• Bruce Krasting
    12/18/2014 - 21:42
      The one thing that Jordan can't do in this war is appear to be weak.

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Deciphering Yellen's Rub-Goldbergian Message

Through the overly-complex verbiage riddled with a copious number of contingencies, a simple message was actually able to surface.  The net result is modestly hawkish and one consistent with our "Sooner but Slower" rate cycle perspective. Markets are being driven more by fear of missing the upside, and fear of under-performing peers and benchmarks, than by any other factor.  This Pavlovian response has worked well in recent years and encouraged by the Fed.  However, this pattern is in the 9th inning.  Moreover, such herd-like behavior will run into great difficult due to dreadful market liquidity that is the result of regulatory over-reach; indications that were evident in markets over the past few weeks.



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"Not" Stabilized - Crude Crashes 7% Intraday: WTI $54 Handle, Brent Below $60

Crude is over 7% off its intraday highs.. But "Ignore it" - Yellen said it's great news (and transitory)... The last time Crude was here, the S&P 500 was 65 points lower... [WTI closed at its lows $54.05 in Jan '15 futures]



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How The Fed Masterfully Punk'd Algos Into A Stock Buying Frenzy

"As humans struggled to understand what nuance, if any, existed between the two catch phrases, the automated computer programs that do so much of the trading these days immediately reacted and so stocks and Treasuries shot higher in tandem. Did the machines start a buying binge after a simple, successful search for “considerable time?” It’s possible, according to Paul Tetlock, an associate professor at Columbia Business School, who has researched how stocks react to news stories."



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Biggest Short Squeeze In 38 Months Sparks Stocks Triple-Decouple

"Most Shorted" stocks are up 4.75% from yesterday's lows - the biggest squeeze since October 2011. This squeeze has entirely decoupled US equities from VIX... from credit... and from crude oil. But when did any of that matter...



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White House Confirms Sony Hack Is "National Security" Matter, Merits "Approporiate Response"

Absent YouTube clips of young North Korean hackers actually attacking Sony, the Obama administration appears to have made up its unequivocal mind that they are responsible... (even as they say the Sony hack origin is still under investigation) and now...

*SONY HACK BEING TREATED AS NATIONAL SECURITY MATTER: EARNEST
*EARNEST SAYS SONY HACKING MERITS 'APPROPRIATE RESPONSE'

The White House spokesman added that daily meetings are being held on the attack. We wonder just how soon it will be before the Nobel Peace Prize winner decides it's time to take 'action'.



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America's Most (And Least) Obese Jobs

As employers shift to more proactive efforts to help their workforces "put the Twinkie down," we thought a look at the most (and least) obese jobs in America would provide additional data on potential career paths for today's disenfranchised youth. What The Wall Street Journal found in their data is perhaps surprising with 'sedentary' scientists and economists are the least obese, and 'active' firefighters and cops are the most obese...



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Someone Is Lying



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The Fed & "The Grandest Con Job In The History Of The World"

"I just get annoyed with the ridiculous foolishness of people.  We’ve got to start using our own brains.  The Fed stopped using any benchmarks because while the benchmarks were improving, the economy wasn’t and isn’t.  And so they were being railroaded by the transparency that benchmarks provide.  And now it is just a black box of various indicators that will be analyzed in real time to form justifiable actions, far too complex for you and I but trust them that there is a definite method and it’s very quantifiable at that, they just can’t tell us what it is because it would just confuse everyone. Does anyone really not get it?? What is happening is the grandest con job in the history of the world."



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Massive Volume "Panic Selling" Cuts Warren Buffett's Chinese Car Maker BYD In Half Overnight

For the second time in 2 days, a Chinese car maker's stock has been utterly devastated overnight - on absolutely no news. Shares in BYD - the Chinese electric car maker part-owned by Warren Buffett - crashed 47% in a bout of total panic selling (before recovering modestly), just a day after Geely - another car maker - crashed 22% on an earnings warning. The reason - perhaps unsurprising - given by some is worries over Mainland China IPOs "caused a liquidity squeeze," as the recent rally in mainland shares is led by leverage financing leading to major margin-calls on modest drops. Is it any wonder the PBOC is trying to tamp down the speculation.



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The "Unequivocally 'Not' Good" Reality Of Lower Oil Prices & Jobs

The drop in oil prices is certain to cause some incremental unemployment in the U.S. energy industry; the question is simply how much and what that means for the American economy as a whole.



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Panic-Buying Ends Abruptly As Credit & Crude Crumble

500 Dow points (and 80 S&P points) later... and suddenly the exuberant short squeeze ends (as AUDJPY runs out of steam). WTI Crude has crashed back to $55.50 after testing $59. The Energy ETF XLE has given up all its gains (who could have seen that coming?). And HY credit markets have slumped from the US open with stocks now catching down...



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Emerging Markets In Danger

There are some signs of trouble in emerging markets. And the money at risk now is bigger than ever.



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Just 3 Energy Charts

Because "fun-durr-mentals." Oil prices are now lower on the day, and significantly off the highs...but energy stocks are surging. While energy credit spreads are tighter, the move in energy stocks is exuberant to say the least.



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Crude Prices Pump-And-Dump After Saudi "Temporary Problem" Comments

Crude prices surged from $56.50 to $59 after Saudi Oil Minister al-Naimi comments that, as Bloomberg reports, the global oil markets are experiencing "temporary" instability caused mainly by a slowdown in the world economy, sabre-rattling that increased supply from regions outside OPEC (cough US cough), where oil-production costs are higher, is affecting the market. However, between his comments on no production cuts (and rising exports) and the UAE Oil Minister then confirming OPEC will not change output levels and has no intention of holding an emergency OPEC meeting, crude prices have plunged back down below $57. Energy stocks don't care though...



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Philly Fed Crashes From 21-Year High; Employment, New Orders Collapse

What a farce. After printing 40.8 in November - a 21 year high - Philly Fed collapsed back to 24.5 (missing expectations of 26.0). New Orders, employment (lowest since April), and the workweek plunged as The Philly Fed notes the survey suggests a slower pace of expansion of the region’s manufacturing sector. Despite plunging oil prices, the prices paid index only fell modestly... on the heels of the PMIs, it appears the "US economy is awesome" meme is coming unglued rapidly.



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