The day started with risk being sold, as Greece's bonds were under pressure, and so were european equities taking US markets with them. However, positive news on AAPL front and the Federal Reserve announcement turned the tables around. We had highlighted that we expected a rebound in S&P between 1,105 and 1,108, and it is worth noting that even with the turmoil this AM we barely made new lows, clearly showing there is a decent amount of bullish divergence. We would wait for the rebound to reach 1,108 to consider selling again, especially since we came close to channel support as well as highlighted on the daily chart. -Nic Lenoir
FOCUS: Do you consider this independence to be a great advantage? The Chairman of the Federal Reserve was appointed by the President – and the Senate is currently deciding whether Ben Bernanke can have a second term in office.
Trichet: It is of key importance that the ECB’s independence is guaranteed by an international treaty and not just by national law. National laws can be adopted, but they can also be overturned again.
Update: here is a first run of the data, with a focus on Goldman Sachs.
The previously top-secret Schedule A has been released and is attached. We are currently going through the data, focusing on prices, ratings, LTVs and other taxpayer critical data. Stephen Friedman saying, as we type, that revealing Schedule A will injure the taxpayer interest, as when the Fed will try to sell these CUSIPs, buyers will have an advantage. Of course, we note, these sophisticated buyers will exist only because this list was offloaded to the taxpayers in the first place.
On and someone tell those doomsayers in Congress today this info was leaked and the market did not crash... Stunning, we know.
Euro Drops To 6 Month Low Following FOMC On Increased Rate Hike Expectations, Conflicting Signals Leave Algos ConfusedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/27/2010 - 15:33
The usual volatility on vapor volume continues, even as the euro plunges, and a sell off in near-dated bonds drives algos nuts, trying to decide whether to buy or sell stocks as signals openly conflict.
The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period...To provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets and to improve overall conditions in private credit markets, the Federal Reserve is in the process of purchasing $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and about $175 billion of agency debt. In order to promote a smooth transition in markets, the Committee is gradually slowing the pace of these purchases, and it anticipates that these transactions will be executed by the end of the first quarter.
The NYSE's most recent disclosure of margin debt indicates a surge in trading in margin accounts, where total debt shot up to $231 billion as of December, up $58 billion from February or 30%, and also an increase of 4.5% from November. This is an indication that "animal spirits" have surged by about the same amount as the broader market since the market lows: in other words, speculation is now rampant, and, to make things even better, is very much on margin, or leveraged. And we all know what happens when levered speculative bets turn out not quite as expected. For those who may be confused, Dow Jones provides a useful primer of how a margin call feedback loop tend to make things ugly, fast.
Sarkozy is quoted as demanding what is certainly the Fed's greatest nightmare: a return to Bretton-Woods. He furthermore notes, logically, that undervaluation of currencies counters trade, and that the financial system can not tolerate monetary dumping.
- Yields 2.370% vs. Exp. 2.388%
- Bid To Cover 2.80 vs. Avg. 2.58 (Prev. 2.59)
- Indirects 53.0% vs. Avg. 52.14% (Prev. 43.91%)
- IndirectBid To Cover 1.29
- Alloted at high 45.09%
- Indirect Take Down 53%
- Direct Take Down 7.4%
It appears America's taxpayers are finally about to find out just what worthless securities they received in exchange for 100 cents on the dollar, courtesy of Goldman, Soc Gen, ML et al. when Bernanke and Gaithner, or whoever, decided to pay the banks in full for multi-billion dollar portfolio. As a reminder, the list in question is the now infamous Schedule A, which was redacted across the board, and which the SEC gave its blessing for secret treatment well into 2018.
So Much For The Whole Stock Bonus Theater: Citigroup Employees Can Sell Their Bonus Shares In The Open Market... In APRILSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/27/2010 - 13:29
More smoke and mirrors for the peasantry, courtesy of Wall Street, this time coming from Citigroup. Remember all that hoopla how banks are making payments in stock almost entirely, and how no Citigroup employee would get more than $100,000 in cash? Well, turns out the stock portion of compensation is just as liquid: it has been revealed that Citigroup employees can sell stock received as part of their bonuses as early as April. Hopefully by then the CNBC watching sheep will have forgotten all about Wall Street's record bonuses year and everyone can get on with their lives.
Suspending Money Market Redemptions Is Now Legal; SEC Approves New Money Market Regulation In 4-1 VoteSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/27/2010 - 12:31
Zero Hedge discussed a month ago the disastrous prospects of what would happen if the new proposal contemplated by the SEC, which would allow the suspension of redemptions from Money Market Funds, were to pass. Well, in a nearly unanimous vote, Money Market Funds now have the ability to suspend redemptions, courtesy of the SEC's just passed 4-1 vote. This explains the negative rate on bills: at this point, should there be another meltdown, money market investors will not, repeat not, be able to withdraw their money purely on the whim of Mary Schapiro. As the SEC noted: "We understand that suspending redemptions may impose hardships on investors who rely on their ability to redeem shares." Too bad investors' hardships considerations ended up being completely irrelevant.
We keep harping on the lack of volume to the upside, and inversely the massive flushes on every down draft. This is due to basically no real money buying, but very real money selling on any appropriate catalysts. So who does the buying? And how does vapor volume manage to push the market by nearly 1%, usually higher? Simple - there is no liquidity left at the margin for the entire market! Market neutrals lost the war... And the results will be forthcoming soon. Some terrific insight from Art Cashin.
The one month T-Bill is now trading negative (-0.01%). Year end window dressing is either woefully early or late. Flight to safety is woefully right on time. Lehman redux.
December new homes sales come in at 342,000, down 7.6% from in November, and a resounding miss of expectations of 366,000. The double dip is here.