August 21st, 2013
Luckily, the average American is so bad at math they can’t read this chart and understand the implications.
UPDATE: S&P futures are sliding modestly lower after-hours approaching the 100DMA at 1627
As Cramer, Liesman, and Terranova circle-jerked over stocks' algo-driven reaction to the knee-jerk dump after the Fed minutes were released, it was clear that bonds had not drank the same JPY-weakness-from-USD-safety-flow-based carry exuberance that stocks had. After ramping on the back of a VIX/JPY squeeze - all the way to yesterday's late-day cliff-dove levels, stocks collapsed back towards the day's lows (and are below them in the after-market). The Dow is down 6 days in a row - the worst run in almost 14 months (and the biggest 6-day drop in 9 months). Bonds were slammed and really never looked back after the minutes (with the belly +10bps or so!) offering a reality check for anyone gazing dream-like at stocks. Post-minutes, the S&P is -8points, 10Y yields +7bps, USD +0.2%, WTI -0.1%, and gold down a mere $2.
“Is there any good news?”
The good news is that this fraudulent system of unchecked, unbacked paper currency is finally coming to an end.
BREAKING: NSA collected thousands of US internet communications over 3 years with no terror connection
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 21, 2013
Presented with no comment...
Behold a binary market in all its stop-hunting glory.
UPDATE: It appears all that mattered to the algos was to get the S&P green... (run those stops) S&P now +6pts, 10Y +5bps, USD unch, WTI unch Gold +$5... now watch USDJPY to see where stocks go next...
The initial reaction to the Fed minutes was to sell first and ask questions later - in everything. Of course, after plunging 10 points, the S&P bounced algorithmically up to its balance point at VWAP (and unch from FOMC) only to glance across at the carnage in the bond market (which didn't bounce) and sell back down. Bonds are trading at their post-FOMC minutes high yields (dominated by weakness in the 5Y/7Y belly), the USD is pushing higher, gold and silver oscillating slightly lower (and copper up). The USD strength is flopping over into JPY weakness and confusing algos that are once again pumping stocks up to VWAP... as we post, from pre-minutes: S&P 500 is unch, Gold is unch, USD is up small, but the 10Y Yield is up 5bps!
- FED STAFF A TAD MORE PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE NEAR TERM ECONOMY, BUT STICKS TO ITS GUNS
- FED OFFICIALS ALSO SHOWED SOME ANGST ON THE ECONOMY
- FED OFFICIALS UNCONVINCED ABOUT LABOR MARKET IMPROVEMENTS
- MIXED VIEWS ON LOW INFLATION
- FED OFFICIALS THOUGHT THE MARKET HAD IT ABOUT RIGHT IN LATE JULY
- MIXED VIEWS ON THE DAMAGE OF RATE BACKUP
- NO CHANGE IN THE STANCE ON BOND BUYING
- OFFICIALS DECIDED THEY HAD ALREADY SAID ENOUGH
- CHANGES IN INTEREST RATE GUIDANCE ARE ON THE TABLE
- OFFICIALS CONSIDERED PATIENCE IN UNWINDING BOND PROGRAM
The "Unwinding Of Unsustainable Speculative Positions", Or How The Fed Welcomes The Popping Of Its Own BubbleSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/21/2013 14:14 -0400
"Some participants also stated that financial developments during the intermeeting period might have helped put the financial system on a more sustainable footing, insofar as those developments were associated with an unwinding of unsustainable speculative positions or an increase in term premiums from extraordinarily low levels."
While some read the FOMC statement in July as more 'dovish' than expected - even though the market's performance since suggests otherwise -, it appears the actual conversations from the minutes point in a more 'Taper'-on direction (though clearly uncertainty remains high):
- *A FEW ON FOMC URGED PATIENCE, OTHERS FAVORED QE TAPERING SOON
- *FOMC MINUTES SHOW BROAD SUPPORT FOR BERNANKE TAPERING TIMELINE
- *FOMC PARTICPANTS SAID SEQUESTRATION 'CLOUDED THE OUTLOOK'
- *FOMC PARTICIPANTS PREDICTED GDP TO PICK UP IN 2ND HALF 2013
- *ALMOST ALL FOMC PARTICIPANTS BACKED 'CONTINGENT OUTLOOK' FOR QE
- *FOMC SAID JUNE PAYROLL REPORT SHOWED 'CONTINUED SOLID GAINS'
Pre-minutes: S&P (Fut) 1646, 10Y 2.8125%, USD 81.2, WTI $104.11, Gold $1371
Presented with little comment aside to ask - is this what 'consensus' would have expected?
S&P 500 -40 points, 10Y Yield +17bps, USD Index -0.75%, WTI Crude -0.9%, and Gold +$60
The July FOMC statement was a bit more dovish than expected, including (1) an explicit reference to the risks posed by higher mortgage rates, (2) more dovish language on below-target inflation, and (3) a statement that the Committee "reaffirmed its view" that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends. We will read the minutes from the July meeting with an eye toward any clues on the likelihood of near-term tapering and potential changes to the forward guidance.
It seems the world is growing increasingly uncomfortable (or downright angry) with the unintended (or intended) consequences of the Federal Reserve's actions (and not just EM nations...):
- FLAHERTY SAYS CANADA IS NOT A FAN OF QUANTITATIVE EASING
- FLAHERTY SAYS U.S. QE POLICY MAY BE TOPIC AT NEXT G-20 MEETING
So, given the implicit threat from the G-20 that this would appear to be, we should add one more reason (avoid USD reserve status questions) to the list of why the Fed will Taper sooner rather than later (deficits, technicals, sentiment).
That hedge funds as a whole have been underperforming the S&P500 not only in 2013 but in the past five years is well-known to most. This trend continued into the second half when, as Goldman calculates, the average hedge fund has returned only 4.1%, or an 80% underperformance compared to the S&P500's 20% through August 9. This is a marked deterioration compared to the 65% underperformance the last time we made this comparative observation in May. Some of the other more surprising observations: YTD, 25% of hedge funds have generated absolute losses and fewer than 5% of hedge funds has outperformed the S&P 500 or the average large-cap core mutual fund. 2 and 20 anyone?