Preparing for Kiss legend Gene Simmons to come into our studio Monday, so this will be a short "Morning Jolt."
Don't laugh, but Simmons has proven to be a reliable source on the stock market. Should this be any surprise? The guy is reportedly worth more than $300 million, is a business mogul, and knowing him I can say he probably gets some of the best damn financial advice around. In January 2017, Simmons told me the Dow would smash the 20,000 mark thanks to Donald Trump's business-friendly policies. Done. In May 2018, Simmons told us cannabis stocks would become even hotter and the Dow would break 25,000. Both have since happened.
Freaky stuff, but makes me very interested to chat with Simmons again. But let me move onto what has caught my attention to kick off the week.
The tech trade. Apple (AAPL) supplier stocks have come under pressure Monday following the tech giant's bearish filing on Friday on the impact of tariffs and Trump's tweets about it over the weekend. iPhone assembler Foxconn and lens makers Genius Electronic Optical and Largan Precision saw a good chunk of the selling. One should expect continued pressure on the chip stocks based on this exchange, Trump's promise of full tariffs on Chinese imports and the fact the momentum in these stocks is clearly to the downside.
Trump's trade war. The last thing struggling Ford (F) needs is a war of words with Trump. "Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs." CNBC. This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs," Trump tweeted over the weekend. Ford quickly fired back saying it won't be making its small Focus Active in the U.S. as doing so is uneconomical. Ford's stock is down 20% during the last year as investors have cooled on a fast turnaround under new CEO Jim Hackett and sales of small cars have plunged. The market remains concerned about Ford's dividend -- it's reasonable to expect a cut as the stock currently yields 6.3% and the company must switch to cash-preservation mode.
Not exactly. Interesting final sentence from Alibaba (BABA) founder Jack Ma outlining his planned 2019 departure as chairman in September 2019: "The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba." That could certainly be contested. Part of the Alibaba hype through the years -- and the stock's ascent -- has in part been fueled by Ma's outsized personality. I stood five feet from Ma at Alibaba's arrival to Detroit in June 2017 and felt the media's obsession (and love) with him. That obsession was further felt when Ma spoke to a giant audience the following day about Alibaba's future. One could argue Alibaba's shares dropping 7% in the past year has been on concern that Alibaba is losing its visionary founder's day-to-day guidance. While CEO and soon-to-be Chairman Daniel Zhang is well-regarded, only time will tell if Alibaba shareholders are OK with their new Bill Gates/Microsoft (MSFT) moment.
Where are all those cryptocurrency bulls now? Most likely hoping and praying for their first TV appearance since November 2017 while mining bitcoin from their garages.
The bottom line is that the crypto trade continues to be one of the worst around. There are zero short-term catalysts to lift prices from their latest doldrums. Banks have cooled on crypto trading desks. The crypto hype so synonymous with 2017's price rally has died. And the market fully understands this at an increasing pace.
The market cap of digital coins has tanked more than $640 billion from its January peak, per CoinMarketCap.com. Cryptocurrencies are well into a 10-month low, or said another way, a bear market. Prices for cryptos across the board on Monday continued to be under pressure. Look for bitcoin to dive below $6,000 this week (it's currently at $6,300).
Rumor of the Day
Love me some rumors and speculation, within reason.
This inside tip of the day comes compliments of long-time beverage industry analyst Bonnie Herzog at Wells Fargo. Herzog said one of her retail contacts thinks BodyArmor is making PepsiCo's (PEP) Gatorade "become irrelevant." Coca-Cola (KO) recently purchased a stake in the upstart BodyArmor and is expected to expand distribution, among other measures designed to chip away at Gatorade's 70% or so market share.
Another retailer told Herzog this, "If [Body Armor] is run on similar business plan as Monster (MNST) , it should help Body Armor grow and cut gap with Gatorade." Coke also has a sizable stake in energy drink Monster.
Herzog will be a featured speaker at TheStreet's Oct. 13 all-day investor conference hosted by Jim Cramer. Learn more here.