Hedge Fund Hotel California: Smart Money Darlings Crash Up To 42% In One Week

While the "hedge fund" hotel strategy works on the way up, when everyone makes roughly the same profits, it is on the way down when these hedge fund hotels become "Hotel California" - hedge funds can check out, and sometimes they can even leave... with massive losses. According to a Bloomberg analysis, many of these hedge fund hotel stocks, or companies where hedge funds hold a combined stake of at least 25%, suffered declines of as much as 42 percent in the recent stock market rout.

August 24 - A True Market Washout?

It doesn’t happen too often, but occasionally we witness a true stock market “washout”. That is, a selloff marked by extremely one-sided (to the downside) trading action. Such days are exhibited by market participants that just want out at any price. The result is a day in which all market statistics are overwhelming skewed negatively. Such was the case yesterday, August 24. However, considering the selloff began with the major averages near their 52-week highs, a resumption in downside pressure would not be a surprise following whatever type of bounce materializes over the next few days or weeks.

Gold Slammed Back Below Key Technical Support

Since 'everything is awesome' once again, it appears holding 'pet rocks' is no longer of any use... Gold futures have been hammered below their 50-day moving-average this morning as the USD rises...

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Collapses To 2015 Lows, Drops Most In 9 Years

The 3-month bounce in the Richmond Fed Manufacturing survey... is dead. From 13 in July, August saw it collapse to 0 (massivley missing expectations of a 10 print). This is the biggest absolute drop in the index since May 2006. Across the board, underlying factors crashed with Shipments plunging, New Orders cliff-diving, order backlogs disappearing and Capacity Utilization plunging. This is exactly what we would expect after a massive inventory build up that was not accompanied by a surge in sales... but the pundits stil proclaim "no signs of an imminent US recession."

How Much Longer Can The Record New Home Sales-To-Price Divergence Continue

The biggest surprise is today's new home sales data was not in the volumes of new homes sold, but the ongoing gaping divergence between volumes and prices. As we have shown previously, this record spread will have to close one way or another, and with the median new home sales price of $285,900 or virtually unchanged from a year ago, it would appear that new home buyers are finally starting to rebel against prices whose rise has far surpassed the increase in actual sales.

US Services Economy "Momentum Shifts Down A Gear", Slides Back Towards 2015 Lows

Hot on the heels of a 22-month low recorded by the latest flash Manufacturing PMI survey, August's preliminary Services PMI was slighlty better than expected but dipped from 55.7 to 55.2 - back towards the lowest levels of 2015. Under the surface things do not look great with New Business Volumes at their weakest since January amd Prices Charged tumbling to the lowest level since June 2013. As Markit notes, "underlying momentum within the U.S. economy had shifted down a gear even before the recent global market turmoil and escalating worries about China’s growth outlook gathered on the horizon."

Where Does The Market Go From Here: Two Opposing Views

Yesterday's market tumble finally brought the S&P and Nasdaq alongside the Dow Jones into correction territory, send the broader index down 11% from its highs, even as a vast majority of S&P constituents already preceded the index and are either in correction or in bear market territory. And yet, following today's latest central bank intervention, this time in the long overdue Chinese interest rate cut (which will hardly have a lasting impact on either the economy or stock markets), the S&P correction may may prove to be short lived: S&P is poised to open about 4% higher, delivering the latest "Bullard" moment to the S&P, this time courtesy of China. Still, the question remains: was that it for the long overdue correction, and what comes next.

NYSE Invokes Rule 48 For Second Day In A Row Ahead Of Market Open

Precisely 24 hours ago, in an attempt to pre-empt the panic-selling open, the NYSE invoked the little used Rule 48, which was to be expected: the Nasdaq 100 has just tumbled limit down and the S&P and DJIA would follow shortly. Today, however, it is unclear just why the NYSE decided to once again invoke Rule 48 as futures are set to open about 3-4% higher, and yet that is precisely what the NYSE did. As a reminder, what this means is that mandatory opening indications are not required, which in theory should make it easier to open stocks.

Case-Shiller Home Prices Dip In June, Miss For 3rd Month In A Row

Home prices rose 4.97% YoY in June, according to Case-Shiller's 20-City index, missing expectations for the 3rd month in a row. Price appreciation has now been flat for 5 months - despite surging home sales - as bubblicious San Francisco saw price depreciation once again. Portland amd Denver saw the most appreciation in June. This is the second month in a row of sequential seasonally-adjusted declines in home prices, and along with TOL's dismal report this morning, suggests maybe another pillar of the 'strong' US economy meme is being kicked out... and Case-Shiller warn more than one rate hike by The Fed (or a stock market plunge) will stymie housing considerably.

Right Now, E-Mini Liquidity Is Even Worse Than Yesterday

If yesterday's liquidity was bad enough to precipitate the biggest wholesale market flash crash, including the historic, first-ever "limit down" triggers for all major index futures, then be very careful what you do today because as of this moment E-mini liquidity is even worse than it was yesterday, not to mention at any other point in the past month, at this time of the day.

Why Did China Just Cut Rates, Again: Here Are Goldman's Three Reasons

Goldman's 3 key reasons for China's "surprise" rate cut: i) Activity growth weakened meaningfully after a brief rebound in 2Q; ii) Outflows re-emerged and drained liquidity; iii) Equity market has been falling very rapidly. The conclusion: "These cuts are positive moves which are much needed to support the economy and market. But they are unlikely to be sufficient by themselves."


With Stocks In Free Fall, China Ditches Plunge Protection For Desperation Rate Cuts

The dual policy rate cut is a desperate attempt to i) free up liquidity, and ii) shore up confidence in the stock market. We suspect the effects may be short lived on both accounts because after all, aggressive easing only fuels further depreciation necessitating further liquidity-sapping FX interventions in a vicious loop, and loose monetary policy likely won’t be much comfort to China’s 90 million retail investors who now, more than ever before, are virtually guaranteed to sell any rip they can get in a desperate attempt to claw back their life savings which they naively poured into stocks back in April and May.

Frontrunning: August 25

  • China’s Central Bank Cuts Interest Rates (WSJ)
  • Chinese Stocks Crash Again to Extend Biggest Plunge Since 1996 (BBG)
  • China cuts rates, reserve ratio to aid economy as stocks sink (Reuters)
  • Wall St. suffers worst day in four years, S&P confirms correction (Reuters)
  • Europe's Stocks Head for Best Day Since 2011 (BBG)
  • Market turmoil clouds Fed rate outlook (FT)
  • For All Its Heft, China’s Economy Is a Black Box (WSJ)

US Equity Futures Soar 4% After PBOC Rate Cut; Chinese Futures Jump After Overnight Market Crash

The PBOC cut itself was not surprising, considering the PBOC now has to juggle and micromanage every aspect of the economy, from its sliding currency, to the bursting stock bubble, to record capital outflow, to soaring real interest rates, to the slowing economy. In fact, bulls around the globe will welcome the latest central bank bailout. Which also happens to be the worst aspect of today's intervention, because one can once again toss all the talk that China would finally stop intervening in asset pricing, with today's decision merely perpetuating the market's reliance on central banks. As a reference, this was the second time China cut both RRR and interest rates in 2 months: the last time it did so was during the depths of the financial crisis.