Groupon Enters Bear Market On "Lack Of Growth" Scare

While deciphering the adjustments, compulsory one-off charges, promises, ranges, and hopes, dreams, and unicorn tears is hard, the market saw headline beats in EPS and Revenues and surged GRPN above $12 enabling CNBC to proclaim it a winner before moving on... then someone (or maybe a machine) read the statement... "Groupon expects Adjusted EBITDA for the full year to be slightly above 2013 levels." That's just not gonna cut it when you can spend $19 billion on the hope of exponential growth... and sure enough, GRPN shares collapsed - down over 23% from the after-hours highs.

Stocks And Silver Soar On China PMI Miss

Headlines will suggest that today's rally was due to the beat in US PMI (a data item that doesn't even rank on Bloomberg's scale of economic importance) and chose to ignore the misses (macro and micro) in everything else (which must be weather-related), the facts are different - it was simply an AUDJPY-inspired almost perfect correlation levitation from the post-China-PMI miss lows - more China QE to come. Having decoupled from USDJPY overnight, today's melt-up in stocks recoupled the all-important fun-durr-mental pair and lifted the Russell 2000 back to unchanged for 2014. With OPEX tomorrow, VIX was noisy and remains bearishly divergent from stocks (though was offered today). Credit markets lifted with stocks. Treasury yields rose back to modestly higher on the week. Gold and silver rose on the day starting from the China PMI miss (as did the USD with most of the majors losing ground against it). US Macro hits fresh 6-month lows.

The One Investment You Want To Avoid At All Costs

4.1%... yield on 5Y state-owned Indian company bond rated near junk...

Central bankers have destroyed money and interest rates to the point that near-bankrupt companies in shaky jurisdictions can borrow money for practically nothing. It’s an utter farce.

The UK's 2-Tier Economy - London (And Everyone Else)

London’s economy may be decoupling from the rest of the U.K. at an accelerating pace. As Bloomberg's Niraj Shah explains, the capital’s contribution to U.K. output, house prices and financial jobs are all at a record high while the suicide rate is at a series low... while the rest of the nation is 'not'.

Will Consumer Credit Drive The Next Economic Boom?

The mirage of prosperity created by massive levels of debt has begun to show it foundational cracks. Without increased levels of personal savings, production and investment there is little ability to achieve stronger economic growth. While we can certainly "hope" for something different, there are some basic laws which are insurmountable. The physics of debt is one of them.

Ron Paul: "Ukraine Is Their Business, Not Ours"

"The American people are very leery of getting involved in another squabble in some other country," warns Ron Paul following the breakdown in the truce in Ukraine and President Obama's drawing of more red-lines. In this succinct interview with FOX, the former congressman sums it up perfectly, "That’s their business, and it certainly isn’t ours," he said. "We’ve tried it for too long, and the American people are sick and tired of it, and we’re also out of money." Indeed, but the Keynesians must be getting excited...

Meanwhile In The "Democratic" Republic Of Congo...

It seems the Democratic Republic of Congo has been learning its diplomacy from other nations...

  • *DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO POLICE FIRE ON OPPOSITION RALLY
  • *CONGO POLICE FIRED TEAR GAS, BULLETS AT RALLY IN BUKAVU
  • *CONGO POLICE BLOCKED OPPOSITION LEADER KAMERHE AT RALLY
  • *CONGO OPPOSITION SAY SEVERAL WOUNDED AFTER SHOTS FIRED

Of course, we will have to see if China (who has been building interest in Africa), Russia, the US, or France (who seem to like to stir things up in Africa) get involved?

Caracas Is Burning As Maduro Warned May Face Military Coup

With all eyes focused on Ukraine, the situation in Venezuela has once again escalated as protest leader Leopoldo Lopez' arrest (and possible 10 year jail sentence) prompted more violence overnight. However, as we warned, the government crackdown is starting to raise concerns about the stability of the government.

*VENEZUELA PROTESTS ESCALATING INTO NATIONWIDE UNREST; ESCALATION OF PROTESTS PUTS STABILITY OF GOVT AT RISK; RISING VIOLENCE COULD LEAD TO MADURO OUSTER BY MILITARY: IHS

As opposition leader Capriles asks Venezuela's military to uphold the constitution, he exclaims that "the poor' must participate for government to change.

European Union Commits To Sanctions Against Ukraine

Following hours of talks between three European foreign ministers and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev, the EU has decided to go ahead with sanctions:

  • *EU COMMITS TO SANCTIONS AGAINST UKRAINE
  • *EU TO WORK OUT UKRAINE ASSET FREEZE, VISA BAN SOON
  • *EU TO SUSPEND UKRAINE EXP0RT LICENSES FOR `REPRESSIVE' GEAR

Having already proclaimed this move as "blackmail", we are sure the Russians will be utilizing this move to further their support for the catastrophically divided nation.

NSA's Spying Program Set To Become Even Bigger

In the aftermath of the Snowden revelations about the NSA's ubiquitous presence in everyday lives, and unconstitutional interception, eavesdropping and recording of every form of electronic communication, the logical assumption would be that the next step for the NSA would be its reduction instead of expansion, especially following the president's heartfelt reading from the TOTUS several months ago in which he promised to do all he could, to curb the spy agency. "Surprisingly" expansion is precisely what will happen to the NSA - as WSJ reports the "government is considering enlarging the National Security Agency's controversial collection of Americans' phone records—an unintended consequence of lawsuits seeking to stop the surveillance program, according to officials." Unintended? It is very much intended now that Americans know that the concept of privacy is dead and buried and will instead seek other methods to communicate. Which simply means the NSA has to get even bigger in order to thwart the imminent, daily and "clear and present" danger that US citizen-cum-terrorists pose to the US despotic totalitarian state republic.

Banks Are Obsolete: The Entire Parasitic Sector Can Be Eliminated

Once we get rid of these obsolete middleman parasites - Wall Street, the banking sector and the Federal Reserve - we have a delightful question to answer: what else can we do with the $1.25 trillion we'll save every year by eliminating these obsolete financial middleman parasites? A lot.

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Is Finished

Just in case one was wondering for a reason not to take "Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange" too seriously, here is the latest news that has largely slammed the coffin shut on what was once the largest Bitcoin exchange.

Dozens Killed In Ukraine's (Not Quite) Civil War, White House Outraged Again

The Ukrainian health minister just state that at least 64 have died since February 18th; protesters claim the number is over 100 - either way, this is horrific (and we suspect, once the Olympics is over, will get worse). As Martin Armstrong outlines below, Ukraine is the pawn on the chessboard. The propaganda war is East v West.

WHITE HOUSE URGES UKRAINE PRESIDENT TO IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAW SECURITY FORCES FROM DOWNTOWN KIEV, RESOLVE CRISIS BY POLITICAL MEANS; 'OUTRAGED' BY ACTIONS OF UKRANIAN SECURITY FORCES

Ad Russia proclaims US/EU sanctions as "balckmail." However, those power plays are masking the core issue that began with the Orange Revolution – corruption. Armstrong warns that "Yanukovych is a dictator who will never leave office. It is simple as that. There will be no real elections again in Ukraine." This is starting to spiral down into a confrontation that the entire world cannot ignore.

European Consumer Confidence Plunges; Misses By Most In 30 Months

Despite record low yields on sovereign bonds, record high stock prices, and a political elite proclaiming it's all shits and giggles from here... it seems record unemployment, record suicide rates, record bad loans, and record low credit creation were finally enough to trump the 'wealth effect' exuberance that European consumer confidence has envisaged in recent months. This is the biggest drop in confidence in 18 months and the biggest miss since Aug 2011. This is a 3 sigma miss from expectations and below all 25 "economist" guesses. How's the weather in Europe?

Philly Fed Plunges To 1 Year Low; Misses By Most Since Aug 2011

On the heels of a dismal series of global macro data points (all weather-related we are sure as G10 Macro drops to 8-month lows), this morning's US PMI debacle (nope, no weather there) has been followed up by a much more reassuring disastrous (and of course we are sure weather-related) miss. Philly Fed printed -6.3, missing expectations of +8.0 by the most since Aug 2011 (and dropping most since then). This is the lowest print in a year. New orders and shipments collapsed, inventories surged, employment plunged, and the average workweek dropped notably. Just imagine all that pent-up demand... oh wait, expectations for future new orders fell to at least 6 month lows.

Caterpillar Global Retail Sales Decline For 14th Consecutive Month

While the stock of Caterpillar may be discounting some improvement in global industrial demand, the current situation as reflected by the company's latest monthly retail sales update is hardly as optimistic: as was just reported by the company (in a revised retail sales format), global three month rolling retail sales declined by 8% in the month of January, which was the 14th consecutive drop, and the longest string of contracting sales since the Lehman crisis and the "last" recession. What's worse, Asia/Pacific, read China, retail sales have tumbled by double digits, -17% in January, every month since January 2013.

What Weather? US PMI Explodes To Highs, Ignites USDJPY Momentum, Sends Futures Surging

WTF will be the head-scratching meme of the day. After spending weeks 'denying' facts and blaming weather for just how bad all the macro data in the US has been recently (US Macro index at six-month lows), Markit's US PMI just smashed expectations, printing at 56.7 (vs 53.6 exp.). All the main sub-indices from new orders to employment rose markedly suggesting all is well with the recovery and that weather has had no effect whatsoever. In fact, US PMI jumped the most on record in February. Of course, USDJPY was spanked on this 'great news' and that smashed US equity markets higher, filling the China PMI miss gap down.