Calm Before The Storm - Coming Out Of The Voldrums

Implied volatilities - the market's best guess at short-term-future uncertainty - collapsed last week across every asset class from FX to equity. For now, as Bloomberg's Richard Breslow notes, markets seem comfortably calm amid the real storm of macro, micro, and geopolitical risks, but many of the same 'calm' markets are at critical technical levels putting them all "in play."

New Critical Report Accuses Herbalife Of Money Laundering, Involvement In Drug Trade

For years, it has been speculated by critics that Herbalife could have a layer of fraud to it that transcends the pyramid scheme allegations of late. However, in a new research report prepared by 10/10 Research, and released today, a new layer of allegations of previously unreported - and so far unsubstantiated - criminal impropriety has emerged.

US Manufacturing PMI Rises To Highest In 12 Months

When 2016 started off poorly for the US manufacturing sector as a result of the pounding in the E&P sector, with rising concerns about a recessionary impulse among US manufacturing industries, the latest Markit manufacturing report for October has allayed much of the slowdown concerns with a headline print of 53.2, higher than the 51.5 expected, and up 1.7 points from September - the highest print since October of 2015.

VIX Smashed To 12 Handle Drags Stocks Near 'Unch' For October, Silver Jumps, Crude Dumps

VIX has now fallen for 6 of the last 7 days (from an 18 handle to a 12 handle) and until today's mega-merger excitement, stocks went nowhere. Today's gap up open lifts S&P and Dow back near unchanged on the month. Gold and Silver are spiking as crude slides back near $50. Treasury yields are modestly higher (and the curve steeper) on the day.

Key Events In The Coming Week

Looking at the week ahead, the US election enters the home stretch and politics will likely dominate the headlines, especially the closer races in Congress. Despite data being overshadowed by politics, there are some key US releases coming up, with the first estimate of Q3 GDP, the employment cost index and durable goods the main focus.

Goldman Cuts S&P500 Earnings Forecasts For The Next Three Years

"We cut our S&P 500 earnings estimates for each of the next several years. Our revised operating EPS forecasts now equal $105 (2016), $116 (2017), and $122 (2018) reflecting annual growth of 5%, 10%, and 5%, respectively. Low interest rates and peaking margins constrain profit growth in Information Technology, Financials, and Telecom and drive the reduction in our index-level EPS forecast." - Goldman Sachs

Frontrunning: October 24

  • The CEO Behind AT&T’s Huge Time Warner Deal (BBG)
  • AT&T-Time Warner deal sparks calls for scrutiny in Washington (Reuters)
  • Wall Street’s $40 Billion AT&T Pledge Offers Fees and Risks (BBG)
  • Bernie Sanders: Obama Administration “Should Kill” The AT&T-Time Warner Deal (Deadline)
  • Oil prices under pressure as Iraq resists joining output cut (Reuters)