We have been warning about China's speculative commodity trading bubble - spewing false signals around the world about the strength of the real economy - and now, as we suggested previously, Chinese authorities have decided to burst yet another bubble they created.Reuters reports that China's Securities regulator has ordered three major commodity exchanges to "control intraday speculation in commodity markets," ordering them to "curb trading for investors with no commodity industry background." Volume has crashed... and just as it did in the equity markets, price will follow.
It seems - just as we have seen since The Fed's December rate-hike decision - that The Bank of Japan's "shock" decision not to pour more punch into the global equity bull's bowl overnight has sparked another leg higher in the market's indicator of monetary policy incompetence. Gold and Silver are surging back near cycle highs...
Comfortably green, the VIX-smashing algos have lifted US equities non-stop since the NYSE machines were unleashed. While the Dow is lagging a little, Nasdaq and S&P futures have now made it all the way back up to Kuroda's Kamikaze moment...
80% of US companies beating EPS estimates is above the historical average. However, we note that in the last 10 years, the proportion of EPS beats was always well above the 50% threshold, suggesting that companies typically do a good job at managing analysts’ expectations. The actual delivered EPS growth is a better indicator of the underlying earnings backdrop, in our view. At -8%, the S&P500 Q1 EPS growth is the worst since ’09.
what did they spend the most amount of money on? The answer, drumroll.... Recreational goods and vehicles. Not cars, which actually were a huge negative to Q1 GDP growth, reducing the headline consumption number by $13.4 billion nominal, but recreational vehicles, and other sundry related goods, which amounted to to $11.3 billion in Q1 spending.
In March of 2005, 52,000 new homes were sold at prices of less than $200,000. At the bottom of the crash in March 2009 that number had dropped to 14,000. The Fed instituted ZIRP and QE around that time. Sales of homes under $200,000 totaled 9,000 units in March.
Even if keeping policy unchanged might once have been the correct decision, it’s not now. The failure to deliver, especially after Governor Kuroda’s comments about currency appreciation had driven hopes for further easing so high, is terrible news for the Japanese economy. Not to mention a further blow to the BOJ’s credibility. The immediate surge in the yen and the panicked sell-off in equities were the most obvious examples of trader disappointment. And the currency’s rally will put further downward pressure on both growth and inflation.
Well that un-escalated quickly...
Coming months will give us a far better clue as to how far the trend is entrenched. All we know right now is that the general investing public, and mainstream media, remain out of the picture.
The endless bleating of well-paid pundits in the corporate media about "reform" is just more circus designed to distract us from the much colder truth: the status quo is beyond reform. The choice is either collapse or well, collapse: letting the status quo strip-mine the bottom 95% will eventually lead to collapse and so will structural reforms that deprive the few of their power to create near-infinite sums of money and credit for their cronies.
"Did the Fed have an advance glimpse at Q1 GDP?" That was a question everyone was asking yesterday when the Fed came out with another not too hawkish statement. The answer may have been yes because moments ago the BEA reported that the US economy grew at just a 0.5% annualized rate in the first quarter, missing expectations of a 0.7% growth rate, growing at half the rate recorded in the 4th quarter, and the lowest quarterly growth rate since Q1 2014 (when the winter was blamed for a negative print). It was also the third consecutive quarter of GDP declines.
So is there any chance at all that Trump will make America Great Again by erecting trade barriers, a Trump Wall on the Rio Grande and an end to America’s imperial beneficence and meddling abroad? Stayed tuned. There may be more to The Donald than meets the eye. And whatever it is, it certainly trumps Hillary’s deplorable purpose to make Imperial Washington an even greater menace both abroad and at home.
"Mr. Huston resigned following an investigation overseen by independent members of the Board of Directors of the facts and circumstances surrounding a personal relationship that Mr. Huston had with an employee of the Company who was not under his direct supervision. The investigation determined that Mr. Huston had acted contrary to the Company's Code of Conduct and had engaged in activities inconsistent with the Board's expectations for executive conduct."
It's official: as of today the bull market that has been mocked as fake, doomed and history’s most-hated just earned a new title: the second-longest ever. And it only took $14 trillion in central bank liquidity, a global, coordinated central bank "put", central banks purchases of Treasuries, MBS, ETFs and corporate bonds, and nearly 700 rate cuts in the past 7 years to achieve it.