February 28th, 2013
We came so close. Every trick in the bag was pulled to run stops and get the momos to take us into virgin territory for retail investors following the Dow. Think of the headlines on the news tonight... But alas, we will have to wait for tomorrow's POMO to see if it comes then. From the moment voting began, equities rolled over and as the slide picked up speed so did volume and trade size. We noted that Bonds and FX markets were largely unimpressed by equity's lurch for the highs, and sure enough, stocks rotated lower into the close but still green for the month of February (just to ensure the headlines remain positive). S&P futures dropped 1% off their highs into the close and the deadbeat volume of the dribble higher surged above average. Treasuries ended the day -2bps (-8bps on the week so far) with 10Y back under 1.90%; the USD rallied as JPY and EUR weakened taking DXY up 0.6% on the week; VIX's bearish divergence from yesterday seemed prescient as it snapped higher to 15.5% on the day suggesting caution was high into the close.
As equity indices 'stabilize' ready for their CNBC-counted-down surge to new all-time highs and the holy grail of economic-growth-creating money-printing-fed inflationary-wealth-effect, we thought a blast from the past would 'help'...
The push higher in stocks today peaked as the voting began and now as we receive the 'shocking news' that:
Senate Lacks Votes to Advance Democratic Sequestration Plan
We see the equity market fading fast - reverting to VWAP first of course. Whocouldanode? What happens next is anyone's guess but FX and bonds sure aren't buying it.
Chris Martenson is issuing an official warning of a major stock market correction within the next few months. He's only done this once before (in 2008). He's seeing a convergence of both technical and fundamental data that are flashing oversized risks to the downside for asset prices, despite the Federal Reserve's money printing mania (which is showing signs of hitting diminishing returns). He expects the fall in equity prices to happen within the May-September window. This downdraft will be characterized by lots of volatility, formed by market routs and Fed-inspired rescues, alternating until some form of bottom is reached. Along the way there will likely be a flight for "safety" into the dollar and Treasury paper, but only during the first stage of this crisis. Once a bottom is reached - he expects anywhere from 40% to 60% lower than the current ~1500 level on the S&P 500 - the process will begin to be dominated by rising government borrowing which will cause interest rates to begin to rise. When that happens, expect capital to flee the paper market for hard assets. In particular, that's when the upwards price revolution in the gold and silver markets will kick into high gear.
This is not Bill Ackman day. After getting creamed on JCP, here comes Icahn to make sure Ackman never forgets the day the DJIA is set to rehit all time highs.
- HERBALIFE SAYS ICAHN CAN BOOST POSITION UP TO 25% OF COMPANY
- HERBALIFE TO NOMINATE TWO ICAHN REPRESENTATIVES TO BOARD
HLF stock halted, then unhalted and, not unexpectedly, up.
Usually, when the administration needs a distraction from just how broke and insolvent in reality the country is, it sends the stock market soaring higher. As such it is beyond ironic that as the S&P is set to hit an all time high, Detroit - that shining symbol of the Obama administration's bailout of General Motors - effectively goes broke.
MICH. GOV SNYDER TO ANNOUNCE STATE TAKEOVER OF DETROIT
At 13:19:58, in a brief 1 second interval, it appears someone (or thing) decided it was time to slam $138mm notional to work with no consequence for market impact or cost basis. 15,700 S&P 500 e-mini contracts surged through in that second, running all the stops above the highs of the day to test up to the highs from Monday (pre-election). Meanwhile, FX and Treasury markets are not at all enthused... but whetever it takes to get the Dow to all-time highs...
If the past three months have been any indication of what Japan has to look forward to from Abenomics, we have a feeling his tenure will be as short, if not shorter, than all of his recent (and numerous, among which he, himself) predecessors. Because while the stock market may have risen in lock step with the plunge in the Yen, what has also soared are costs. And while a very select few benefit from the transitory surge in the Nikkei, the rising costs, i.e., inflation, hit everyone equally. But while the "no free lunch" reality has until now mostly been felt by those who need energy, as shown in "You Wanted Inflation, You Got It: Japanese Gasoline Price Rises To Eight Month High" the inflationary impact on Chinese imports is about to hit everyone like a sledgehammer right where it hurts the most: in the stomach, as the inevitable has finally happened, and the agriculture ministry announced that wholesale wheat prices are set to rise by a near-record 9.7% in April, which will shortly thereafter send regular food prices soaring.
From “I’m appalled that two clowns have won” in Italy to fear
We noted the strange divergence between the surge in physical demand for precious metals and the falling price of gold and silver yesterday and today; sure enough, just as they give back some short-term gains, we find that with one day left in the month, the US Mint has seen the largest demand for physical silver coins ever for a February at 3.37mm ounces. We are sure this all makes perfect sense somewhere in the leasing, backwardation, securitization, paper world of precious metals pricing but one thing appears sure, more than just Russia is backing up the truck for physical bullion.
The discovery of oil in the Middle East around the 1930s has had a drastic effect on the lives of the people in the region. In most instances this black gold buried under the sands of Arabia has impacted the lives of the people in a rather positive manner. But not always. Syria today is burdened with the largest refugee crisis in the world - mostly displaced internally - a clear indication of population shifts. And as population shifts so too do demarcation lines, with the rebels claiming now to be in control of some of the oil producing sites. Will the opposition fare any better once they manage to get the oil facilities to operate once more? Or will they also contribute towards making the people who sell guns all that richer? How will they use the revenue if the manage to operate the facilities?
And Other Amazing Health News ...
No single drop of water ever believes it is responsible for the flood. I do know that it is incredibly satisfying to take action. What is the saying? Knowledge without action is insanity.
Those who have been following our year-long series exposing the student debt bubble are by now well aware that this latest $1 trillion+ reincarnation of subprime will have a very unhappy ending. Which is why today's release of the quarterly Fed report on household debt and credit will hold few surprises for them. There is however, one data point which is notable: as of December 31, 2012, the soaring delinquency rate on student loans (first reported here, and subsequently confirmed by the Fed itself), has surpassed that of credit card debt.
On the heels of Abe's final decision to appoint a somewhat middle-of-the-road 'dove' as BoJ Governor, we thought it appropriate to look at the year's FX performance to see who is 'winning' the currency wars so far this year. The answer may surprise you (or not if you had read this or this).