April 28th, 2015
"...my greater source of personal concern, outrage... is focused upon an American political elite that have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the US..., plunged tens of millions of good hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and followed that action around by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state."
It took 25 days to recover, and 2 days to lose all the exuberance that was 'well-deserved' and M&A-boom-driven, according to analysts. With a drop of over 10%, Biotechs are officialy in 'correction' and falling on heavy volume...
Update 2: Curiously, while we were confident Iran would deny the report first, it was in fact the US: US NAVY DENIES CONFRONTATION WITH IRANIAN MILITARY: CNBC
Update: WHITE HOUSE REFERS COMMENT ON IRAN SHIP CAPTURE TO DEFENSE DEPT
Moments ago according to Saudi-owned Arabiya news, Iranian forces have seized a US cargo ship, which has some 34 American sailors, which they have taken to the port of Bandar Abbas. Iran's Farsnews confirms the Arabiya report, stating that "a US cargo ship with 34 crew was stopped and seized by Iranian Navy warships on Tuesday. The Iranian Navy has confiscated the American trade vessel with all its 34 crew for trespassing on Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf."
For the second month in a row, Richmond Fed printed below 0 - which has prompted renewed QE from the Fed, or a recession, in the past. At -3 (worse than the -2 expected), this is the 5th miss of the last 6 months. Under the surface, components improved but New Order Volume, capacity utilization, and shipments all printed a negative contractionary level. While the data bounced, it remains a weak bounce off 2 year lows.
Stunned... Despite soaring stock prices and low gas prices, Consumer Confidence tumbled to 95.2 (against expectations of a jump to 102.2) to its lowest sicne 2014. This is the biggest miss since June 2010. We are going to need more oil price deflation and stock price reflation (and less looting). New England and West South Central Regions saw the biggest plunge in confidence and despite the plunge in current situation, future expectations (aka "hope") jumped from 90 to 96.
It took a while, but after going nowhere for the past year and in fact declining significantly on a Year over Year basis, the second tech bubble has once again managed to "trickle down" into the San Francisco housing market, which in the month of February saw the west coast tech mecca as the sterling outperformer of all US real estate markets according to the latest Case Shiller data. On the other end: Cleveland was down -1.0%.
After two efforts at spiking momentum (last night and this morning), AAPL shares are now down over 1% from the close and falling on very heavy volume. As Nanex's Eric Hunsader notes, AAPL has overtaken the e-mini S&P futures contract this morning as the most heavily traded security in US markets. How long before the calls to remove 'the highly volatile' stock from The Dow?
"It is unbearable for Greeks to watch the drama of the negotiations rendered (either simplistically or maliciously) as though it were a western, in which the others are Good and Greece is both the Bad and the Ugly. If this perception is actually reflective of the real situation, irrespective of whether it’s being played up a bit for the sake of the drama, then there is a very real fear that a union which solves its differences in High Noon style is no longer a union."
Despite the weather, home prices surge more than expected in February (as we presume those who braved the icy or heaty weather were desparate to buy). S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City index rose 0.93% MoM (vs 0.7% exp) and 5.03% YoY (vs 4.70% exp.). San Francisco led the way with a 2.0% MoM surge and Cleveland and Las Vegas were worst with home prices falling.
Something has changed. We have become used to the daily beat down on precious metals at around the 8am-9amET period... but the last two days have seen a significant reverse of that... Silver (and gold) are pushing notably higher once again this morning...
Will a desire to protest the current establishment see Nigel Farage's UKIP broaden its mandate in the upcoming election? This UK election will mirror many elections around Europe (since the crisis started) in focusing on inequality and the need for political protest. This could make for big moves in the mandates... We foresee Scottish National Party and UKIP protest votes proving far more numerous than the latest polls suggest.
Greece must pay $3.8 billion to the IMF over the course of the next month and most analysts believe they will not be in a position to do so unless they can access the outstanding $7.2 billion in funds that form part of the existing program. Ukraine have also been flirting with a default.
Overnight we got the latest proof that there is nothing worse for an economy than to be run by a bunch of central planning academics who get "advice" from Paul Krugman. The reason: Japan's retail sales which crashed by 9.7% Y/Y, the biggest annual drop in history. To be sure, the biggest reason for the annual drop was the base effect with the surge in demand last March ahead of the April 2014 consumption tax hike, but the drop was bigger than what consensus had expected, as expectations were for a -7.3% drop. And confirming that things are getting worse on a sequential basis as well, was the 1.9% drop in sales in March compared to a 0.7% increase in February. In fact, as the chart belows show, on an indexed basis, the March retail sales print was one of the worst since last year's tax hike.
An inauspicious start to China's local government debt swap initiative has the PBoC scrambling to determine the best way to facilitate the successful issuance of new municipal securities as several provinces have reportedly canceled or delayed offerings. Now, the question is whether Chinese LTROs will be enough, or whether outright QE will ultimately be the only option.