Ahhh, the smell of "fake" headlines in the morning. It smells like victory, especially as there goes another conspiracy "theory"
Producer Price Inflation data soared higher than expectations across the board this morning with Final Demand up 1.4% YoY (against 1.1% expectation) to its highest since Aug 2013. The main driver was food and apparel prices (rather unexpectedly) but we also note that ex-Food-and-Energy was a 0.6% rise (vs 0.2% exp.) which is the biggest month over month jump since March 2011.
Overnight weakness in Asia spilled into Europe and the bloodbath is continuing - especially in the peripheral markets which have until now been invincible in the face of deteriorating fundamentals. Just like US hyper-growth hope, Portugal, Spain, and Italy stock markets have soared this year - among the world's best performers - but are getting monkey-hammered in the last 2 days (down over 5%). Despite more chatter of ECB QE, peripheral bond spreads are also jumping higher (+7bps) as German Bund yields are slumping back below 1.5% - the lowest in 10 months. US futures are ugly too.
JPM Misses Top And Bottom Line, Slammed By Collapse In Mortgage Origination, Slide In Fixed Income TradingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/11/2014 - 07:45
Moments ago, JPM reported Q1 earnings which missed across the board, driven by the now traditional double whammy of collapsing mortgage revenues - the lifeblood of any old normal bank - and fixed income trading revenues - the lifeblood of new normal banks. Specifically, JPM reported revenues of $23.9 billion, well below the expected $24.5 billion, matched by a reported earnings miss of $1.28, down from $1.59 a quarter ago (and down $0.02 from Q4, 2014), also missing consensus estimates of $1.38. The breakdown was as follows.
- Sensitive Market Data Leaked After Government Phone Call (WSJ)
- This is a actual Bloomberg headline: China Fake Data to Skew More Export Numbers (BBG)
- This is another actual BBG headline: U.S. as Global Growth Engine Putt-Putts Instead of Purring (BBG)
- Ukraine wants to buy European gas to boost energy security (Reuters)
- JPMorgan Profit Falls 19% on Trading, Mortgage Declines (BBG)
- Record Europe Dividends Keep $2.8 Trillion From Factories (BBG)
- Why is Goldman shutting down Sigma X: SEC eyes test that may lead to shift away from 'dark pools' (Reuters)
- Ebola Outbreak Empties Hotels as West Africa Borders Closed (BBG)
- Australian PM says searchers confident of position of MH370's black boxes (Reuters)
- Gross Says El-Erian Should Explain Reason for Exit (BBG)
After a selloff as violent as that of last night, usually the overnight liftathon crew does a great job of recovering a substantial portion of the losses. Not this time, which coupled with the sudden and quite furious breakdown on market structure, leads us to believe that something has changed rather dramatically if preserving investor confidence is not the paramount issue on the mind of the NY Fed trading desk. Nikkei 225 (-2.38%) suffered its worst week since March'11 amid broad based risk off sentiment following on from a lower close on Wall St. where the Nasdaq Biotech index suffered its largest intra-day decline since August 2011. Negative sentiment carried over into European session, with stocks lower across the board (Eurostoxx50 -1.17%) and tech under performing in a continuation of the recent sector weakness seen in the US. JP Morgan (JPM) due to report earnings at 7:00AM EDT and Wells Fargo (WFC) at 8:00Am EDT.
There is much new info in the just released Bloomberg profile on the infamous ex-JPMorganite Blythe Masters, among which the disclosure that she had made it clear that she had wanted to go along with the disposable JPM physical commodities unit (which as was reported recently, was sold to Swiss commodities giant Mercuria) and "and continue as the group's chief", a plan which did not work out as she had planned since she has no plans to "join the unit’s purchaser" (although joining Glencore is another matter entirely, and one which looks increasingly plausible) but what we find most striking is the following revelation: "Masters is under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. That probe was opened following a settlement with regulators that alleged JPMorgan manipulated power markets in the Midwest and California."
We suspect this will come in handy tonight...
Is the US or the World Coming to an End? It will be one or the other
2014 is shaping up as a year of reckoning for the United States. One of two things is likely: Either the US dollar will be abandoned and collapse in value, thus ending Washington’s superpower status and Washington’s threat to world peace, or Washington will lead its puppets into military conflict with Russia and China. The outcome of such a war would be far more devastating than the collapse of the US dollar.
"Everybody loves this market," jokes a hursuit Carl Icahn fresh from his eBay exigencies, "everybody is buying this and buying that... we have a lot of hedges on." However, Icahn - who knows better than most just how one can financially engineer a company - says "there is reason to be cautious... a lot of the earnings are sort of artificial." While proclaiming that the Fed "did a great job in saving the economy," Icahn laughs that "with these low interest rates it's easy to fake earnings... and I don't think that can continue forever." Simply put, the billionaire activist investors concludes, you can't print money forever and "that there will be a major correction."
The average price of USDA choice-grade beef has soared to $5.28 a pound, and the average price of a pound of bacon has skyrocketed to $5.46. Unfortunately for those that like to eat meat, this is just the beginning of the price increases. Due to an absolutely crippling drought that won’t let go of the western half of the country, the total size of the U.S. cattle herd has shrunk for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951. But back in 1951, we had less than half the number of mouths to feed. And a devastating pig virus that has never been seen in the United States before has already killed up to 6 million pigs in this country and continues to spread like wildfire. What all of this means is that the supply of meat is going to be tight for the foreseeable future even as demand for meat continues to go up. This is going to result in much higher prices, and so food is going to put a much larger dent in American family budgets in the months and years to come.
In what the firm believes will be an improvement over other so-called dark pools because it will be a collaboration among big mutual-fund firms, WSJ reports that the giant fund manager is quietly building a new trading venue designed to let big money managers sidestep many of the problems that they argue lead to unfair or costly trading - i.e. avoid the HFT predation. Fidelity, with $1.95 trillion of assets under management, is in the initial stages of planning the trading venue and has just begun to pitch the idea to other large asset managers. It seems 5 years of vociferous exposure and a Michael Lewis book may be beginning to starve the HFTs of their prey.
The Nikkei 225 is down over 700 points from the post-FOMC minutes exuberance with major volume hitting the open in Japan. Japanese stocks are now down 15% from their high and trading at six-month lows (and the cheapest to the Dow in 15 months). USDJPY is tumbling further (though the standard opening knee-jerk stop-run is being attempted). Within the broader Topix index, Japanese bank stocks have just hit a bear market (down over 20% from their highs) at 10-months. When asked how he felt about this, we suspect Abe said "depends."
"In the rest of the world and particularly Asia, people do not think like we do. As far as they're concerned, gold is the only long term asset worth holding. It is the family pension fund... the financial press in the West, the mainstream media, basically rely for their information on analysts in the bullion banks. And the bullion banks are always short... Now whether the West is right or wrong is not the point. The point is there are 4 billion people in Asia who have got a very old-fashioned view of gold, and they have become wealthy over the last twenty years. And their view is likely to prevail against the <1 billion of us in North America and Western Europe. I mean it really is as simple as that. It's not a question of Austrian economics, or Keynesian, or whatever. We're outnumbered."
Last week BTFD failed for the Nasdaq and that class of talking-heads that we like to call asset-gatherers promulgated that there was no need to worry... this is a small segment of the market dragging down a high-beta index, rotate to bigger caps. The S&P has not failed the BTFD brigade since QE4EVA began... until today. For the first time, the S&P 500 cash index was unable to make a new high after bouncing off the 50DMA (in fact making a new cycle low)... now what?