If only stock indices only included stocks that were green... IBM's 80-point weight on the Dow disappointed some but that was no problem for the index-pushers who needed the S&P 500 to tap its 200DMA. The only thing that mattered to stocks today was EURJPY... and that managed to get the S&P 500 'almost' to its 200DMA (but noit quite) and ensure a green close for the Dow. The USDollar slipped lower all day (-0.4%) led by EUR and GBP strength. Gold ($1245) and silver gained on the day but even with a weak USD, oil and copper dropped (with oil very volatile). US Treasury yields drifted lower by 1-2bps (thin trading) decoupling from the post-European close exuberance in stocks. HY credit decoupled from stocks initially (post-Europe) but as stocks ramped so did spreads and VIX continues to run ahead of stocks (under 19 today) as it appears hedges are being lifted. Of course, AAPL was a big help, up over 2% pushing back towards its magical $100 ahead of this evening's results. S&P futures volume was dismally low.
Based on quarterly 13F filings and estimated short positions of the equity holdings of 909 funds, BofAML calculates that hedge funds raised net exposure to a new record high of $683bn at the beginning of 3Q 2014, while reducing cash holdings to a record low of 3.5%. Gross exposure rose to 190%, or 207% if ETF positioning is considered, which is back to the 2007 peak... In other words, hedge funds have never been more bullishly positioned (just as large speculators had never been so bearishly positioned into last week's bond-short capitulation).
The problem for a city like Houston (or many others like it), with deep ties to the production and oil, is a "shock" from a supply/demand reversion could bring the economic "boom" quickly to an end. We are certainly not saying that the "wheels are about to come off of the cart." However, we do suggest that there is a potential for a very negative shock in the energy space given the extreme complacency that current exists. History suggests that true "miracles" are few and far between as most tend to just "illusions of hope."
Squeezed between steering wheel, handbrake, door and dashboard, Katerina reads in her history book, takes notes for school. Next to her, on the driver’s seat, cat Eddy stares right in the camera lens. It may look like a cute snapshot on a sunny day, if it wasn’t for a sad detail: a withering spring stuck in a roll of toilet paper. A distinctive memory of a former normal life that turned into a grim reality for a family of four.
"Did a few loose strands of Ebola seep into the organs and tissues of global finance last week? The US equity markets sure enough puked, the Nikkei bled out through its eyeballs, all the collagen melted out of Greek bonds, and treasuries bloated up grotesquely on a putrid stream of terrified “liquidity” that led two Federal Reserve proctologists to maunder about the possibility of a QE-4 laxative, out of which, in due time, will surely gush explosive bloody fluxes of deeper financial sickness."
"The Economic Outlook Keeps Getting Better And Better" Says Fed President Who Last Week Unveiled QE4Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/20/2014 - 14:02
"I’ll be honest: These speeches get more and more enjoyable as time goes by because the economic outlook keeps getting better and better. Instead of gloom and doom with a scattering of hopeful notes, things are now pretty upbeat, with only a couple of standard economist’s caveats thrown in.... So the message is that things are getting better. We’re on track to end our asset purchases and we’re preparing for the time the economy can sustain an end to accommodation. We’ll want to see improvements in unemployment, wages, and inflation, and we’ll be driven by the data. But all in all, it’s good news—with just a few of those requisite caveats thrown in."
This is the net result of commoditization: there's no premium for commoditized capital, labor, goods, services or content.
Why Chinese Growth Forecasts Just Crashed To A Paltry 3.9% - And Are Going Even Lower - In One ChartSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/20/2014 - 12:11
Sadly for China's social instability, Chinese growth is going not only to 3.9% but much, much lower. The reason? Quietly, over the past 5 years, China raked up an epic debt load, which by 2015 is expected to hit a whopping 252% of GDP, or a 100% of GDP increase in debt, just to keep its growth dynamo running. A dynamo which has now fizzled, as can be seen best in the Chinese housing bubble which as we have reported previously, has now burst, and China is desperate to keep imminent hard landing, as controlled as possible. Here is Exhibit A...
For the first time in the 600-year history of Michelangelo's masterpiece, Pope Francis has decided to rent out the Sistine Chapel for an $8000-per-head Porsche Travel Club concert. What makes this unprecedented action even more 'interesting' is the fact that The Vatican - in all its omnipotent wisdom - also made an announcement that it will be limiting the number of vistors (read 'common folk') allowed inside the chapel and as IBTimes reports, demanding vistors must be silent and cannot take photographs. So much for Pope Francis' "poor Church of the poor."
"...the underlying cause of a crash will be found in the preceding months or years, in the progressively increasing build-up of market cooperativity, or effective interactions between investors, often translating into accelerating ascent of the market price (the bubble). According to this ‘critical’ point of view, the specific manner by which prices collapsed is not the most important problem: a crash occurs because the market has entered an unstable phase and any small disturbance or process may have triggered the instability."
Confused why one second the market is down 1%, and then moments later, upon returning from the bathroom, one finds it up by the same amount on negligible volume? Simple: there continues to be zero liquidity. Although, not just in equities, but in bonds as well, something this website - and the TBAC and Citi's Matt King - has warned for over year. It is the lack of bond liquidity that led to last week's dramatic surge in bond prices as Bloomberg noticed overnight. So for those curious just how bad bond liquidity is now, here is JPM's Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou with the explanation:
Doctors "Hit Breaking-Point" As Ebola Death Toll Tops 4500; Nigeria 'Clear' But Harvard Issues Travel BanSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/20/2014 - 10:23
The WHO is coming under increasing scrutiny over its response to the the deadly epidemic. As The BBC reports, after stating that the death toll has hit 4,555 worldwide, a leaked internal document shows "nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall." There are a few tidbits of good news this weekend: the Spanish patient's test returned negative, 48 "at-risk" people in Dallas have been cleared, and Nigeria has been declared "ebola-free". Sadly, the bad news keeps coming: the virus has spread to new regions of Guinea (affecting mining operations), Moodys warns the economic legacy will linger, IMF slashes growth forecasts for Africa, and most critically, MSF doctors are at their breaking point: "The epidemic is still getting worse... I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel." Lastly, Harvard has imposed a travel ban from Ebola-affected nations.
After America's commercial/investment banks crushed all momentum chasers hedge funds in 2014, with one after another after a third recommendation to go long stocks and short bonds starting in late of 2013 and repeating the broken record every single month because, you know, "the recovery", ignoring the massive outperformance of bonds over stocks in 2014 as Treasury shorts have been forced to cover at ever higher prices now that the global economic emperor was finally was revealed to be completely and utterly naked (thanks Goldman) one would think that banks would have eaten at least a little of their own cooking, and partaken in what has become a ridiculously crowded 10 Year TSY short. Well, one would be wrong. As in very wrong.