Russia Asks Greece To Join BRICS Bank

As if the discussions in Brussels and Athens were not mired in enough uncertainty, Bloomberg reports that a Greek official confirms:

*STORCHAK ASKED TSIPRAS FOR GREECE TO JOIN BRICS BANK: OFFICIAL

The pivot appears to continue. Reportedly, Tsipras was pleasntly surprised by the proposal.

"Huge Disconnect Between Physical & Futures" Suggests Commodity Rally Won't Last, Barclays Warns

For many reasons the answer to the question: “will the commodity price rally continue?” is particularly important at this juncture, and the answer from Barclays is 'no' - it will prove very tough to make further significant gains in commodity prices from here unless supply/demand conditions improve very fast indeed. There are a multitude of factors but what erks them the most is the huge disconnect between price action in physical markets where differentials are signalling oversupply and futures markets where all looks rosy. The risks for a reversal in recent commodity price trends are growing, and with fewer market makers to absorb the shocks, potentially, a period of high volatility could lie ahead.

Uber Is Now Valued Higher Than 80% Of The S&P: Closing In On General Motors And Ford

Putting Uber's latest valuation in perspective, according to CapIq there were just 95 companies in the S&P500 with a market cap over $50 billion, suggesting Uber which did not exist when Lehman filed for bankruptcy, now has a market capitalization greater than 80% of the S&P. Specifically, at a $50 billion valuation, Uber is more "valuable" than FedEx, Marck, Deutsche Bank, General Dynamics, Nissan, Time Warner, Yahoo, Credit Suisse, Heineken and many other companies.

Muskular Magic (Or Smoke & Mirrors)

Elon Musk, Silicon Valley’s poster-boy genius replacement for the late Steve Jobs, rolled out his PowerWall battery last week with Star Wars style fanfare, doing his bit to promote and support the delusional thinking that grips a nation unable to escape the toils of techno-grandiosity. The main delusion: that we can “solve” the problems of techno-industrial society with more and better technology. The denizens of Silicon Valley are crazy about the Tesla. There is no greater status trinket in Northern California, where the fog of delusion cloaks the road to the future.

Clinton Foundation Broke Transparency Promise To Obama, "Strong Armed" Charity Watchdog

Hillary Clinton's family charities failed to live up to transparency promises made to the Obama administration during her tenure as Secretary of State, Reuters reports, noting that disclosures related to foreign donors are still not available on the Clinton Foundation's website. Meanwhile, New York Magazine tells the story of how the Foundation attempted to bully an influential charity monitor after winding up on its 'naughty' list.

ETSY Crashes Over 40% From IPO Highs In 3 Weeks

From a high of $35.74, ETSY - the company that sells arts and crafts online - has collapsed almost 44% in the 3 weeks since its much-heralded IPO. Down another 9.5% today, and closing in on its IPO price of $16, it appears the 'public' stock markets are exposing the 'private' stock bubble a little too clearly recently...

Cable Surges Into Green For 2015 As Post-Election Euphoria Continues

GBPUSD is now up 3 big figures since the first exit polls hit, testing 1.5550 this morning and back to unchanged for the year. While initial fears of Brexit stymied the response to the Tory victory, it appears trader are pressing for stops above 1.5550 seeing more room to run here before Brexit possibilities begin to weigh.

Back By Popular Demand: Presenting The Blow-Off Top In Stock Buybacks

Yesterday we showed the absolutely ridiculous move that is taking place in corporate buyback announcements. And since the blackout period for buybacks is officially over, and announcements can now become executions courtesy of Wall Street's VWAP algos, here again, by popular demand, is the chart showing the record blow-off top in debt-funded stock buybacks which together with central bank buying (such as the SNB) should be enough to support the market even as outflows from equity funds have never been higher.

Germany Gives Greece Grexit Referendum Greenlight

With a deal between Greece and its creditors seen as exceedingly unlikey at Monday's Eurogroup meeting, officials and analysts alike debate the logistics of default and a return to the drachma while Greeks may be called upon to choose between austerity or preparing for the possible introduction of a parallel currency and the economic malaise that will invariably follow. 

"All Clear" For Stocks Cancelled: Gartman "Pleasantly Wrong", Goes "Modestly Long" Of Stocks

Last Thursday, when the market seemed on the verge of breaking lower, we asked if Gartman gave the all clear to go right back into stocks with his assessment that "1890 On The S&P Shall Be Our Target." As expected, stocks soared. It is now time to cancel the all clear: "As we have maintained since early last week, we’ve been neutral of stocks and we’ve now been wrongWhen we are wrong we admit it and we were wrong to move from merely “pleasantly” long to neutral. Our first step is then to become modestly long, and we shall."

Key Events In The Coming Week

Today’s Eurogroup meeting will be key in determining where Greece and its creditors negotiations currently stand. Over in the US today, it’s the usual post payrolls lull with just the labor market conditions data expected.

Saudi Army Strike Force Arrives On Yemen Border In Preparation For Land Invasion

One week ago when news hit that Houthi rebels had launched a rocket attack on a Saudi border town we said that "a Saudi response now appears just a matter of time, and one which the oil-trading algos are eagerly expecting, pushing Brent to within two dollars of $68." By response, we of course meant a land invasion since Saudi Arabia has already been bombing Yemen for nearly a month.  That "time" may have arrived, because as Al Arabiya reports, Saudi Arabia has announced that a "strike force has arrived on the border with Yemen, as the operation to quell Houthi militias in the country continues."

What The Sellside Thought Of China's Leaked Rate Cut

As the SHCOMP soars, the sellside reacts to China's latest round of easing and the message is clear: more policy rate cuts are in the cards as real lending rates remain elevated and deflation risk remains high. Meanwhile, the PBoC's statement was making the rounds on WeChat hours before its official release suggesting Janet Yellen isn't the only central banker that enjoys leaking information.

Frontrunning: May 11

  • Full picture of Clinton charities' foreign government funding remains elusive (Reuters)
  • Greece Readies for Another Week of Deadlines (BBG)
  • Greece says deal will be 'difficult' at Eurogroup meeting (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia’s Rulers Snub Arab Summit, Clouding U.S. Bid for Iran Deal (WSJ)
  • Saudi Aramco Said to Plan Spending $80 Billion Overseas (BBG)
  • The $900 Billion Influx That’s Wreaking Havoc in U.S. Bills (BBG)
  • Cameron rules out another Scottish independence vote (Reuters)
  • Banks Prep Defense for Anti-Wall Street Campaigns (WSJ)

Futures Jittery As Attention Returns To Greece; China Stocks Rebound On Latest Central Bank Intervention

With the big macro data out of the way, attention today and for the rest of the week will focus on the aftermath of the latest Chinese rate cut - its third in the past 6 months - which managed to boost the Shanghai Composite up by 3% overnight but not nearly enough to make up for losses in the past week; any resumption of the 6+ sigma volatility in the German Bund, which already has been jittery with the yield sliding to 0.52% only to spike to 0.62% shortly thereafter before retracing some of the losses; and finally Greece, which in a normal world would have concluded its negotiations during today's Eurogroup meeting and unlocked up to €7 billion in funds for the coming months. Instead, Greece may not only not make its €770 million IMF payment tomorrow but according to ever louder rumors, is contemplating a parallel currency on its way out of the Eurozone.