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Philly Fed Surges To 7-Month Highs As "Hope" Crashes To 1-Year Low

The Philly Fed Business Outlook survey surged to 16.6, beating expectations by the most since September and rising to 7-month highs. Most subindices rose with shipments surging and new orders rising but prices paid flat. The big worry though is that this six-month forward expectations collapsed to their lowest since April 2013. So the pent-up-weather-demand is being seen as entirely unsustainable by the survey respondents...



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RANsquawk Weekly Wrap - 17th April 2014



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Ukraine Bars Entry To Russian Men Aged 16-60

In a somewhat stunning turn of events, entry to Ukraine is being dramatically restricted to Russian men. Interfax reports, Ukraine border service officials "significantly restricting" entry of adult males from Russia.

UKRAINE BANS ENTRY TO RUSSIAN MEN OVER TERROR THREAT: ASTAKHOV

Aeroflot notes on their website that entry will be denied to "all citizens of Russia male aged 16 to 60 years" and "citizens of Ukraine who are registered in Crimea."

 



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Watch As A Ukraine MiG "Buzzes The Trees" To Spook East Ukraine Civilians

A few days ago, in an attempt to regain the Krematorsk air base in the "separatist" eastern region, as part of the "counter-terrorist" offensive launched against the pro-Russians, Kiev also started what according to reports was an airborne press by Ukraine Mig fight jets. The condemnation by Russia to such an escalation against the country's own people was swift, and curiously, so was that by Ukraine's own troops which deserted the country's army to join eastern forces, taking with them an unknown number of tanks and APCs. So in what perhaps is a follow on attempt to preempt further escalation, Ukraine's air force has adopted a maneuver taken straight out of Top Gun's "Buzzing the Tower" approach, only this one involves "Buzzing the Tress." Watch as a Ukraine pilot does a fly by and narrowly misses hitting a tree.



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Keynesianism: The Road To Hell?

Keynesianism is a fraud. Supply-siderism is a con. The dollar is a scam. All were developed by people with good intentions. But these good intentions not only paved the road to Hell, they greased it. There was no point putting on the brakes. Once underway, there was no stopping it. Right now, the US slides towards some sort of Hell. Half a century of deceit has produced a nation that is ready to believe anything … and go along with anything … provided it promises to make them rich.



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Buying Panic Appears Just In Time For Op-Ex

Just a couple of hours ago we noted the odd lack of total buying panic that the market was seeing ahead of option-expiration. However, we did not have to wait long to be greeted with the now ubiquitous "vertical-straight-line-up" formation. Beware though USDJPY just rolled over...



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Snowden Calls Into Putin Telethon To Discuss Legality Of Mass Surveillance

While the western media paints Vladmir Putin as some cross between Napoleon and Hitler marauding across Europe breaking international laws willy-nilly, there is one red line he is apparently unwilling to cross. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, none other than Edward Snowden called in to a Putin live telethon and asked the Russian President: "Does Russia intercept millions of citizens’ data?" Putin's response (whether true or not) is worth paying attention to by his opponent on the world stage: "Russia uses surveillance techniques for spying on individuals only with the sanction of a court order. This is our law, and therefore there is no mass surveillance in our country."



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Initial Jobless Claims Beat; Continuing Claims At Lowest Since Dec 2007

Initial jobless claims rose very modestly from last week's near 7-year lows but handily beat expectations with the 4-week average at its lowest since September 2007. Of course, as Yellen explained yesterday, none of this matters as if one indicator of jobs improvement gets too strong to enable more easy money, we simply flip to another that indicates a different worse (more real) reality. Continuing Claims also dropped (beating expectations) to uits lowest since Dec 2007 (as if the whole crisis never happened).



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Goldman Reports Worst Q1 Results Since Lehman, Average Employee Pay Drops 7% To $376,840

Moments ago Goldman reports its first quarter earnings, which beat expectations that had been drastically lowered into this quarter. Specifically, total Q1 revenue printed at $9.33 billion, beating expectations of $8.66Bn, while EPS, which declined 6% from a year ago, also beat Estimates of $3.49 at $4.02. Looking at the key operating segments, the all important FICC revenue was $2.85Bn, also above the sharply reduced estimate of $2.63Bn, while IB was $1.78Bn, more than the Wall Street estimate of $1.52Bn. That was the good news. The bad news: Goldman's first quarter results were the worst since the Lehman crisis, and just to put the critical FICC group's revenues in perspective: at $2.9 billion they were less than half what FICC recorded in Q1 2010 when people apparently still traded.



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Frontrunning: April 17

  • Putin Doesn't Rule Out Sending Troops (WSJ)
  • Japan Cuts Economic View on Tax Rise (WSJ)
  • No "harsh weather" in Chipotle restaurants where comp store sales rose 13.4% (PR)
  • No sanctions for you: EU sanctions push on Russia falters amid big business lobbying (FT)
  • Consumer Spending on Health Care Jumps as Obamacare Takes Hold (BBG)
  • China Seen Cracking on Property Controls (BBG)
  • Google, IBM results raise questions about other tech-sector companies (Reuters)
  • California city evacuation lifted after military ordnance found (Reuters)
  • For Obama, Standoff With Moscow Jumbles Plans at Home and Abroad (WSJ)


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Putin Says Russia Will Respond To NATO Moves, Accuses Kiev Of Plunging Ukraine Into "Abyss"

It didn't take long for Putin to respond to the latest news from the west that NATO was about to boost its military presence in proximity to Russia. Specifically he said that Putin does not see a reason to fear NATO which was to be expected. But the even more predictable punchline: Russia must respond when NATO moves closer to country’s border, President Vladimir Putin says during annual televised call-in show. The Russian president made his views clear during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, ahead of the Geneva two-day meeting during which the Ukraine problam is (again) supposed to get a diplomatic solution (it won't). During the Q&A Putin also accused the Kiev government of committing "a serious crime" by sending in troops to quell unrest in Ukraine's east, as a clash overnight left three pro-Russian protesters dead and 13 wounded. And just to make sure there is a solid enough soundbite, the former KGB spy accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an "abyss".



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It's Op-Ex Day, And The Buying Panic Is Late

After a solid day for risk yesterday, surging higher on a continuation of the rumor that Japan's economy will deteriorate so much the BOJ will have to print more money (even though overnight ex BOJ governor Sekido said Kuroda won't print more) we have a more cautious tone this morning heading into the Easter long weekend. A double earnings miss from Google and IBM following the US market close, comments from the Chinese Premier suggesting that the government will keep its policy settings unchanged, and a press conference from Russia’s President Putin in which the Russian president as expected, has refused to back down, has put a small dampener on sentiment today. Add the fact that due to Good Friday April equities Op-Ex will take place today and trading in the next 9 hours promises to be more unrigged than ever, especially if the NY Fed trading desk manages to slam the VIX into single-digit territory



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The Richest Man In Asia Is Selling Everything In China

Here’s a guy you want to bet on - Li Ka-Shing. Li is reportedly the richest person in Asia with a net worth well in excess of $30 billion, much of which he made being a shrewd property investor. Li Ka-Shing was investing in mainland China back in the early 90s, way back before it became the trendy thing to do. Now, Li wants out of China. All of it.



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FBI Plans To Have 52 Million Photos In Facial Recognition Database By 2015

There is a disturbing push by the FBI to create an extensive facial recognition database. The information received by the EFF via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, demonstrates that the feds may have a mugshot database with up to 52 million photos by 2015. The program is called Next Generation Identification (NGI), and the aspect of it that bothers the EFF most is the fact that non-criminal and criminal photos will be combined in the same database. So someone who has no criminal record can suddenly be flagged as a suspect just because an algorithm says so. What’s worst, research shows that the potential for false positive identification increases as the dataset increases.



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Special Forces Confront Chinese 'Investors' Demanding Failed Trust "Pay Back Our Money"

"We have been cheated by CCB," exclaimed one Chinese investor who invested 1 million yuan ($160k) in China Construction Bank's Songhuajing River No.77 Trust (which offered returns of 9.8 to 12% per annum). It appears that a 12% yielding financial instrument was not hint enough of the risk to the dozens of investors who confronted police in troubled Sanhxi province yesterday demanding their money back from the trust which has missed 6 monthly payments in a row. People wearing white masks with the words "despicable bank" and "pay back our money" were among at least 30 investors facing special-forces officers in dark uniforms and the group dispersed soon after the bank had asked for more time, adding "the bank said they wouldn't risk their reputation."



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