We have long observed the recent tendency for the EURJPY to track the SPY almost identically on an intraday basis. Today, this relationship is no exception. To be sure, some correlation traders have over the past several months picked up on this trend and use it with a higher R2 than any other corr. The keyword here, however, is recently. What has caught our attention is a long-term chart of the EURJPY, which today tumbled to levels last seen in February 2009. A long-term correlation convergence implies that either the EURJPY will bounce to 145 or the SPY will tumble 40% lower to 75. Most likely outcome: the two meet somewhere in between, which is why we believe a EURJPY/SPY convergence trade is very attractive here.
Influence Of Dollar/Euro Mutates Somewhat. Is It Real Or Temporary? – Stocks rose in light volume regaining nearly all of Tuesday’s losses. Crude oil also regained its losses from the prior day. Gold, however, opted out of the traditional troika. Some of the stock gain was attributed to assurances in the Bernanke testimony that rates would remain low for a very long time. Certainly, the timing of the morning rally lent credibility to the Bernanke influence. Stock rose almost vertically around 10:20 as his testimony began. The dollar’s movements showed some muted influence on both stocks and oil. Shortly after stock trading had begun, the dollar weakened from pre-dawn levels. There was an Alice in Wonderland type thesis around the mid-morning softening of the dollar. It occurred as TV screens showed the demonstrations in Greece turning rather ugly. The thinking was that European partners might be more motivated to help, lest the violence worsen and spread to other challenged sovereigns. As the images left the screens, the dollar began to tick back up. - Art Cashin
Ah, curve pancaking - better known in bond parlance as the death rattle. The Greek 4 Year GGB just traded wider of the 15 Year at a spread of -4bps (yup, negative). This, to continue the parlance lesson, means the bond vigilantes are now pretty sure how the Greek situation will play out. Oh, and Greece, all the best with that €5 billion10 year bond issuance. The 1 Year spot his exploded from just over 200 bps on January 1, to just under 5%, a rout for all short-term GGB holders. We are anxiously awaiting RBS' rebuttal.
Greeks just can't catch a break. Market News reports that a "joint report drafted by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank finds that the calculations contained in Greece's budget plan falls €4.8 billion short of what is needed to meet its deficit cutting objective this year" according to senior Greek government officials. Well, our RBS spin-unadjusted take on this data is bearish to quite bearish for the country's Moody's downgrade prospects, which is the gating factor to utter and total chaos once the GGB are no longer accepted as collateral by the ECB. Not to mention Greece's bond issuance propensity (but anonymous government sources have said about 50 times this week the.bond.is.getting.done), and its Bund spread, which at last check was set to probe recent record wides. In the meantime there is no bank run, repeat NO BANK RUN in Greece.
Many have speculated, but so far there have been no real facts. Until now - Pravda quotes Russia FinMarkets news agency, which has said that Chinese officials have confirmed an interest in purchasing the 191 tons of IMF gold currently on the block. The IMF, which will likely see a significant funding need shortly as it commences to bail out PIIGS by peripheral PIIGS, is likely running out of time with gold sale posturing and will need to find a purchaser who can take the entire amount asap. Even as the agency has already started to expand its domestic funding capacity via bank lines, the total amount could easily be greater than capital that the IMF has access to which could force the IMF's hand to transact swiftly. And China fits just the profile for a distressed buyer of such a sizable amount. Should the FinMarkets information be credible, look for the price of gold to spike following confirmation of Chinese purchasing interests.
Today's ugly initial claims number has already found its scapegoat: excess February snowfall. As the NCDC charts below demonstrate, February 7-13 drought/snow debt levels were certainly material. This has caused reputable firms such as Stone & McCarthy to speculate that weather sensitive jobs, such as construction, have "probably suffered." Yet with ongoing inclement weather, with today's Nor'Easter being no exception, this "non-recurring" component will be a prevalent one for at least 2 more weeks, allowing pundits to provide whatever explanation they wish to recent not so good Insurance Claims patterns.
Bernanke's prepared testimony is the same as yesterday. Full commercial free webcast accessible here.
"Yes, Senator, I just want to say first of all we are looking into a number of questions relating to Goldman Sachs and other companies and their derivatives arrangements with Greece and this issue as well. As you know credit default swaps are properly used as hedging instruments. The SEC, of course, has been interested in this issue. Obviously using these instruments in a way that potentially destabilizes a company or a country is counterproductive. The SEC will be looking into that. We'll certainly be evaluating what we learn from the activities of the holding companies that we supervise here in the U.S." - Ben Bernanke
- Yet another example of the ongoing FASB crookery via Jonathan Weil (Bloomberg)
- Markopolos on Schapiro and the SEC: "she has the wrong staff. They're a bunch of idiots there." (HuffPo)
- Semi-nationalized RBS loss shrinks to just $1.2 billion, has approval for $1.3 billion in bonuses: one wonders just how the FASB is involved in this one (MarketWatch)
- British Pound could fall as low as $1.05 (Telegraph)
- +22K in Jobless Claims to 496K, 460K expected,: 6 our of 8 weeks in 2010 have seen growing jobless claims (Bloomberg, DOL) snow blamed for firings, and worst initial claims number since November 14
- Palm slashes guidance (Palm), keeps retarded white font on blue background website color scheme
- The 21st century economic breakdown (Minyanville)
- Asian stocks were mostly higher Thursday, lifted by Bernanke's reassurance that interest rates will stay low for some time.
- Euro plunges to lowest level in year against Yen on risks to Greece rating.
- German unemployment rate edges up to 8.7 percent in February.
- India forecasts 8.2% growth next year, giving room for exit from stimulus.
- Japan stocks fall for 3rd day on strong yen; Toyota down despite president's US testimony.
- New home sales plummet 11 percent in January, the 3rd monthly decline in a row.
RANsquawk 25th February Morning Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc.
The Fed move to raise the discount rate on Feb. 18 has initiated a discussion of the timing of the removal of accommodation. Unfortunately, framing the subject as being relevant to accommodation is a mistake. The implementation of a near zero interest rate policy is just another component of emergency measures used to cure a systemic bank run. The emergency measures need to be viewed completely separate from the setting of a policy rate for economic management purposes. The potential raising of the Fed target rate from near zero to near 1% should not be called a tightening of monetary policy. There exist many harmful side effects of an emergency rate policy.
California One Step Closer To Insolvency After State Cancels $2 Billion General Obligation Bond SaleSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/24/2010 - 21:59
Five days ago a great white hope appeared for the great bankrupt Golden State (Baa1/A-), in the form of $2 billion in GO bonds, which were supposed to be promptly syndicated via underwriters JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley. This would have been the first bond sale for California since November: a critical milestone as the state creeps ever closer to a full-on default. Unfortunately, the creeping just turned into a casual jog after Jane Wells just tweeted that California has cancelled its bond sale "after legislature fails to approve cash management flexibility bill [the] Treasurer said he needed to attract investors." And seriously, did California think it would succeed where so many other high yield issuers have recently failed?
So as Lockyer contemplates how to best approach DC about a bailout, here are recent California CDS levels. Pick your entry point.
Update: Goldman is advising Brookstonefield. Explains it all.
Innocuous... Or something strategic, and Goldman-conflicting, coming down the pipeline? The excuse: "We have suspended our investment rating and price target on Simon Property Group (SPG) because there is not currently a sufficient basis for determining an investment rating or price target for this company. Our previous investment rating and price target are no longer in effect and should not be relied upon." Well that's an odd excuse.
We have previously discussed the maturity cliff in Treasuries, Commercial Real Estate, Financials and High Yield. Focusing on the latter, a recent report from Moody's, indicated that there is roughly $800 billion in high yield bonds maturing by 2014. Today, Bank of America jumped on the HY maturity warning bandwagon, discussing the "maturity wall" which while alarming, is estimated by BofA to be $600 billion, or materially less than Moody's estimates. So while not in any way novel, Bank of America does provide a rather convincing view of therelative maturity schedule in HY currently versus the historical average in both loans and bonds. The results should be troubling to all CFOs and PE-owners of highly indebted organizations: absent raising equity rapidly, the ability to roll these loans in a rising interest rate environment will be next to impossible. Because with 89% of loans maturing in under 5 years (compared to 36% on average), and 50% of bonds (37% average), the maturity cliff,whether defined by Moody's or by Bank of America, is fast approaching.