with the S&P facing its biggest such fall since the week ended Nov. 4.

It’s been a sea of red in Europe

SXXP, -0.95%

and Asia. Oil 

CLU7, -0.45%

 is lower after the IEA said global supplies rose again. Gold

GCZ7, +0.22%

 and the dollar

DXY, -0.01%

 are a little higher.

See the Market Snapshot column for the latest action.

The quote

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral.

“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.” — An editorial in China’s state-run Global Times adds to the tensions.

Read more: Trump says his ‘fire and fury’ warning to North Korea wasn’t ‘tough enough’

The chart writer and bitcoin bull Charles Hugh Smith is talking about more big gains for the cryptocurrency as he shares the chart above.

“Notice the previous two periods of volatile upswings and downdrafts. The 30+% swings appeared monstrous at the time, but looking back, they look more like blips,” he writes.

“What will the current dramatic run-up, sharp decline and new high above $3,400 look like from the heights of $10,000?”

Mainstream folks misunderstand bitcoin

BTCUSD, +1.62%

  in a number of ways, Smith says. Such as? They’re missing “the potential role of bitcoin in preserving the wealth of the very elites who best understand the weaknesses of the present financial system,” he says.

The buzz


SNAP, +1.55%

and Nvidia

NVDA, -4.28%

 look set for big down days after their earnings late yesterday.

One highlight from Snap’s conference call was an analyst caught saying “I didn’t even understand his response!”

See: Nvidia stock could pause as server growth slows down

And read: Snap stock hits new lows as CEO’s promise can’t overcome declining ad rates

But Nordstrom

JWN, -4.29%

 appears on pace for again after its results, and rival J.C. Penney

JCP, -8.72%

 is on the earnings docket before the open.


AMZN, -2.55%

 founder Jeff Bezos has dropped back to world’s third richest person thanks to the market selloff, Bloomberg notes.

Another selloff-related move: The VIX

VIX, +4.43%

 — that barometer of fear — has been awakened from its slumber.


GOOG, -1.70%

GOOGL, -1.75%

 canceled a diversity meeting, citing harassment concerns.

China’s internet regulator is investigating whether social-media platforms run by Baidu

BIDU, -3.36%

 , Weibo

WB, -5.77%

 and Tencent

0700, -4.90%

  hosted terrorist, porn and fake content posing a threat to public security.

On the economic front, a key figure is due before the open — a reading on inflation.

Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar

In terms of Federal Reserve chatter, the Dallas Fed’s Rob Kaplan and the Minneapolis Fed’s Neel Kashkari are due to speak once trading is underway.

See: Fed’s Dudley says 2% inflation target will remain elusive even if price pressures pick up

Random reads

ThronesWatch: HBO tries to get $250K in bitcoin to pay off Game of Thrones scripts thieves.

Meet Sarahah, the hot anonymous-gossip app for teens.

Twitter users love this headline inspired by a crime-fighting bird:

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