Having reiterated all the key talking points of "data-dependence", "downside risks", "labor slack", and the economy is "improving", The Fed's Dennis Lockhart then admitted...
- LOCKHART: UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE MAY GET LITTLE SKEPTICAL OF FED
We wonder just what makes him "understand" the world's growing skepticism?
WTI Crude is back above $50 to its highest in almost 3 months following a 10%-plus gain on the week (the 2nd best since Jan 2009). This surge has sparked the biggest surge in European and US Oil & Gas stocks since 2008 as Bloomberg notes, output from the world’s biggest consumer drops and Shell and PIMCO claim the worst may be over (while Goldman sees "lower for longer" suggesting this rally is a squeeze). However, while Energy stocks and raw materials are soaring, credit markets remain notably less impressed.
How do we know if the current signal is a “threshold crossing” into a better climate for stocks, or the lower bound of a new climate of elevated volatility? We cannot know for sure at this point if a volatility shift has occurred. We do have our reasons to be suspect of stocks in the longer-term, but not based on this data. Perhaps the best takeaway from this study is that a drop in the VIX below the 20 level is not an automatic all-clear sign for stocks. Similar moves have, on several occasions, marked the lower bound of a new high-volatility environment. In other words, stocks are not an automatic home run here. A year from now, it is entirely possible that stocks will have struck out.
Several days ago, when pointing out the record NYSE short-interest, we noted this move may simply mean the following: "a central bank intervenes, or a massive forced buy-in event occurs, and unleashes the mother of all short squeezes, sending the S&P500 to new all time highs." Today, we have confirmation that the rally has been precisely that: a massive short-covering squeeze, when Bank of America's Mike Hartnett looked at the latest weekly fund flow data and noted a "monster $53bn MMF inflows vs redemptions from equity ($4.3bn) & fixed income funds ($2.4bn)...rising cash levels indicate big risk rally (from intraday lows last week SPX +7.7%, EEM +13.5%, HYG +4.2%) driven primarily by short-covering rather than fresh risk-on."
When things are going especially poorly, sometimes all it takes is the slightest glimmer of hope to ignite a rally, and between a poor NFP report in the US (and yes, EM FX is clearly one place where bad news in the US economy is most definitely good news, as it forestalls an FOMC liftoff), “better” than expected trade data in Malaysia, a deceptively low read on capital outflows from China, and dovish FOMC minutes, this week has brought several such glimmers and so, everyone has apparently begun backing up the truck on Asia EM optimism.
- Global stocks eye biggest rally in four years on Fed relief (Reuters)
- FOMC Minutes Sap Confidence in Fed's 2015 Rate Hike Resolve (BBG)
- Glencore to cut annual zinc production by a third (FT)
- Tea Party wave that lifted Republicans threatens to engulf them (Reuters)
- Why Kevin McCarthy Came to Quit Speaker Race (WSJ)
- A U.S. Recession Just Got a Little More Likely (BBG)
Biggest Weekly Stock Rally Since 2012 Continues Driven By Tumbling Dollar, Dovish Fed; Commodities SurgeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/09/2015 - 06:53
The global risk on mood (which is really anything but, and is merely an unprecedented short covering squeeze as we will report momentarily) launched by an abysmal jobs report one week ago and "validated" yesterday by the surprisingly dovish FOMC minutes, which said nothing new but merely confirmed what most knew, namely that a rate hike is almost certain to not occur until mid-2016 if ever, and accelerated by a Fed-driven collapse in the dollar which overnight has led to a historic 3.4% move in the Indonesian Rupiah the most since 2008, has pushed global stocks even higher in their biggest weekly rally since 2012, despite the start of an earnings season where virtually every single company reporting so far has stumbled on earnings reports that were far worse than even gloomy consensus had expected.
As the odds of a Fed rate-hike this century drift asymptotically back towards zero, the stability-desirous central bankers of the emerging world are suddenly facing soaring currencies as hot money floods back into Emerging Asian markets. The Rupiah and Ringgit are up almost 3% overnight as everything from the Baht to the Won are surging against the USD. Asian FX is up 6 straight days against the USD (and 8 of the last 9) for the biggest 9-day gain since May 2009.
If you've ever complained about your commute, or the traffic jams on your way to vacation destinations, here is some context from China...
Long before Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files collected on his activities and associations. For a little while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.
Children living near the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at a rate 20 to 50 times that of children elsewhere, according to a new study. As AP reports, most of the 370,000 children in Fukushima prefecture have been given ultrasound checkups since the meltdown and thyroid cancer is suspected or confirmed in 137 of those children. "This is more than expected and emerging faster than expected," according to the lead author of the study, and raises doubts about the government's less fearful view.
Despite last night's disappointingly weak China re-open (notably less than US ADRs had implied), it appears everyone and their pet rabbit levered up as China margin-buying rose CNY21bn - the most in 2 months. It appears China's housing market also disappointed hope-strewn expectations as Golden Week home sales slowed dramatically YoY (blamed on weather). All is not well in the liquidioty stress department as despite ongoing injections, o/n HIBOR spiked 240bps overnight. China stocks are mixed at the open as PBOC strengthens the Yuan fix for the 5th day in a row to 2 month highs. Concerns are also growing in China's corporate bond market where bubble flows have greatly rotated from stocks to drive yields on risky firms to record lows.
“They want to own your phone instead of you.” Snowden's most recent revelations should worry anyone who cares about human rights, especially in an era where the threat of terrorism is used to justify all sorts of governmental crimes against civil liberties. We have willingly given up our freedoms in the name of security; as a result we have neither.
"No matter how unpleasant and unexpected for our colleagues in the Pentagon and Langley was yesterday's high-precision strike on Islamic State infrastructure in Syria, the fact remains that all missiles launched from our ships have found their targets."