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According To Goldman, This Is Why China's GDP Was Better Than Expected (Spoiler Alert: Weather)

Fast forward to last night, when instead of the much hoped for Chinese GDP drop - because it would certainly unleash the greatly delayed Chinese liquidity firehose so hoped for by all the BTFDers who need at least once central bailout per day to keep up the charade - China reported GDP which beat expectations, leading to many sad faces on Wall Street, and forcing Reuters to leak the infamous ECB buying corporate bonds article, since refuted, which served as the overnight ramping catalyst. So what is the "explanation" for this unpleasant, for once, economic beat? Why, the weather of course!



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Existing Home Sales Jump To Highest Since Sept 2013. Midwest Tumbles 5.3%

Existing Home Sales bounced back from the worst miss in 2014 in August to print 5.17mm SAAR - the highest since September 2013. Of course the surge is driven by Condos/Co-Ops (up 5.2%) rather than single-family homes (up 2.0%) and median home prices are the highest ever for a September at $209,700. It was not all ponies and unicorns though as Midwest saw sales plunge 5.6%. NAR's Larry Yun has some crucial insight for why home sales are rising..."Economic instability overseas is leading to volatility in the stock market and is causing investors to seek safer bets [in housing]," so we assume he is disappointe dby the 1000s of Dow points we have surged off last week's lows?



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And The NYSE Breaks...



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Hong Kong Chief: Can't Have Democracy Or The Poor Will Have A Say

Clearly, Leung Chung-Ying, Hong Kong's embattled leader, did not get the Jean-Claude Juncker memo that "when things are bad, you have to lie." As The NY Times reports, Leung - rather stunningly - said overnight that it was unacceptable to allow his successors to be chosen in open elections, in part because doing so would risk giving poorer residents a dominant voice in politics. Instead, rather unsurprisingly, he backed Beijing's position that all candidates to succeed him as chief executive, the top post in the city, must be screened by a "broadly representative" nominating committee appointed by Beijing, and offered several thinly veiled warnings on Monday that it was risky for the protesters to try the patience of the national authorities.



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McDonalds Sales Plunge In Worst Month Since 2003 Following Dollar Meal "Sticker Shock"

Moments ago, McDonalds not only released earnings and revenues, both of which missed - something which was largely expected since the backward looking data had been telegraphed by MCD's recent global selling collapse - blanketed by atrocious commentary, but it disclosed its September global retail sales which were for lack of a better word, a disaster, after reporting global sales which dropped 3.8%, below the 3.2% expected, and the worst global month since at least 2003. The pain was everywhere, with Europe plunging 4.2% (est -0.9%), Asia down 7.5%, and the US down a whopping 4.1%, far below the 2.8% expected, and also the worst month in over a decade.



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Snow-Plough Driver In Total CEO Plane Crash Was Drunk, Investigators Say

The awful news overnight of Total CEO Christophe de Margarie's death in a freak plane crash caused by the jet hitting a snow-plough on the runway has taken a darker twist. As RT reports, Russian prosecutors claim the driver of the snowplough was drunk, and the air traffic controller for the jet was an intern. However, his lawyer, however, says he was completely sober, due to a heart condition preventing him from drinking claiming "he was so sober at the time of the crash," adding "we don't want the blame for the accident falling on an ordinary man." Investigators added that "bad weather conditions and the possibility of a mistake by the pilot will also be considered." ITAR-TASS reports that Putin has sent his condolences and reached out to Francois Hollande, "Vladimir Putin has long known de Margerie and had a close working relationship with him."



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Oil Tops $83, Gold Over $1255 As Commodities Spike Higher & Riyal Slides To 2009 Lows

It is unclear what the catalyst is - aside from the bounce back from The FT's rejection of Reuters rumor-spreading about ECB corporate bond buying but instead of the usual morning smackdown, precious metals are spiking higher. Gold hit $1255 - its highest in over 5 weeks). Oil is also spiking higher, WTI just broke above $83 (so much for that consumer tax cut?).
For now its unclear what is driving this BUT we do note that Saudi's Riyal has tumbled notably away from its peg in recent days... weakest sicne Jan 2009



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Europe Demands Banks Hand Over Their Lunch Money Following Swiss Franc Libor Rigging

...And don't do it again! Having confirmed that RBS, UBS, JPMorgan,,and Credit Suisse operated a cartell to manipulate bid-ask spreads of Swiss Franc libor, the European Commission has unleashed unmerciless vengeance on these law-breaking institutions: JPMorgan fined EUR 72.2 Million, UBS fined EUR 12.7 Million, Credit Suisse fined EUR 9.17 Million, & RBS Nothing (for whistle-blowing).  The commission found that these four entities 'influenced' interest rate derivatives prices between March 2008 and July 2009 - probably the most volatile and price-sensitive period of American financial history.. and they get fined "an hour's pay?" Nothing ever changes...



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FT Rejects Reuters Unsourced Trial Balloon About ECB Buying Corporate Bonds, Futures Refuse To Plunge

Precisely half an hour ago, we mocked the overnight Reuters trial balloon about ECB corporate bond buying, whose only purpose was to send futures higher, when not only did we question the credibility of the report based on "one person familiar with the work inside the ECB, speaking on condition of anonymity" and said that now "we await Germany to throw up all over what is a clear Reuters trial balloon floated by "one person familiar with the work inside the ECB, speaking on condition of anonymity" to see what the market reaction is to even more stimulus (as if it is unclear)." Well, it wasn't Germany. At least not yet. It was Reuters' competitor in the coverage of ECB rumors and innuendo, the FT, which moments ago blasted this, via Bloomberg:

  • ECB SAID NOT TO HAVE PUT CORPORATE BOND BUYING ON AGENDA: FT

So just in case anyone forgot how credible the Reuters rumor mill is when bailing out European risk (think summer of 2011 and 2012), here is a stark reminder.



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Coke Blows Up Guidance, Is Latest Consumer Bellwether And Buffett Favorite To Disappoint, Stock Stumbles

Yesterday it was IBM, today it is the turn of that other Buffett favorite and consumer-spending bellwether, Coke, to disappoint and push the stock lower, when not only did KO miss on the top line, reporting $11.98 billion in sales, below the Estimate $12.12 billion, but utter some unpleasant words about the future, guiding "below its long-term EPS growth target for 2014." And because nothing says strong consumer like one of the biggest consumer staples blowing, we will merely wait for MCDs to come out next and complete the "recovery" picture.



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A Closer Look Why Futures Bounced 30 Points Off The Lows On Today's ECB BTFD Bailout

As commented previously, the reason for today's 30 point rip in emini futures from the lows hit just 4 hours ago, was a test of the ECB emergency BTFD service, today provided courtesy of Reuters which, just after the European close, gave what is ever more incorrectly called the "market" its dose of upward momentum ignition, when it reported that, in addition to the previously announced "private QE" which includes ABS and covered bond purchases, that Goldman's head of the European central bank would also go ahead and monetize corporate bonds, taking a step even further than the Fed, which at least is confined to public securities, and directly influencing private asset prices.



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Frontrunning: October 21

  • Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow as jet hits snow plough (Reuters)
  • China GDP Growth Rate Is Slowest in Five Years (WSJ)
  • Oil at $80 a Barrel Muffles Forecasts for U.S. Shale Boom (BBG)
  • Carney Faces Scrutiny on Worst Payments Outage Since 2007 (BBG)
  • Ebola crisis turns a corner as U.S. issues new treatment protocols (Reuters)
  • Gold Buying Rebounds in India on Diwali Jewelry Sales (BBG)
  • China-backed hackers may have infiltrated Apple's iCloud (Reuters)
  • Greece Said to Seek Recycling of Bank Funds for Exit (BBG)


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Latest Central Bank Sticksave Halts Futures Slide, Sends E-Mini Soaring After ECB Said "Looking To Buy Bonds"

To summarize: the S&P 500 is now almost 100 points higher from last Tuesday as the global central bank plunge protection team of first Williams and Bullard hinting at QE4, then ECB's Coeure "ECB buying to start in a few days", then China's latest $30 billion "targeted stimulus", then the Japanese GPIF hinting at a 25% stock rebalancing in the pension fund, and finally again the ECB, this time "buying of corporate bonds on secondary markets", rolls on and manages to send stocks into overdrive. Even as absolutely nothing has been fixed, as Europe is still tumbling into a triple-drip recession, as Emerging Markets are being slammed by a global growth slowdown and the US corporate earnings picture is as bleak as it gets. Because "fundamentals."



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"Anti-Petrodollar" CEO Of French Energy Giant Total Dies In Freak Plane Crash In Moscow

Three months ago, the CEO of Total, Christophe de Margerie, dared utter the phrase heard around the petrodollar world, "There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars,"  as we noted here, and despite Western-imposed sanctions on Russia, Total is continuing to pursue a natural gas project in Yamal, a joint venture with Russia's Novatek. Today, RT reports the dreadful news that he was killed in a business jet crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow after the aircraft hit a snow-plough on take-off. The airport issued a statement confirming "a criminal investigation has been opened into the violation of safety regulations," adding that along with 3 crewmembers on the plane, the snow-plough driver was also killed. Debris from the aircraft was scattered up to 200 meters from the crash site.



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A Caliph In A Wilderness Of Mirrors

"He's invincible. He beheads. He smuggles. He conquers. He's the ultimate jack-of-all-trades. No Tomahawk or Hellfire can touch him. He always gets what he wants; in Kobani; in Anbar province; with the House of Saud (which he wants to replace) trying to make Putin (who he wants to behead) suffer because of low oil prices..."



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