Zika Virus Threatens "Disaster In Rio" Olympics As WHO Declares Global Emergency

WHO SAYS ZIKA, MICROCEPHALY 'PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY' - HIGHEST LEVEL OF ALERT

From the initial discovery in the heart of Ugandan forest darkness to mysterious genetically-modified Mosquitoes in Brazil, the newest threat to human health (most notably pregnant women) is the ominous-sounding Zika virus. The epidemic is spreading from its epicenter in Brazil - threatening disaster at the Olympics with "female athletes to consider participation "very carefully"", to Colombia (with 2100 pregant women infected), and further north in America with CDC confirming 6 cases in Texas.

Meet China's Latest $1.8 Trillion "Problem"

China's mid-tier banks are piling up exposure to the riskiest subset of borrowers at a time when economic fundamentals are deteriorating on a near daily basis. Meanwhile, this exposure is being carried on a line item that allows the banks to avoid provisioning for the losses that will almost certainly materialize in the not-so-distant future. At one bank, this one line item is larger than the entire Philippine banking system.

Global Bond Yields Extend Collapse As German, Japanese Hit New Record Lows

Whether front-running or fear-based (or both), the actions of BoJ's Kuroda last week have driven global bond yields into freefall with JPM's global index at 9-month lows and BofA's at 12-month lows. Overnight saw short-end JGBs push below the BoJ's -10bps threshold and 10Y rates push towards NIRP to record lows. German bonds extending their epic voyage into fantasy and hit new record lows across the curve with 5Y at -32bps.

Is Congress Declaring War On ISIS... Or On You (& Your Cash)?

Passage of Senator Mitch McConnell’s authorization for war against ISIS will not only lead to perpetual US wars across the globe, it will also endanger our civil and economic liberties. The measure allows the president to place troops anywhere he determines ISIS is operating. Therefore, it could be used to justify using military force against United States citizens on US territory. It may even be used to justify imposing martial law in America.

EURUSD Slides As Draghi Repeats Same Talking Points As Last Week

When Draghi speaks (or releases his statement), the algos obey.. and sell EURUSD. No new news at all - just a repeat of the same statements that "QE is deemed effective' (by whom we ask), and a recalibration is in order (as the situation has changed since December). His biggest problem from what we can tell is the fact that the banking industry's collapse augurs very badly for industrial production and an economic recession across Europe.

Atlanta Fed Sees Q1 GDP Growth At Just 1.2%, 50% Below Wall Street Consensus

The initial GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2016 is 1.2 percent on February 1. The final model nowcast for fourth-quarter real GDP growth was 1.0 percent, 0.3 percentage points above the advance estimate of 0.7 percent released last Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

JPM Says Window To Buy Has Closed: "Start Fading The Bounce Within Days"

"We originally looked for up to half of past losses to be recovered. We believe that we are perhaps 2/3rds of the way through the bounce, and would look to start fading it within days. We stick to the overriding view that one should use any strength as an opportunity to reduce equity allocation."

Stupor Bowl 2016

The Unicorn-believing Bulls will need the financial equivalent of 'The Catch' just to avoid being skunked.

US Manufacturing Remains In Recession As ISM Misses, Contracts For Fourth Month

While January's final manufacturing PMI print disappointed (52.4 vs 52.6 expectations) and dropped from its initial print, its still managed a seasonally-adjusted bounce off December's  two year lows. As Markit warned, this is still one of the worst prints in the last 2 years as "the manufacturing sector continues to struggle against the headwinds of weak global demand, the strong dollar, slumping investment in the energy sector and rising financial market uncertainty." ISM Manufacturing also rose very modestly but disappointed as December's data was revised lower still with employment crashing to June 2009 lows.

IEX Strikes Back: Charges NYSE With "Tiering" Order Flow, Shows "Latency Arbitrage" Is Real

Since granting IEX exchange status would lead to an immediate market structure disruption, one which would impair such embedded HFT players as Citadel which, as we have explained previously is the NY Fed's preferred "arms length" intermediator in the market to ingite momentum at critical downward junctions, we are very skeptical that when all is said and done, the SEC will grant IEX what it wants: after all there are too many status quo revenue models at stake, not to mention a potential threat to the Fed's preferred market "intervention" pipeline.

Chipotle Jumps Ahead Of Earnings As CDC Expected To Say Epidemic Is "Over"

Great timing for a short-squeeze rumor? With Chipotle due to report what is likely to be ugly earnings after the bell today, CNBC reports (citing Dow Jones) that the CDS may declare an end to the E.Coli outbreak today. This, as we suggested last night, has ripped stocks 4-5% higher (to one-week highs) squeezing shorts.

Gold And Gold Stocks - A Meaningful Reversal?

The recent reversal is definitely positive. Both false breakouts and false breakdowns often turn out to be reliable trend change signals. An additional bonus in this case was that the initial breakdown has induced widespread capitulation. Contrary to the immediately preceding rally attempt, the current one has been a “scared rally” so far. The mainstream financial press is still busy penning obituaries on gold, which is generally a good sign as well.

Savings Rate Surges To Highest Since 2012 As Spending Disappoints

The Keynesians will not be pleased. Despite the holiday season, December spending disappointed with no change MoM (0.0% vs +0.1% exp). This is further sentiment-destructivbe as income data rose more than expected MoM (+0.3% vs +0.2% exp) even as income growth YoY slipped to its weakest in 9 months. This of course means the personal savings rate rose, pushing to 5.5% - the highest since 2012.