Aaannddd it’s a fresh record high for US stocks! The S&P 500 and Nasdaq climbed modestly yesterday, while the Dow Industrials closed above 38,000 for the first time (albeit by just over a point). Even the recently lagging small cap benchmark, the Russell 2000, had a great day – gaining 2%.

We’re looking at a quiet open so far this morning. Crude oil is a bit weaker. Gold and silver are flat along with the dollar. Treasuries are weaker, while Bitcoin is trading below $40,000, leaving it around its lowest since the start of December.

One major market story is how much US stocks are UP, while Chinese stocks are DOWN. This chart shows a five-year comparison between the S&P 500 in the US and the CSI 300 Index in China. While China’s benchmark index has gone essentially nowhere over the past half-decade, the US benchmark has surged 82%.

Chinese Stocks Wildly Underperforming US Markets
Source: Google

Chinese officials have tried all kinds of things to prop up equities, from banning short-selling for some “strongly encouraging” fund managers to buy more and sell using state-backed funds to buy stocks. But Chinese stocks traded onshore and in Hong Kong have still lost more than $6 TRILLION in value from their 2021 peak. So, officials may use a $278 billion “stabilization” fund to buy more shares.

Here in the US, primary voting is underway in New Hampshire with the Republican ticket down to just Donald Trump and Nikki Haley. Trump is heavily favored, though his lead has narrowed in recent polls. It’s a quiet day for economic news, but we’ll get data on durable goods and home sales later in the week.