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Head Of Asia's Largest Clothing Retailer: "I Don’t Have An Optimistic View About Consumption In Japan"

Today we get some more on the ground perspective on the abysmal (second) reign of Abe, where the stock market may be approaching bear market territory (after everyone was convinced the Nikkei was set to soar in 2014), but it is really the economy which is about to get it, most likely resulting in Abe's second premature evacuation stage left (with the now traditional Imodium scapegoat) well before the work of Abenomics is completed, in the process sending the USDJPY once again back into double digit territory. The bottom line: “I don’t have an optimistic view about consumption in Japan,” Yanai told reporters yesterday in Tokyo. He said he had yet to see an effect on sales from the tax increase. He will quite soon, and he won't be happy with what he sees.



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Stocks Plunge To New Lows For The Day

The Dow, S&P, and Russell 2000 just pushed to fresh lows for the day after some dead-cat-bouncing hope intraday. Weakness in stocks is worse than FX carry for now but more in line with bond strength as Treasury yields push to new cycle lows. WTI Crude is up and gold is holding gains as the USD is stable.



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The Diet Coke Bubble Also Pops

With everyone focusing on the stock market and debating whether the second tech bubble has finally popped as it tends to do every so many years, another bubble also appears to have burst, and this time it is literally a bubble - that in carbonated diet coke. The WSJ reported that "for 13 years running, Americans have been drinking less Coke. Now Diet Coke sales are falling off a cliff. Globally, sales growth of soda is slowing amid concerns about sugar intake and obesity."



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US/UK Investigating New Assad Chemical Attacks In Syria

It seems tensions in Ukraine are not escalating fast enough for the US warmongers. As The Daily Mail reports, allegations have emerged that Syria's Assad regime has carried out four new chemical attacks in the suburbs of Damascus. We can only assume that there is clear "YouTube-able" proof of this as The White House said it was "monitoring reports." The attacks were carried out using industrial rather than weaponised agents to lessen the chances of military intervention from Western powers, it was reported. UK diplomats added that they're "aware of the allegations but not able to corroborate them at this time." The Syrian National Coalition said, "we condemn the Assad regime’s gas attacks," and called on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to carry out an investigation.



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Guest Post: Watching For The Goldman Ticket

In a world filled with innuendo, false flags, and more one thing remains constant: What is Goldman Sachs (GS) up to and more importantly – why?



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Best And Worst Performing Hedge Funds Of 2014: The Full List

We have already reported that when it comes to hedge fund performance, the last couple of weeks have been a slaughter, especially for the high-beta, biotech, social-networking, Russia and Japan focused hedge funds. For everyone curious what this translates into numerically, here is the latest HSBC hedge fund performance report, with select brand name hedge funds highlighted relative to the broader stock market. The good news: unlike in the past 5 years, the S&P500 is only outperformring about half the marquee names (as opposed to 90%+). The bad news: this is a delayed report and we can't wait to see what kind of carnage the week that is about to end has wrought in the space.



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China Drills Into The "Roof Of The World" To Alleviate Foreign Dependence

From copper to iron to oil, China is the world’s leading importer of almost every raw mineral. Wary of the risks this dependence brings, Beijing is looking ever inward to exploit the mineral wealth of its interior, including the politically contentious and technically challenging Tibetan Plateau. The most recent development is a 7-kilometer deep borehole drilled by Chinese resource exploration teams. The exact location of the borehole, the deepest ever drilled at such a high altitude, as well as the companies involved in the exploration are being kept secret.



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Liberation Of Europe From Gazprom Due To Nat Gas Exports Is Nonsense, Cheniere CEO

Despite the ongoing propoganda machine's push for a bailout plan to 'liberate Europe from Gazprom's claws', The FT reports that the head of Cheniere Energy, which is due to become the US’s first new natural gas exporter next year, said the ability of US energy to save Europe from its dependence on Russian supplies had been overstated. Simply put, as Putin knows all too well (but Obama and his merry men in the mainstream media seem destined to perpetuate), Cheniere's CEO blasts "It’s flattering to be talked about like this, but it’s all nonsense. It’s so much nonsense that I can’t believe anybody really believes it."



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Here Is The Reason Why Half Of Today's IPOs Were Pulled

The market is 4% off its all time highs which means the time to pull IPOs due to "market conditions" has come. Here's why.



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RANsquawk - Weekly Wrap 11th April 2014



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Putting The 'Correction' In Perspective

"Turmoil" indeed...



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What's Wrong With This "Housing Recovery" Picture?

We asked this question a quarter ago following the quarterly results by Wells Fargo - America's biggest mortgage lender - but we never got an appropriate answer. So now that the data has been updated for the latest Wells mortgage origination and application numbers, we ask the question again: considering both mortgage originations and applications are crashing to levels not seen since the Lehman crisis, just what is wrong with this "housing recovery" picture?



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Obama Announces Kathleen Sebelius Resignation

... Because the sheer success of Obamacare was too great for her to handle.



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Is This Why Copper Is Tanking?

Yup, Gartman again.



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Europe Folds As Putin Tells It To Pay Ukraine's Gazprom Bill, Or Else

Another day ending in "y" means another day in which Putin plays the G(roup of most insolvent countries)-7 like a fiddle.



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