After America's commercial/investment banks crushed all momentum chasers hedge funds in 2014, with one after another after a third recommendation to go long stocks and short bonds starting in late of 2013 and repeating the broken record every single month because, you know, "the recovery", ignoring the massive outperformance of bonds over stocks in 2014 as Treasury shorts have been forced to cover at ever higher prices now that the global economic emperor was finally was revealed to be completely and utterly naked (thanks Goldman) one would think that banks would have eaten at least a little of their own cooking, and partaken in what has become a ridiculously crowded 10 Year TSY short. Well, one would be wrong. As in very wrong.
As futures opened last night, it was all looking so bright as the 'rebound' extended and every knife-catching "in it for the long-run" manager was proved 'right'. Then Eric Rosengren pissed in the punchbowl - explaining QE will end in October "unless somethinh dramatic happens" - somewhat taunting the market to crash to ensure the Fed keeps the party going. Markets leaked lower and then came Big Blue which slammed futures lower. Oil prices are falling once again this morning, ECB's bond-buying was a disappointment, and USDJPY's fundamentals hit an air-pocket. Having retraced perfectly 50% of last week's losses, the S&P 500 is fading at the open...
First, the bad news: Last week was the worst week for hedge funds since 2011.... Then the good: hedge funds dropped by less than half what the decline in the broader market was, largely because many hedge funds still haven't been fully shaken out of their shorts, despite 6 years of relentless central planning seeking to crush all bears.
Here is a summary of the best and worst performing hedge funds in October and 2014.
The Bank of England's "Real Time Gross Settlement Payment System" (RTGS) - the UK's equivalent of the US FedWire - has gone offline this morning due to a technical glitch, according to The Telegraph. RTGS, which processes large payments in real-time (including home purchases) between British banks - and processed GBP70 trillion in payments across 5000 entities last year - has been down since 6am London time (the fault was disclosed over 5 hours later at 1130 London Time). For now the largest payments are being processed manually and smaller payments are on hold.
Draghi, we have a problem. Just as Coeure 'promised' the ECB, according to The FT, began its bond-buying program this morning. However, peripheral sovereign bond-buying front-runners banking on the ECB greater fool to offload to are disappointed as they are go no easy money love. The initial program is covered-bond-buying (similar to US MBS, but a considerably smaller market) and the ECB will reveal how much it has bought each Monday afternoon (starting next week). Greek bonds are suffering the most with 5Y yields at cycle highs once again and prices at lows (vanquishing all of Friday's gains).
In the past few years the stock market has always recovered from corrections to make new highs, and we cannot be sure if the party is indeed over. However, both from a fundamental and technical perspective, the probability that it is over seems quite high. Should market internals and trend uniformity to the upside improve again, this assessment would obviously have to be revised. However, there are surely more than enough warning signs extant now and every financial asset bubble must end at some point.
- Stick to tapering and rates pledge, says Boston Fed chief (FT)
- Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders (Reuters)
- Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, some leave early (Reuters)
- Japan GPIF to Boost Share Allocation to About 25%, Nikkei Says (BBG)... or three months of POMO
- Japan Stocks Surge on Report GPIF to Boost Local Shares (BBG)
- China Growth Seen Slowing Sharply Over Decade (WSJ)
- Russia, Ukraine Edge Closer to Natural-Gas Deal (WSJ)
- Leveraged Money Spurs Selloff as Record Treasuries Trade (BBG)
- After clashes, Hong Kong students, government stand their ground before talks (Reuters)
Remember when three short months ago we revealed what was "the scariest chart in IBM's history", namely the one showing IBM's total debt to equity ratio? With this chart, incidentally, we also explained why IBM's ridiculous stock repurchasing strategy, which had seen $37.7 billion in stock buybacks since 2012, or more than the total debt issuance of $33.6 billion during the same period could not continue and why, inevitably, IBM would have a massively disappointing quarter? Well, that quarter just hit, when moments ago in an early press release, IBM reported abysmal adjusted EPS of only $3.68, a huge miss to the $4.32 Wall Street expected, mostly a function of one simple thing: the buyback "strategy" finally hit a brick wall.
No matter what you have read or seen so far on California’s historic Central Valley drought, you probably haven’t been touched by it as much as you will be by the following video from the New Yorker. Terribly sad.
President Obama may have been busy golfing this weekend, and his brand new Ebola Czar may have had more pressing matters to attend than the White House's Saturday evening meeting on the US "response to domestic Ebola cases" (because clearly the Ebola Czar is superfluous at such Ebola-related events), but that doesn't mean that the administration will once again be caught with its pants down the next time an Ebola index patient is unveiled on US soil. Nope. In taking a page right out of America's response to the Ebola pandemic in... West Africa, where the US has dispatched several thousands troops to do, something, unclear what, earlier today, it was revealed that the U.S. military is forming a 30-person "quick-strike team", which according to CNN is "equipped to provide direct treatment to Ebola patients inside the United States, a Defense Department official told CNN's Barbara Starr on Sunday."
some such as JPM, are already rushing to the defense of their clients (i.e., the people to whom JPM's prop desk may have some selling left to do) by providing a handy backtest of which key technical indicators proved useful in the past when determining market bottoms (if not tops - that one JPM will probably never, ever disclose), and what these are saying at this moment. So for all those who need convincing that the "bottom is now in", and are desperate to BTFD because other, greater fools will also BTFD and so on, here it is, straight from Jamie Dimon's mouth.
Remember when the Fed (and their Liesman-esque lackies) tried to convince the world that it was all about the 'stock' - and not the 'flow' - of Federal Reserve Assets that kept the world afloat on easy monetary policy (despite even Bullard admitting that was not the case after Goldman exposed the ugly truth). Having first explained to the world that it's all about the flow over 2 years ago, it appears that, as every equity asset manager knows deep down (but is loathed to admit for fear of losing AUM), of course "tapering is tightening" - as the following chart shows, equity markets are waking up abruptly to that reality. So no wonder Bullard is now calling for moar QE - he knows it's all there is to fill the gap between economic reality and market fiction.
With two weeks of weakness, one might be forgiven for thinking the crowded "long-dollar" train had let off a few passengers (after its post-Bretton Woods record-breaking streak of gains). But no, as Goldman notes, that train just got even more crowded... as overall USD speculative net positioning is now the most long it has been in recent memory.
UPDATE: A little early to call yet but Fed's Rosengren quoted in FT "QE will end in October unless something dramatic happens" has knocked USDJPY and S&P lower...
More incoherent chatter from Japan about raising Japan's GPIF allocation to "more than 20%, or around 25%" on the basis of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's 'expert views' have sent USDJPY higher out of the gate and thus S&P 500 futures are tracking - just as they did Friday afternoon - higher. Treasury futures prices are 6 ticks lower (+2.5bps yield) - retraced all the bond-short capitulation gains from Wednesday. S&P futures are 9pts higher - retracing 50% of last week's losses.