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S&P Futures Lift Back Into Green For 2014

As we noted earlier, yesterday's ramp and the continued push higher in futures overnight has been stoked by first Japan, then China, and then Europe headlines proclaiming the great news that economic data is bad enough for the central banks to come back to refill the punchbowl... The result, as the charts below show, is 'magical' as the S&P pushes back up to the crucial for confidence positive territory for 2014.



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Bank Of America Reports Q1 Loss On Massive Legal Charge, Ongoing Operations Disappoint As NIM Tumbles

Moments ago Bank of America reported its Q1 earnings, and as expected, they were quite a mess, with the bank posting an actual loss of $0.05 on expectations of a $0.27 beat, which however - in the spirit of JPM - was the result of a $6 billion pretax charge related to various litigation items, which amounted to $0.40 per share. So Bank of America would like you, dear bank analysts, to do what you do to JPM every quarter with its recurring "non-recurring" litigation item, and please add it back. But what is worse is that Bank of America reported Net Interest Income of $10.1 billion, far below the expected $11 billion, and an amount that had nothing to do with legal fees, "one-time" charges and reserve releases. Why was this number so weak? Because not only does BofA's balance sheet continue to collapse, with its mortgage services portfolio crashing from $1.185 trillion to just $780 billion, but because BofA just reported the lowest NIM, or Net Interest Yield as it likes to call it, in history at 2.29%. So much for that NIM surge that everyone was expecting.



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Frontrunning: April 16

  • Ukraine Says Russia Exporting ‘Terror’ Amid Eastern Push (BBG)
  • Civil War Threat in Ukraine (Reuters)
  • China Shoe Plant Strike Disrupts Output at Nike, Adidas Supplier (BBG)
  • Mt Gox to liquidate (WSJ)
  • Ex-Co-Op Bank Chairman Charged With Cocaine Possession (BBG)
  • Goldman Sachs plans to jump-start stock-trading business (WSJ)
  • Credit Suisse first-quarter profit falls as trading tumbles (Reuters)
  • U.K. Unemployment Rate Falls to Five-Year Low (BBG)
  • Lawmakers Back High-Frequency Trade Curbs in EU Markets Law (BBG)
  • Yahoo's growth anemic as turnaround chugs along (Reuters)
  • Spain ETF Grows as Rajoy Attracts Record U.S. Investments (BBG)


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Futures Soar 40 Points In Hours On Hopes Of Futher Economic Weakness

We summarized yesterday's both better and worse than expected Chinese GDP data as follows: "a substantial deterioration of the economy, one which was to be expected yet one which can be spun as either bullish thanks to the GDP "beat", and negatively if the purpose is to make a case for more PBOC stimulus." Sure enough here are the headlines that "explain" the latest overnight futures surge which has once again brought the S&P into the green on the year - a 40 point Spoo move in hours since yesterday's bottom when the Nikkei "leaked" Japan's economy is on the ropes :

  • Stocks Rise on China Stimulus Speculation

Here one should of course add the comment that launched yesterday's rebound, namely the Japanese warning that its economy is about to contract, adding to calls for more BOJ stimulus, and finally this other Bloomberg headline:

  • The Strengthening Case for ECB Easing

And there you have it - goodbye "fundamental" case; welcome back "central banks will once again bail everyone out" case. Hopefully today's news are absolutely abysmal to add "US economic contraction fear renew calls for untapering" to the list of headlines that should send the S&P to all time highs by the end of today.



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Guest Post: The Slow Death Of The Old Global Order

"Only through a historical perspective can we fully understand the profound developments of our time and glean, perhaps only dimly, where they are taking us. One thing is clear: they are taking us into a new era. The only question is how much disruption, chaos and bloodshed will attend the transition from the Old Order to whatever emerges to replace it."



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Baffle With Fake BS: Chinese Q1 GDP Beats And Misses At The Same Time

In keeping with the tradition of Chinese data being fully Schrodingerized, not to mention completely goalseeked and fake, moments ago China reported that its GDP for the quarter which ended 15 days ago has not only been compiled and analyzed, but somehow once again it both beat and missed at the same time. It beat on a Year over Year basis rising 7.4%, just fractionally above the 7.3% expected, while at the same time it missed on a sequential basis with Q1 GDP growing 1.4% Q/Q, just below the 1.5% expected, suggesting the annualized Q/Q has slowed to a meager 5.7% - a number far below China's 7.0% minimum threshold target.



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HFT Firm CEO Seeks Taxpayer Dollars To Save His Hockey Team

The Florida Panthers finished this season with the 2nd lowest points total in the NHL and drew the 2nd lowest average attendance of 14,200 fans per home game. The team is losing $25 million annually. All of this is the exact opposite situation of the team's owner - Vincent Viola of HFT firm Virtu Financial infamy. As Bloomberg reports, Viola, whose high-frequency trading firm plans to raise millions in an initial public offering next month, is seeking tax dollars to help cover the bills for the hockey team he bought six months ago. Viola asked lawmakers in South Florida’s Broward County to use $64 million in taxpayer funds for arena bond payments owed by the team. In addition to taking over bond payments, which would be made over the next 14 years, the team wants concessions that would cost county taxpayers another $14 million in the same period.



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Tuesday Humor: Biggest Fed Dove Concerned About "Real Erosion Of People's Purchasing Power"

In all honesty, we were a little confused whether to call this Tuesday Humor or Tuesday Schizophrenia, because moments ago the biggest dove at the Fed, Minneapolis Fed's one-time converted uberhawk Kocherlakota (who recall fired his two biggest hawkish opponents at his regional Fed) just came up with the most idiotic, and hence hilarious, thing a president of the one institution whose only job is to devalue the fiat currency of the host nation can say:

  • KOCHERLAKOTA SEES ‘REAL EROSION’ OF PEOPLE’S PURCHASING POWER

Yep - the biggest dove in the Fed - the only person who disagreed with the Fed's decision to continue tapering - is suddenly worried about the erosion in your purchasing power dear people. What nobility. What humanism.



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The "Shocking" Buying Spree Of America's Mysterious Third Largest Treasury Holder Ramps Higher

In summary: someone, unclear who, operating through Belgium and most likely the Euroclear service (possible but unconfirmed), has added a record $141 billion in Treasurys since December, or the month in which Bernanke announced the start of the Taper, bringing the host's total to an unprecedented $341 billion!



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Equity Rallies Are Corrective, Downside Risks Remain, BofAML Says

As the second algo-crazy spike in stocks in 2 days draws to a close, it is perhaps worth considering BofAML's Macneil Curry's perspective on the S&P 500 - despite the potential for further near-term strength, equity gains are corrective and downside risk remain... or put a different way "sell the f##king rips." Just as growthless-ly, Curry advises 5s30s flatteners in Treasuries as the slowing trend is set to continue.



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Bomb Squad Arrives At Boston Marathon Finish Line To Investigate Unattended Bags

On the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing (which oddly enough the NSA did not prevent, even before its expansive anti-terrorist exploits were revealed by Edward Snowden) it was practically unavoidable that there would be some echos of that tragic day. Sure enough as CBS reports, "the area near the finish line of the Boston Marathon was evacuated Tuesday night after two unattended backpacks were left at the finish line. Police tape has been put up around the photo bridge on Boylston Street. WBZ-TV photographers on scene say they saw a person with the backpack screaming “Boston Strong” before police cleared everyone from the area."



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Putin Tells Merkel "Ukraine On The Verge Of A Civil War" As Germany Agrees To Re-Sell Russian Gas To Ukraine

A day after Putin called Obama to warn him that only the US president can prevent bloodshed in Ukraine - something which Obama failed at based on this morning's reports out of east Ukraine - German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a follow up phone call with the Kremlin a few hours ago, in which Putin told her that "The sharp escalation of the conflict puts the country, in essence, on the verge of a civil war".



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This Is How Free Americans Really Are

Today is tax day in the Land of the Free – the deadline for roughly 150 million individual tax returns to be filed. Of course, those who refuse will be hauled off to prison at the point of a gun (we’ve advanced beyond swords). And everybody knows it. It seems completely incongruent for a nation that is supposed to stand for the ideals of freedom and justice to be world famous for its medieval prosecution of tax policy. And there’s one clear example that we want to share with you today.



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Venezuela's Socialist Leader Maduro Doing His Best Obama Impersonation

Because apparently all great socialist thinkers went to the same school:

VENEZUELA SHOULD OBTAIN MORE TAXES FROM WEALTHY, MADURO SAYS
MADURO SAYS HE PROPOSES FISCAL ‘REVOLUTION’

And, as Bloomberg reports, "I will call on the people to launch an economic offensive superior to the one in November and December"... "Economic actions to focus on production, supply and fair prices"



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The One Condition Under Which The US Treasury Permits Korea To Manipulate Its Currency

" The Korean authorities should limit foreign exchange intervention to the exceptional circumstances of disorderly market conditions" - US Treasury



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