After 6 months of MoM drops (something not seen outside of a recession), February saw a modest 0.2% rise in Factory orders which has spurred economists to extrapolate a 2.0% expectation for March. However, while Factory Orders rose 2.1% in March, Feb was revised lower (to a -0.1% drop) leaving US Manufacturing Orders down 4.0% YoY. The series of YoY drops continues (now at 5 consecutive months) to indicate a recessionary environment. The ratio of inventories-to-shipments remains stuck at extremely elevated levels.
Several months ago we showed that in the aftermath of its brush with vocal activists such as Dan Loeb and Nelson Peltz, Dow Chemical did everything it could to push its stock price as high as it possibly could go. It did this in the simplest of ways: by buying back its own stock. In fact, over the past year, DOW bought back over $4 billion in DOW shares after barely doing any stock repurchases in prior years. Still, without an organic growth in the company, and with increasing compensation for C-suite execs, and with just financial engineering to make the company appear prettier than it is, someone had to foot the bill. Moments ago we found out who: "1,500 to 1,750 positions across a number of businesses and functions."
Morgan Stanley breaks down the buyback-equity rally relationship while WSJ flags "big borrowing" by both corporations and investors. In short: corporate debt issuance is at record levels and so are buybacks, stock prices, and margin accounts. When the cycle finally turns, look out below.
10Y German bond yields hit 42.5bps today (almost a 10x move off their 4.9bps lows on April 17th - before Bill Gross and Jeff Gundlach unleashed their bearish theses). While Draghi keeps buying, the move over the last week is 'almost' unprecedented in bond market history. We says 'almost' because we have seen this before - a sovereign issuer with an extremely low yielding bond suddenly see their bond market collapse... Japan 2003 (when Greenspan cut rates less than expected).
Quickly looking at the potential market moving events this week, US payrolls on Friday will be the clear focus. In terms of expectations, our US colleagues are expecting a +225k print which matches the current Bloomberg consensus, while they expect the unemployment rate to drop one-tenth to 5.4%. Elsewhere, Thursday’s UK Election will be closely followed while Greece will once again be front and center.
Unfortuantely, until three things change dramatically, there will never be a capex boom, corporate revenues will keep declining, and companies will continue artificially inflating their stock prices by diverting every last profitable dollar into instant gratification for "activist" shareholders (and option-compensated management) instead of investing into long-term growth.
- Win or lose, Cameron's political career hangs by a thread (Reuters)
- Greece aims for deal with lenders, IMF hard on reforms: minister (Reuters)
- Greek Jobless Legacy Adds Danger for Tsipras as Funds Dry Up (BBG)
- U.S. Will Change Stance on Secret Phone Tracking (WSJ)
- China April HSBC PMI shows biggest drop in factory activity in a year (Reuters)
- Goldman Sachs in Talks to Sell Its Coal Mines (WSJ)
- Takeover Fuel Begins to Flow as S&P 500 Bull Run Makes History (BBG)
Futures Levitate Following Worst Chinese Mfg PMI In One Year, Brent At 2015 Highs; Bund Slide ContinuesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/04/2015 - 06:45
The best news for stocks is twofold: volumes continue to be lethargic with both the UK (May Day bank holiday) and Japan closed until Thursday (Golden Week), while the bulk of the S&P500 has now exited the stock buyback quiet period. As such, ignore record equity outflows - all the matters is that corporate CFOs, flush with brand news bond issuance cash, will tell their favorite Wall Street trading desk to buy stocks at just the right inflection point sending the market surging just as shorts once again test the downtrend and the 50 DMA.
If the U.S. economy really is improving, then why are big U.S. retailers permanently shutting down thousands of stores?
"In the 2014 elections, 31,976 donors - equal to roughly one percent of one percent of the total population of the United States - accounted for an astounding $1.18 billion in disclosed political contributions at the federal level. Those big givers - what we have termed the Political One Percent of the One Percent - have a massively outsized impact on federal campaigns.They’re mostly male, tend to be city-dwellers and often work in finance. Slightly more of them skew Republican than Democratic. A small subset - barely five dozen — earned the (even more) rarefied distinction of giving more than $1 million each. And a minute cluster of three individuals contributed more than $10 million apiece."
Having killed a robot by underestimating the level of radiation present in the Fukushima power plant, and after delaying its previous admission of a leak, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has quickly admitted that the nuclear plant has sprung another leak. As EFE reports, a small quantity of radioactive water has leaked from a storage tank with 70 microsieverts per hour of beta-ray-emitting radioactivity detected on the surface where the water had leaked, far exceeding the recommended maximum exposure of 0.11 microsieverts per hour. But apart from that it's "contained."
When student debt and subprime car loans aren't enough, you have to get creative. It now appears Wall Street is set to feed its securitization machine with a new kind of debt: peer-to-peer loans. You read that correctly. Soon enough, the pool of micro loans that are facilitated by sites like LendingClub will be used to create CDOs.