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S&P Closes Above 2000 For First Time On Lowest Volume Day Of Year

For the last 2 weeks, the US Dollar has surged - hitting new 13-month highs today amid JPY and EUR weakness - and for the last 2 weeks, US stock and bond markets have rallied (leaving 30Y yields implying the S&P is 130 points rich or yields are 25bps too low). S&P tops 2,000, Nasdaq closed up for 10th day in a row, Russell outperformed on major short-squeeze, Trannies slid red for the week. Today saw modest Treasury weakness (30Y +2bps, 2Y -1bps) but still lower on the week; gold ($1285), silver ($19.50), and oil ($94) gained on the day - despite USD strength - as copper dropped 1%. Credit markets remain unimpressed by record-er highs in stocks. VIX decoupled from equity strength today as NASDAQ options feeds broke. Volume was an utter disaster... that is all.

 



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Investor Net Worth Drops To New All Time Low, NYSE Reveals

While in July margin debt did dip modestly from near all time highs hit back in June when total margin debt was virtually tied with the previous record, at $464 billion, it was that other metric tracked by the NYSE, namely Investor Net Worth, calculated by subtracting margin debt from the notional represented in free credit cash accounts and credit balances in margin accounts, that was the notable highlight in the July report: at a negative $182.1 billion, a decline of $6.3 billion from the prior month, investor Net Worth has never been lower.



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When Fighting The Fed Pays - Biotechs Hit Record Highs

Presented with little comment aside to note Biotechs are up 33% from the April lows and have reached all-time record highs and have now totally ignored 2 warnings from Yellen - who just last week was heralded as omnipotent.



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China Has Lost 55% Of Its Most Valuable Resource

Roughly 60% of California right now is suffering “extreme drought” conditions. 30% of the state is in “severe drought”. And 10% of the state is only under “drought”. In other words, roughly the entire state - the 8th largest economy in the world – is facing a severe shortage of water. But if you think that’s bad, China is about to take over the spotlight yet again. A study by China’s Ministry of Water Resources found that approximately 55% of China’s 50,000 rivers that existed in the 1990s have disappeared.



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For $1 Million You Have A Choice: 15 Square Meters In Monaco Or A Trailer In The Hamptons

A few days ago, when we looked at what is one of the last tax havens in the world, the principality of Monaco, we uncovered not only the world's most expensive Penthouse costing a whopping $400 million, but got some perspective on how far one's dollar really goes, or doesn't. Because when it comes to asset inflation there is a world for the "rest of us", where according to Janet Yellen "inflation is noisy" and any spikes should be ignored, and one for the 1%, where inflation is essentially off the charts. In fact, a world where as the following anecdote fiat prices hardly matter.



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Meet The LMCI - The Fed’s New Goal-Seeked, 19-Factor Labor Market Regression Rigmarole

In the rush to make QE’s taper and the follow-on “forward guidance” appear more data-related than of due concerns about the structural (and ultimately philosophical) flaws in the economy, the regressionists of the Federal Reserve have come up with more regressions - a 19-factor model to determine Yellen's 'labor market conditions'. What does this mathematical reconstruction of the labor market tell us about the labor market? If you believe the figures, this has been one of the best recoveries on record. No, seriously...



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With Half Of City Residents Delinquent, Detroit Restarts Water Shut-Offs

"Utility disconnection is always considered a last resort, obviously because of consequences for households," but as Detroit News reports, but water-providers can expect more controversy, as a month-long moratorium against shutting off water for those behind on their bills expired last night. Halting service to people that don't pay generate outrage among not just Detroit residents but a wider audience who proclaim 'water should be a right'. However, as one utility director noted, "We've seen a lot more payments...They need that little kick in the pants to get in here and do it." Water industry experts say cities with high delinquency rates sometimes have few other effective options for getting customers to catch up on their bills. Roughly half of Detroit’s 170,000 customers were delinquent as of last spring.



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2 Year Paper Sold At Highest Bid To Cover Since May As Yield Declines, Lowest Directs Since June 2013

If there is any concern of massive curve flattening, or even inversion, the bond market sure wasn't aware of it today when moments ago some $29 billion in 2 Year bonds were sold at a yield of 0.530%, stopping through the 0.532% When Issued, and below the 0.544% from last month which was the highest since May 2011.



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As Argentina Peso Plummets To Record, BofA Warns Of Looming Economic Crisis

After spending time in Argentina, BofA's Marcos Buscaglia is concerned... The perception of many locals is that the risks of an economic/currency crisis before year-end have increased significantly. This compares to a view they had before of a muddle-through till the 2015 presidential elections. Policy decision-making is ever more concentrated, and the administration has radicalized, but the severe economic downturn will change political incentives in 2015, in BofA's view. With the official peso rate at record lows once again, the black-market Dolar-Blue tumbled to over 14/USD - a record low indicating dramatic devaluation ahead (which of course, sends ARS-denominated stocks surge to record highs).



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President Obama Slams "Cynics", Tells World "Nobody Else Can Do What We Do" - Live Feed

He's back from vacation and the teleprompter is hot... cynics - bad, economy - awesome, deficit - cut, most powerful military in the world, we have best universities... energy independent... USA USA USA... "no other nation can do what we do." "The United States is and will remain the one indispensible nation in the world..."



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JPMorgan Sees 50% Chance Of ECB QE By Year-End, Will Ease More Next Week

Wondering why US and European stocks knee-jerked higher in the last hour - wonder no more. JPMorgan released a report stating they expect the ECB to ease next week, masking some policy changes next week to make TLTROs more attractive and even a slight disappointment in data may trigger sovereign QE (30% chance next week and 50% by year-end). Of course, the kicker in all of this discussion of QE is that the ECB is already doing it - willing to buy whetever bonds European banks buy via repo agreements (with no haircut) - and with yields already at record lows (or negative) in the face of record-high 'real' financing costs for non-financials, the exuberance appears misplaced.



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...And The Market Breaks (Again)



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White Hawk Down - UN Helicopter Shot Down In South Sudan

Time for some more 'humanitarian' airtsrike non-boots-on-the-ground 'advisors'... As AP reports, The U.N. mission in South Sudan says one of its helicopters has crashed, and a U.N. official told The Associated Press that it appears the aircraft was shot down. While not quite Mogadishu (yet), the UN is "deeply concerned" about the crew as the widespread and massive violence between rebels and the national army in South Sudan that has raged since December continues to rage.



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(Un)Comfortable Myths About High Yield Debt

There rarely seems to be a “reason” for why market crashes happen. Market observers are e.g. debating to this day what actually “caused” the crash of 1987. It is in the nature of the beast that once liquidity evaporates sufficiently that not all bubble activities can be sustained at once any longer, bids begin to become scarce in one market segment after another. Eventually, they can disappear altogether – and sellers suddenly find they are selling into a vacuum. Once this happens, the usual sequence of margin calls and forced selling does the rest. Risk premiums normalize abruptly, and there doesn't need to be an obvious reason for this to happen. Compressed risk premiums can never be sustained “forever”.



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Doctor Fed, You Are Wanted In The San Francisco Housing Ward, Stat

The only three previous times when there was such a sharp contraction in the pace of San Fran home price appreciation, either the dot com bubble, the housing bubble, or the European sovereign debt bubble had just burst. For now, we leave what is going on in San Francisco as merely a question mark, because clearly the Fed's grand "reflation at all costs" experiment is nowhere near over...



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