Surprise: GAAP S&P500 EPS Set To Decline 1.3% In 2014

As of Q3, when adding the consensus number for Q4 EPS, we find that while non-GAAP EPS is set to rise by a healthy 6.6%, real rarnings, as in GAAP EPS, will actually decline by 1.3% in 2014, meaning that for yet another year, the only upside in stocks has been due to - thank you Fed - multiples expansion.

The Shale Bust Arrives: November Permits For New Shale Wells Tumble 15%

With a third of S&P 500 capital expenditure due from the imploding energy sector (and with over 20% of the high-yield market dominated by these names), paying attention to any inflection point in the US oil-producers is critical as they have been gung-ho "unequivocally good" expanders even as oil prices fell. However, as Reuters reports, new data suggests that the much-anticipated slowdown in shale country may have finally arrived - permits for new wells dropped 15% across 12 major shale formations last month, as one analysts warns, "the first domino is the price, which causes other dominos to fall."

November Was The Worst Month For Crude Since Lehman

November's asset performance can best be summarized in just three words: oil, oil, oil.  "For Brent November was the biggest one month decline since the height of the Lehman crisis in October 2008 whilst for WTI it was the worst since December 2008. Brent and WTI are now 33% and 28% lower versus where it started the year and are now trading at their lowest level since the spring of 2010."

Global Manufacturing PMI Tumbles To 14-Month Low

Is it any surprise oil prices are cratering? With global GDP expectations plumbing cycle lows, JPMorgan just confirmed the global slowdown is accelerating as their Global Manufacturing PMI printed 51.8 - its slowest level of 'expansion' since September 2013.New Orders fell to the lowest reading since July 2013 and New Export Orders to the lowest since June 2013. But the US is decoupling...

Guest Post: Fanning The Flames In Ferguson

The scripted quality of the Ferguson events seemed as formally predictable as an 1856 minstrel show, and the parallel is worth reflecting on because the nation appears determined to explode again in some kind of a civil war — bearing in mind Karl Marx’s advisory that “history repeats, first as tragedy, then farce.” As is the case with many show-biz extravaganza’s of our time the script had many authors. A week after the grand jury decision and the riot that followed, the Michael Brown incident is already disappearing down the national memory hole. Why? Mainly because anyway you cut it Michael Brown was a poor candidate for martyrdom.

US PMI Plunges To 10-Month Lows (Export Order Drop), ISM Beats (Export Orders Soar)

For the 3rd month in a row, US Manufacturing PMI dropped from 4-year highs to 10-month lows. At 54.8, missing expectations of 55.0 (and down from 55.9) for the 5th month of the last 6 as extrapolated hopes fade into the usual cyclical un-decoupled collapse into year-end (but ignore NRF data). Sadly for the bullish decoupling meme, Markit notes, "the principal cause of the slowdown is a renewed downturn in export orders, which fell for the first time since January." So, amid all of this doom, ISM then beat expectations, printing 58.7 vs 58.0 expectations (down slightly from October's 59.0 print) led by - rather ironically - new export orders surging... US data has gone full China.

AAPL Flash-Crashes Over 7%

Did Icahn just cover? Cramer's view: "that's silly" And no - there's no catalyst - this is your most liquid efficient stock market in the world at work...

Gold Surges Over $50 Off Overnight Lows; Commodities Bouncing As Dollar Weakens

After last night's big flush across commodities, they have rallied notably. Gold is now up over $50 from those lows, with Silver, copper, and even crude bouncing hard (after testing below $64 overnight). The USD is notably weaker, stocks lower, and bond yields testing mid-October flash-crash Bullard lows...

What Happened To The Gold Correlation?

The correlation between gold and the national debt was clear for 13 years. It made perfect sense in a free market. You can’t print more gold. It is a relatively scarce metal that has represented wealth for centuries. Fiat currency can be printed at will by corrupt bankers and politicians. Every paper currency ever created eventually reached its intrinsic value of ZERO, as human beings always take the easy way in attempting to create wealth. So what happened in 2013?

Obama Reverses Policy As US-Turkey Set To Agree On Syrian No-Fly-Zone

With the apparent goal of 'protecting civilians' from ISIS and Syria's al-Assad, the US and Turkey appear to be close to agreeing on the creation of a no-fly-zone along a portion of the Syrian border. As WSJ reports, U.S. and Turkish officials have narrowed their differences over a joint military mission in Syria that would give the U.S. and its coalition partners permission to use Turkish air bases to launch strike operations against Islamic State targets across northern Syria. The no-fly-zone would provide sanctuary to Western-backed opposition forces and refugees. As Bloomberg notes, this is a significant reversal of Obama's earlier policy (fearing it would be a significant strain on the U.S. Air Force and put fliers in mortal danger) pushing US closer to outright proxy war with Russia via direct confrontation with al-Assad's airforce.

The Oil-Drenched Black Swan, Part 1

"Every sustained action has more than one consequence. Some consequences will appear positive for a time before revealing their destructive nature. Some will be foreseeable, some will not. Some will be controllable, some will not. Those that are unforeseen and uncontrollable will trigger waves of other unforeseen and uncontrollable consequences."

Key Events In The Coming Week

Following last week's holiday-shortened week, which was supposed to be quiet and peaceful and was anything but thanks to OPEC's shocking announcement and a historic plunge in crude prices, we have yet another busy week of macroeconomic reports to look forward to.

Oil-Producing Nations Currency Carnage Continues, Russia Intervening

The Nigerian Naira and Russian Ruble have been the hardest hit in the last few days as oil-producing nations across the world see their currencies come under increasing pressure. With both hitting new record lows against the USDollar (with the Naira at 184.5,  already exceeding the recently devalued currencies upper peg band at around 176 per USD), chatter this morning is that the Russian central bank is actively intervening in the Ruble market after it hit 53.9 in early US trading.