While most world markets, including our own, are reeling from the credit concerns and re-evaluation of risk, there is one market that just keeps on trucking. That market is China. We have mentioned the prospects for this market before, but it is striking that through all the recent turmoil, the Chinese market has been untouched and to a large degree is in its own world.
The reasons are relatively straightforward. There are no subprime issues to contend with in China, there are no real estate credit issues to deal with and all the concerns that go with those issues do not have a direct impact on the Chinese market.
What is still positive about China and its market is the continued infrastructure build-out driving its economic growth. The Olympic build-out is occurring as well, and everything that goes with that, including travel.
With economic growth comes prosperity, and with prosperity comes the creation of a middle class. The middle class begins to seek out the better things in life: Bigger homes, better food and just about anything they didn't already have.
One of the things people gaining some affluence can afford to do is travel. This is a huge industry worldwide, and we Americans know the value and satisfaction of a good vacation. The Chinese are starting to see these benefits and rewards as well. This can be travel within China itself, destination resorts or sightseeing in other provinces, or visiting family. Whatever the reason, travel is on the rise.
Many people inside China are turning to online services to book this travel. The biggest and most well known is
. This is the Chinese equivalent of
. This firm is one of the more established and well-known services. Interestingly, they cater to this growing middle class.
A look at the chart shows the stock has been rallying and moving steadily higher for most of this year. The recent market weakness has weighed on the stock short term, bringing the price back from the recent highs. This pullback has been orderly and has held both the long-term and intermediate-term uptrends.
The weakness is actually providing a good entry point into the stock. We would consider being a buyer at current levels or on further weakness to the $34-$35 level. We do not want to see the $34 level broken, as this would violate the trend lines and suggest the selling is more significant in nature. Also encouraging is the relatively light volume during the pullback, indicating the selling pressure has not increased beyond normal profit-taking.
If you are looking for a way to benefit from growth in China, this consumer company should be a good option.
At the time of publication, John Hughes and Scott Maragioglio had no positions in the stocks mentioned. Hughes and Maragioglio co-founded Epiphany Equity Research, which has developed and utilizes proprietary tools to identify and track liquidity changes in the market indices and sectors. Hughes advises numerous asset managers, hedge funds and institutions managing in excess of $30 billion. Maragioglio is a member of the market technicians association (MTA) as well as The American Association of Professional Technical Analysts (AAPTA) and holds a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designation. Maragioglio has also served on the board of directors of the AAPTA.