What Plunging Global Semiconductor Sales Just Said about Autos, IT & How the Economy Reacts to Uncertainties

The deepest plunge since the Financial Crisis, but more persistent.

Global chip sales plunged 16.8% in June from June last year, to $32.7 billion, on a three-month moving average basis, and are down 22% from the peak in October 2018, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics today. As deepest and most relentless plunge in semiconductor sales since the Financial Crisis continues, any hopes for a V-shaped recovery, such as during the Financial Crisis, have been shelved:

This was the fifth month in a row that the three-month moving average has been in the range of $32 billion to $33 billion, down about $10 billion from the peak in October last year, the steepest dollar-drop ever. During the Financial Crisis, sales plunged and then bounced back instantly, for a perfect V-shaped recovery. But this time around, sales have been stuck at low levels for five months already.

In percentage terms, the 22% drop from the peak pales compared to the 39% plunge during the Financial Crisis and the 45% plunge during the long dotcom bust. The dotcom-bust plunge was the worst, not only the deepest in percentage terms, but also by far the longest in duration.

For the first six months of 2019, semiconductor sales dropped 14.5% compared to the same period last year. And sales were down “across all major regional markets and semiconductor product categories,” the report by the Semiconductor Industry Association said.

Sales fell in all major geographic regions in June (three-month moving averages compared to the same period last year):

  • Americas: -29.5%
  • Europe: -10.9%
  • Japan: -12.8%
  • China: -13.9%
  • Asia Pacific/All Other: -13.7

The culprits span the spectrum, from the decline in smartphone sales to the crypto-mining collapse. But now add a new one that is spreading across the globe:

Auto sales drop around the globe.

What was at first thought to be a localized drop in China and a little bitty dip in the US and some squiggles in Europe has now turned into a serious global downturn, and there are a lot of semiconductors in each new vehicle rolling off the assembly line. While chips for EV-related components such as battery management systems are still experiencing growth, chips for ICE-vehicle components are getting hit. This include the multitude of chips in emission systems, engine management systems, transmissions, fuel systems, lighting systems, infotainment systems, driver assist systems, etc.

In the second quarter, global sales of new vehicles fell 7% compared to the same period last year, after having already fallen 6.5% in the first quarter, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. I have covered the sales debacle in select hot spots:

Smartphone sales drop around the globe.

In terms of the number of devices shipped, global smartphone sales have declined in the first half, from mere stagnation in 2018, according to Gartner Inc., which expects unit sales for the whole year to continue on the same path and end the year down 2.5%, with the steepest declines in Japan (-6.5%), the EU (-5.3%), and North America (-4.4%).

“In mature markets, the high-end smartphone market is particularly oversupplied and commoditized, with higher average selling prices (ASPs) and no compelling new utility or experiences for users to upgrade to,” the report said.

PC/laptop shipments fell then ticked up.

In the second quarter, global PC and laptop shipments ticked up 1.5% compared to Q2 2018, after having fallen 4.6% in Q1, according to Gartner.

The Big Three vendors booked increases in shipments in Q2 – with Lenovo up 15.9%, HP up 2.6%, and Dell up 2.1% – and were able to increase their market share to a combined 64.1%, up from 60.7% a year earlier. The also-rans all booked declining shipments: Apple -0.2%, Acer -14.4%, ASUS -9.9%, and Others -6.7%.

Global IT spending on hardware falls.

Total IT spending, hardware and software, is expected to remain about “flat” at $3.7 trillion globally in 2019, “despite uncertainty fueled by recession rumors, Brexit, trade wars and tariffs,” according to Gartner. Software sales are expected show growth (Enterprise Software +9.0%, IT services + 3.8%, and Communications Services -1.0%).

But hardware sales – that’s where semiconductors end up – are expected to fall in dollar terms in 2019: Data Center Systems (“the cloud”), which used to be the hottest of the hot segments, -3.5% and Devices -4.3%.

“Although an economic downturn is not the likely scenario for either 2019 or 2020, the risk is currently high enough to warrant preparation and planning. Technology general managers and product managers should plan out product mix and operational models that will optimally position product portfolios in a downturn should one occur,” the report said.

The US-China trade-war debacle.

The rhetoric last year about potential tariffs and export controls triggered a stampede in 2018 on all sides to buy semiconductors to front-run actual tariffs and export controls. That is one of the reasons why semiconductor sales surged to that extent last year.

These export controls have now hit Chinese tech and telecom giant Huawei Technologies, whose telecom infrastructure equipment and smartphones contain US semiconductors. Huawei has seen this coming and has prepared for it by stockpiling semiconductors and other potentially affected components to keep its business supplied for up to six months or a year, allowing it time to realign its supply chain. Other Chinese companies have made similar preparations – all of which boosted chip sales and inventories last year, and created a hangover this year.

The Crypto-mining collapse.

The boom in the special rigs used to mine cryptocurrencies was huge and contributed to the surge in chip sales in 2017 but it collapsed in 2018, which hit certain chip makers in a concentrated manner, such as Nvidia.

Chips go into an endless variety of goods. Even a new toaster has a chip or two. The goods-based sectors globally have been ailing, and chip sales are a sign of that. But they’re also a sign of how the economy reacts to uncertainties, such as the threat of tariffs and export controls in 2018, and then the actual imposition of them.

US makers of heavy trucks – such as Peterbilt, Kenworth, and Mack – are still floating on top of what was a historic order backlog created in 2018. But orders have collapsed, and that backlog is dissipating fast. Read…  Heavy-Truck Orders Collapse Stunning 81%. Lowest Since 2010

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  65 comments for “What Plunging Global Semiconductor Sales Just Said about Autos, IT & How the Economy Reacts to Uncertainties

  1. Sporkfed
    Aug 5, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    What goes up, must come down…

    • joe saba
      Aug 6, 2019 at 10:38 am

      didn’t Japan limit chip sales to South Korea over reparations

  2. Brant Lee
    Aug 5, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Nothing much to get excited about in new and latest gadgets and cars. Anyone prudent in these times is going to get the most mileage possible from their present toys.

    • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
      Aug 5, 2019 at 11:59 pm

      The “word” in this economy is to get by with the oldest, cheapest, stuff you can.

      There’s no need for the newest and fastest anyway with internet access – unless you can afford a T1 line – almost as slow as 56k dial-up anyway. There’s just no need to bother.

      So naturally people aren’t buying tons of new stuff. Esp. as only the top maybe 20% can afford to do so, and the rest of us get by for years on their hand-me-downs.

      • Harrold
        Aug 6, 2019 at 1:49 pm

        A 1.544MBps T1 line? I remember when my phone did 10x’s that speed. It was around 11 years ago.

        • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
          Aug 6, 2019 at 9:07 pm

          It takes me over an hour to upload one minute of video to youtube, to give you an idea. It can take a few minutes for photos to load to Craig’s List (not that this last matters any more, with Craig’s List dead).

          Old tech is the future! It’s mind-blowing that Hiroshige and his compatriots did so much with woodblocks, but did you know M.C. Escher worked almost entirely in woodblocks also? There’s a documentary about him out there somewhere, which as one point shows him making a print of his famous flat/semi-flat/3D sphere.

        • Aug 7, 2019 at 12:44 am

          Alex,

          In lieu of wallowing in your dystopian fiction, why don’t you get a regular cheap cellphone service (4G), which provides you with 14 Mbit/s to 17 Mbit/s internet speed (same upload as download speed) in most locations in the Bay Area and elsewhere. This is your one communications device: phone and internet connection combined. Cancel everything else, including cable TV and landline. You plug your laptop into your phone via a USB cable, and done. Works great. I use it a lot. It’s faster than my Comcast broadband.

  3. daniel weise
    Aug 5, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Went on a semi serious Car shopping trip just north of SD,large Complex with 10+ dealers. Sunday afternoon,it was a Ghost Town,was expecting Tumble Weed to blow through at any minute. have not seen this in along time. i think i will wait a bit longer.

    • Paulo
      Aug 5, 2019 at 10:09 pm

      A lot of inventory at our local car lots on Vancouver island. Lots of trucks on lots. :-)

      Coincidentally, on Wednesday I am buying a truck to replace my ’86 Toyota PU, (worn out). It is a 2002 GMC Sierra, creampuff with every receipt for every maintenance item. The fellow that owned it is a family friend who just passed away, and his wife and I are contributing to the beer fund at a used truck speciality lot for the owner to give us a market evaluation for a private sale. Because the truck is in such good shape, albeit 17 years old, it would be hard for a layman to put a fair price on it, especially with a family friend and widow. Thus, the third party. It has about 75K miles on it and is in showroom condition. Ballpark guestimate 6-7 K. Something new, 8X the cost (2wd).

      I spent all afternoon moving lumber to make room for it. Why on earth buy new? It’ll be a win win for us both as I use a truck for building, etc. No cameras. No bat sensors. No siri. No AI crap. Mirrors. All good. The mileage is damn near the same as my 4 banger Toyota, due to the Toy being high revving and underpowered.

      • daniel weise
        Aug 5, 2019 at 10:49 pm

        Both good choices Paulo,those 80’s Toyotas where the best,i had one. the thing is i drive a lot and do not like to worry about repairs. i do not like to buy gas so 40 mpg highway is nice. agree on all the electronic crap but rear view cameras are a must. so is the lumbar bubble thing,i’m getting older….

      • Gandalf
        Aug 6, 2019 at 7:24 am

        Yep, there’s a reason for those rear view cameras.
        When I was a resident I had to go up to the ICU to review a brain perfusion study in a 4-old who had been run over by his father backing out of the driveway in his truck (his skull was crushed).
        It was our job to write the brain death note in the chart ASAP so the transplant team could start harvesting the organs

        • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
          Aug 6, 2019 at 9:08 pm

          I’d say in the USSA, camera-up, front and back, just like in the ex-USSR for this and other reasons. Lots of desperate people out there who’d step in front of your car, losing a limb in exchange for a disability check for life – it’s that or starvation.

      • Endeavor
        Aug 6, 2019 at 7:32 am

        Paulo
        Well worth 6-7k if not rusty.

        • WSKJ
          Aug 6, 2019 at 9:32 am

          Rust is good: I have let a rust spot on my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee go unpatched because every time I look at it, it’s a reminder that the body is metal, not plastic. Good feelings.

          Great column, Wolf and commenters, thx.

      • Buddha
        Aug 6, 2019 at 11:38 am

        I stopped buying new 8 years ago. Back then I was looking at a new car. Found one and negotiated a good deal. They then mentioned that there was an identical care that the sales manager had driven with 5,000 miles on it. They took an additional 15% off the already discounted price and threw in 5 years of scheduled maint and a 5 year car warranty. I didn’t even ask for the last item.

        Prior to that, I purchased a 9 month old 2009 Edge AWD with 14k miles. It was the same model year as the new Edge’s. We purchased it for over 30% off list.

        I recently looked at a new Lexus RX for $49k with upgrades. I found the same car albeit 2015 with the prior design (which I think is more attractive) with 30k miles for $23k with similar upgrades. Hmmm.

      • NBay
        Aug 7, 2019 at 8:11 pm

        “infotainment, driver assist”
        Didn’t take long in 1000 people manufacturing outfit to learn Marketing/Sales and Design/Production are mortal enemies. Anyway have been noting P/U commercials with self powered tailgates and that really weird multi folding tailgate “innovation”. Tells me Marketing folks are still very much in control there. What kind of P/U guy would want either? Maybe just the ones who buy for image, which ads have also been hyping and pretty un-nuanced too, i.e. guts and glory, go do truck stuff, blah, blah, blee.

        • NBay
          Aug 7, 2019 at 8:36 pm

          Paulo, now THAT is the way to buy vehicles! Bought my first piece of land that way. From friend’s mother, husband died and she lost interest. Anyway, consulted local realtor who lived up there, and paid him in beer, we also drank a few with him, got price, split commission, used book for mortgage payments after deposit, friend’s para-legal wife drew up papers, paid $25 at Notary Public, walked across street to County Clerk, paid $90, and it was done. 1992. Anyway, keep Toyota talk aside, you can now carry 4×8 anything easily and have a big rack if you want. Community and friends!

    • Stan Sexton
      Aug 5, 2019 at 10:16 pm

      Kearny Mesa or Carlsbad? Carlsbad is really upper scale. Lots of techies with money. Near Rancho Santa Fe. The Crash in the stock market could affect these people’s spending!

      • daniel weise
        Aug 5, 2019 at 10:38 pm

        Escondido,Carlsbad didn’t look much better to be honest. not complaining since i love all the Attention of being the only soul on the lot,i feel special! So give me a super Deal and i’ll sign,maybe… LOL

  4. Robert
    Aug 5, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    If you adjust Lenovo’s sales for the Fujitsu acquisition, their sales were also close to flat.

  5. William Smith
    Aug 6, 2019 at 12:55 am

    When all discretionary spending is taken up by a mortgage on massively inflated home prices, who can afford anything else? Even Prince Harry (who is not short of a dollar or two) is going to limit to 2 children only. Just to be able to afford a roof, people are obviously foregoing luxuries such as cars, entertainment, internet, electronics & offspring. Great job central banks, great job!

  6. Chris
    Aug 6, 2019 at 3:39 am

    I hate modern cars full of chips and screens. When I eventually have to replace mine, I will hunt down an old Land Rover at least 20 years old, even if it costs as much as a new car and costs a lot more to run. Same goes for toasters, TV’s and everything else. I want stuff I can fix.

    • Unamused
      Aug 6, 2019 at 7:28 am

      I hate modern cars full of chips and screens.

      You do not yet hate the chips and screens enough, and not just the ones in vehicles.

      aeon.co/ideas/orwell-knew-we-willingly-buy-the-screens-that-are-used-against-us

    • Cashboy
      Aug 6, 2019 at 5:31 pm

      I would not recommend buying a Land Rover; always break down.
      Better off buying a Toyota if you want reliability, available spare parts.

      • NBay
        Aug 7, 2019 at 8:55 pm

        Yep. Petaluma Ca has annual Toyota Land Cruiser show. July. Many sales made, many wouldn’t sell except for ridiculous amount. Some come in on trailers or towed. Saw pretty expensive but cool pick-up bed type spray on job. The entire rig! Easy to hose out if you are true off roader, but all street legal, lots of ’75 or before. Might be just what you want there. Some 85-95 Toyota P/Us, too. Lotsa parts, too.

  7. Old Engineer
    Aug 6, 2019 at 4:48 am

    If Huawei and other companies re-align their electronics supply chains, I wonder if U.S. electronics will suffer long term market share loss? U.S. export controls would seem like the perfect motivation for China to push the development of indigenous electronics. Possibly even Europe.

    • lenert
      Aug 6, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Chinese companies could simply export smartphones, laptops and prescription drugs without paying a dime to Apple, Microsoft, Intel nor Pfizer. We’d have cheap drugs and devices and maybe a few less asshole billionaires.

      • Yerfej
        Aug 6, 2019 at 10:25 am

        Interesting how you think those billionaires who created ALL of the stuff you use are assholes. Envy much.

        • Kent
          Aug 6, 2019 at 10:34 am

          I can assure you those billionaires didn’t create any of those things. Industrial designers designed them, engineers engineered them, assembly line engineers designed the assembly lines, and nice Chinese people actually created them.

          The billionaires had access to the credit to fund the idea. And that is of course, almost as important as all the other folks in the chain.

        • Senecas Cliff
          Aug 6, 2019 at 10:54 am

          One of the reasons we made it too the moon was that The Apollo Program was the realm of scientists , engineers and machinists and not Billionaires. If it had been, then the landing module would have been half baked junk like the 737 Max with software written by $9.00 an hour programmers and short cuts everywhere. The reason some don’t believe we landed on the moon is that so much time has gone by that they can no longer imagine a world that is not run like a carnival show by posers and financial grifters instead of engineers. Instead of building on these accomplishments we have allowed them to be exploited by hucksters who have brought us junky gadgets to watch cat videos on while they became billionaires.

        • IdahoPotato
          Aug 6, 2019 at 1:22 pm

          Billionaires don’t create stuff. They contract people to create stuff and usually discard them like toilet paper. Then they post in forums such as these preening about how smart they are.

        • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
          Aug 6, 2019 at 9:11 pm

          The guy who invented insulin sold the patent for ONE DOLLAR. The medicines we’re being charge “all the market will bear” are often public property. Billionaires are not the intellectual worker bees making these things possible.

        • NBay
          Aug 7, 2019 at 9:10 pm

          Yep. Envy is sinful. Screwing people isn’t. Long live wealth creators!

    • sierra7
      Aug 6, 2019 at 10:40 am

      Old Engineer:
      There you go! Right on target! We think everybody else is just plain Stooopid! LOL!

  8. MC01
    Aug 6, 2019 at 5:15 am

    I don’t know if anybody remembers 2017. It was beyond crazy: I had never seen anything like it because it seemingly came from nowhere (2016 was barely a speed bump, not a recession followed by a recovery) and because the ultra-rosey growth predictions went to 2025 and beyond.
    At least in capital-intensive manufacturing we packed 7-8 years of healthy growth into little more than 2: it was bound to come back to haunt us. For now we still have packed order books but as deliveries continue they are getting thinner. On top of that many companies added extra capacity to meet the expected long term demand (which is now being used to evade existing orders) and while cancellations aren’t a problem, deferrals have started. To stay on topic Air New Zealand recently announced they’ll be deferring deliveries of their Airbus A320neo by two years and will make do with what they have for the while. Retirement of their aging 777-200ER has been deferred to “no sooner than 2023”.

    Now, this is not a recession by any stretch of immagination but people are already panicking for no reason in particular. The cries for “extraordinary fiscal and monetary policies” have become deafening, and continue after seven full months of stimulus by Chinese authorities (it’s too soon to say what consequences the yuan devaluation will have) turned into a dud and the most anticipated rate cut in human history turned into a massively disappointing whimper as Wall Street threw the mother of all temper tantrums because… not even the Gods know.
    The most laughable ideas by the usual cheerleaders involve another “monetary bazooka” by the ECB which would cut rates by a full 100bps (not a typo) and extend asset purchases to all investment grade corporate assets.

    Given the adults have left the house and are not coming back anytime soon I’d better prepare myself for more idiotic demands and even more idiotic policies… things just keep getting better and better.

    • NBay
      Aug 7, 2019 at 9:25 pm

      Yeah, built most of Treasury “ladder” during ’13-’14 taper tantrum. Sadly not enough matured to take advantage of rate increase yields. Needed Feb-Aug 3 yr and it paid >1% less than 3yrs bought last Oct, Dec.

  9. lewish
    Aug 6, 2019 at 5:29 am

    Recently shopped for a new very popular midsize sport utility (honda-crv) as I looked on a website for some pricing info. Barraged with offers from dealers local and far away, not considered local market dealers in NYC metro area. Prices offered online, not the most competitive by far, were up to $1000 less than I was offered, same time of year, 2 years ago for a 2017, exact same model as I shopped hard in dealerships with a MSRP of $750 more. This is a real example of how weak the auto market is and is finally hitting the hottest part of the market. Waiting till September after labor day to do some hard shopping for a purchase. Wolf is on target with his comments on the auto industry and its effect on the semiconductor global leading industry slowdown.

  10. Iamafan
    Aug 6, 2019 at 5:38 am

    Dear Wolf,
    Could you kindly explain to your readers (write or record something) WHY the exchange rate of the Yuan is so important. I think this will be extremely helpful.

    Why did the market tank because the Yuan to USD broached 7?

    • Lance Manly
      Aug 6, 2019 at 7:56 am

      I’m no Wolfe but

      >Why did the market tank because the Yuan to USD broached 7?

      Because everyone was in fear that a certain person would push stupid stuff on their twitter account causing market panic … again

  11. R Hughes
    Aug 6, 2019 at 8:03 am

    When viewed starting in 07 the recent data point(s) seem about on target for a long term trend line. Since last couple years have been above LTT (long term trend) we might expect some period of time to be below trend line.

    • Ian
      Aug 6, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      I was going to say the same thing. It is the last two year upward blip that is the curiosity, not so much the sudden fall.

  12. medial axis
    Aug 6, 2019 at 8:05 am

    “Total IT spending, hardware and software, is expected to remain about “flat””

    That’s in traditional IT, i.e. proprietary hard ware and soft ware I guess. But if you look at what’s happening in the crypto space you’ll find more and more investing their time and effort working on, what they see as, a better system. These youngsters see it worth their while investing their time and effort (they have few dollars) in this new system, they see little or no value in the one that now exists, it’s not even worth saving. Sure, billions of dollars are not being spent but then no matter how many billions you spend it cannot buy you innovation. It’s the other way round. Necessity is the mother of invention, and she’s invariably broke. The revolution will not be centralised.

    • SnotFroth
      Aug 6, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      I hope the coins they create and mine are GPU and CPU friendly. I’ve watched the ASIC systems on eBay go from over $7000 to $300 in less than a year. Crypto needs time to regroup before it can drive another frenzy of electronics manufacturing.

      • medial axis
        Aug 6, 2019 at 2:35 pm

        No. Bitcoin’s proving to be the only game in town[1]. Heading for 70% domination by market cap and its hash rate at an ATH[2]. Second hand rigs, that were dumped earlier, are now fetching a good price, or so I’ve been told.

        [1] Mining bitcoin with GPUs is guaranteed to lose you money fast.
        [2] https://www.blockchain.com/charts/hash-rate?daysAverageString=7&timespan=all

      • NBay
        Aug 7, 2019 at 9:35 pm

        Yep. Saw documentary on awesome sized power hungry bit coin “mining” operation right next to big dam in China. Techs slept there, big investor showed up to question lead tech about profits, facility, etc.
        Wonder how they all are doing now?

  13. Unamused
    Aug 6, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Global Semiconductor Sales Plunge

    And predictably.

    The problem with capitalism as practiced, in general, and so-called ‘supply-side economics’, in particular, is that these disregard and subvert any natural, organic balance between supply and demand, and instead generate wasteful oversupply in the mad pursuit of short-term profit in ways that necessarily sacrifice steady returns.

    Hence the booms and the busts, the euphoria and the crash. Hence the constant need for things like coercive marketing, instrusive advertising, worker repression, and manipulation of consumers to waste money on things they don’t need, can’t use, and can’t afford. Call it the Grab-Too-Much-Or-You’ll-Get-Nothing-At-All approach to capitalism, short-sighted and ultimately self-defeating. I couldn’t help noticing that the archives here are replete with examples of this corporate manic-depression syndrome.

    As the resulting income and wealth inequality increases, so does the desperation to productively reinvest excess capital in markets that are increasingly overexploited. Hence the constant predatory hunt for yield, and the willingness to sacrifice the future to pay for the mistakes of the past and present. Meanwhile the toxic externalities pile up to enhance short-term profit and the world’s resources are depleted to exhaustion because there’s no short-term profit in preserving them.

    So much for the ‘efficient allocation of resources’ theory, only one of many that are just as dishonest.

    • Yerfej
      Aug 6, 2019 at 10:28 am

      It is always better to avoid the market and get some extra smart ivy league pinhead to calculate supply and demand so everyone can avoid having excess capacity and not enough supply. This has always worked better in all previous attempts and is just an example of how social and financial engineering always has better outcomes.

      • Senecas Cliff
        Aug 6, 2019 at 12:01 pm

        The Japanese have done something similar to this for almost 70 years with the all powerfull MITI . This is one reason they have come to dominate (along with the Germans) the market for complicated and technical industrial equipment and parts. The US system of feast and famine for high capital industrial production has left us as a distant third place (compared to the more planned economies) in key technologies. We now have no U.S. Machine tool industry, No Robot Industry, no CNC Control system industry, almost no industrial grade sensors, we don’t make servo motors, stepper motors, or high end optics any more. The only thing we still lead in is the most complicated integrated circuits but that lead may soon be lost to Taiwan. Creative destruction may be fine for car sharing, the kids toy industry, or video games but it is a disaster for the production of key industrial technologies. Not central planning but a coherent national industrial policy.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS)
          Aug 6, 2019 at 3:15 pm

          @Cliff-check. In steep decline since the pronouncements back in the ’90’s that we are now and will be an ‘information and service’ economy. Extend this presently to that regrettable necessity for the manufacture of the effective equipment required in an effective national defense…

          May we all find that better day.

      • NBay
        Aug 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm

        Let me guess. You are talking Ivy League pin heads vs the people with good old fashioned common sense?..and bigger heads?

  14. David Hall
    Aug 6, 2019 at 9:23 am

    The global slowdown may be affecting the earnings of multinational S&P 500 companies. Corporate earnings (EPS) declined in Q1. Corporate earnings, as reported so far, declined in Q2 (Zacks). It seems like an earnings recession.

    US steel production increased in the first half of 2019.

    In order for there to be a recession, there must be two quarters of negative GDP growth. There has not been one quarter of negative GDP growth published so far.

    Inflation is an ever present threat.

  15. nicko2
    Aug 6, 2019 at 9:59 am

    UBS is charging HNW (accounts over 1.7 million) a fee for holding cash accounts. Now you know the end is near.

    Hsbc is laying off 4000 too.

  16. Petunia
    Aug 6, 2019 at 10:17 am

    A less obvious source of chips is the recycling business. China buys tons of used electronic equipment and they strip out every last component they can reclaim. They even strip the silver off of old cd disks which is a laborious and highly polluting process, but cheap labor makes it possible.

    • Harrold
      Aug 6, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      Not any more. China has banned most electronic and plastic waste.

      • Iamafan
        Aug 6, 2019 at 2:42 pm

        Semiconductor gold or rare earth recycling is not trash. I’ve actually worked near an operation near one in Roseville, CA in the 90’s. I saw gold.

      • NBay
        Aug 7, 2019 at 9:54 pm

        Yeah, I thought that nasty “smelting” job went to Bangladesh, alongside cutting up old beached ships with torches and no other equipment except maybe pry bars.

  17. Reuther
    Aug 6, 2019 at 10:32 am

    In America, the top 1% now have wealth equal to the bottom 90%. Thus, the top 1% have to take up the job of buying cars that ordinary Americans used to handle. I’m not sure how many cars that is? Maybe each Billionaire has to personally buy 1000 cars a year? Come on you “job creators”, you wanted it this way, now stop slacking and being lazy bums and get to work!

    • NBay
      Aug 7, 2019 at 9:59 pm

      I think that’s the top 0.1% (around $22m entry fee?) and it’s up to 92% since Bernie was saying it at Senate Budget Committee in ’15 or ’16.

  18. Aug 6, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Semiconductors are the new oil

  19. Chippy
    Aug 6, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Chips go up chips go down:

    “The figure seven is not our days that leave us, never to return, or a dam that will roll non-stop when the water floods in. It’s more like the water level in the reservoir, it rises and falls during different periods,” PBOC said in a statement.

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-08-05/Central-bank-says-Chinese-yuan-remains-strong-IUcgMr0pwI/index.html

  20. SnotFroth
    Aug 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Microsoft is kicking Windows 7 to the curb Jan 2020.

    That means enterprise has many, many computers to replace this year (and next, given how they are always behind schedule). I feel that the relatively positive numbers for HP, Dell, and Lenovo are due to massive PC workstation replacement in enterprise migrating away from Win 7.

    • Aug 6, 2019 at 6:35 pm

      Yes, that’s clearly the case.

  21. Just Some Random Guy
    Aug 6, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    Oh well, it was a fun little crash that lasted, what 4 days?

    This “crash” will be viewed like the Christmas “crash” in 6 months from now, ie a small blip in an otherwise rising market.

  22. Coffee Cat
    Aug 6, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Semiconductor stocks have hit bottom, and although you’re correct to point out transitory weakness, the reality is the whole sector is on the way to recovery. Look at the SOXX, it’s near record highs and most analysts have uprgraded the sector.

    As Powell pointed out in the most recent FOMC meeting, the USA is mid-cycle, which indicates about another five years of upside.

    “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

    • NBay
      Aug 8, 2019 at 8:19 pm

      Driver, “Alexa, passing truck on bumpy, narrow, two lane road”

      Alexa to ECU, “set max engine power, quit all smog, set trans delivery to max, up sensitivity of crash and fuel cut-off detectors, set suspension, steering, and braking maps for conditions, set pre call gps settings for local police bands.

      Sport Luxury Package with leather, seats, power everything, and full in car entertainment and com features. Optional.

      Point: Still need some custom embedded software chips at dawn.

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