As S&P 500 futures gently probe the other side of 1070, a look under the hood at  how far US equity indices have fallen from their recent peak,  mid-day market internals and  an egregious intra-second iteration of HFT-induced stop-hunting (i.e. electronic rape).
VOLD (NYSE Up-Down Volume Differential) broke below 4/16 opex levels and then some today; registering the single most negative close (-1,621,467) since 3/02/09. A quick look at the S&P 500 E-mini, NYSE Tick, VOLD, VIX, ADD, UVOL & DVOL.
Treasury announces plan to sell 1.5 billion Citigroup (C) shares "in an orderly fashion" ...  Treasury press release,  C weekly chart,  C 30-minute chart,  BKX weekly chart
A chart explaining the six primary strategies of buy-side short-term algorithmic traders.
As the herpe of sovereign default continues to flare across Europe, Jürgen Stark of the ECB paints a refreshingly honest portrait of the horizon: "we may already have entered into the next phase of the crisis: a sovereign debt crisis." The sum of 'Taking stock: where do we stand in the crisis?' in four lines: while continental Europe is a deformed cripple; the US, UK and Japan are each morbidly obese, wart-ridden trolls; it's last call and everyone's drunk; so who do you want to lay with?
AAPL earnings blew the doors off, DARPA got its grapefruit on with an Industry Day for the "Mind's Eye Program" and even 'Hitler is no longer upset about the iPad'. Wonder what Jimmy Cayne was up to in the clubhouse between bridge tournaments? After inspecting AAPL and market internals, almost as many looks at POT as UC-Boulder saw yesterday.
Athens Exchange Posts Craigslist Ad ISO "Market Surveillance System", Launches New Greek Bank FuturesSubmitted by Chopshop on 04/18/2010 16:23 -0400
Though the Greek push-of-war between the ECB and IMF has been postponed until Wednesday, a new FTSE/ATHEX-CSE Banking index futures contract begins trading on Monday. With the fiscal future of Greece literally hanging in the balance, what could possibly be more fitting in the interim than the launch of a new futures contract containing the words 'Greek' and 'bank' ?
" in 2007 the liabilities of Barclays exceeded the UK’s GDP, the liabilities of Deutsche Bank stood at 80% of Germany’s GDP, and the liabilities of Fortis were several times larger than the GDP of its home country, Belgium ... such financial institutions may not just be “too big to fail”, but in fact “too big to exist” ... It was irrational to let Lehman Brothers fail, but it happened. Those who bet on that failure earned a substantial amount of money. So why not bet on a possible irrationality of European decision-making? "
" What took 140 years for the emerging market in America to displace Europe, China will do in 26 years [~] 1989 - 2015, will displace American Economic power. The Yuan is undervalued since paper currency is merely a share in the nation just as in a corporation. As the $ rose in 1929 - 1932, the Yuan will rise during any economic decline. Investing in China packs capital gains + eventually currency appreciation. [T]he Yuan would rise during sovereign defaults as [a] currency hedge. Welcome to the Decline & Fall of America where stocks, interest rates & gold can rise together. "
In order to manipulate bond fund NAVs, two employees "actively screened and manipulated dealer quotes", "fraudulently published NAVs", made "price adjustments" that "were arbitrary and did not reflect fair value." The list keeps going. "This scheme had two architects - a portfolio manager responsible for lies to investors about the true value of the assets in his funds, and a head of fund accounting who turned a blind eye to the fund's bogus valuation process," - Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. Sharp Mary barked today. FINRA & the SEC bit.
In an effort to dredge a moat around market share for Amex & Arca, the NYSE has implemented a new Penny Pilot "Premium Tier" pricing schedule for the options of 15 specific issues. Liquidity providers transacting serious size across these anointed sticker symbols ... AAPL, BAC, C, DIA, EEM, FAZ, GDX, GE, GLD, IWM, QQQQ, SPY, UNG, USO & XLF ... will (yet again) enjoy additional rebates as the NYSE attempts to  stave off competition from other options exchanges and  further buoy an anemic equity market, which continues to plow forward on phantom volume at 3 am on Sunday night (like the accelerator of a Toyota Camry beneath a sleep-driving Ambien junkie approaching a raised drawbridge with both eyes closed shut, one hand on the wheel and the other on his sixth bear claw).
As digital cash flows across 21st century capital markets with the speed of a Mahwah server farm fart, increasingly inter-connected exchanges continue to roll out new derivative product offerings. With so many market participants discussing inflation expectations, deflationary data and central bank exit strategies, the NYSE Liffe U.S. has stepped up to the plate by pitching new interest rate futures contracts and futures options to be launched Q3 / Q4 2010 on the Eurodollar and 2-year, 5-year, 10-year & 30-year US Treasuries.
What expands asses across America alongside narrowing ranges on the NYSE? Easter chocolate, of course! A quick look at 30-minute, daily & weekly charts of Hershey (HSY), Kraft (KFT) and Tootsie Roll (TR) across several of our proprietary trading screens.
Before delving into an ECB speech chock full of insight, a deflationist rant 'Through the Looking-Glass' of social mood as per:
 the management of inflation expectations;
 the implications within central bank (CB) exit strategery; and
 'what Alice is likely to find' in Mr. Market's immediate future. If you think Bernanke an idiot and see hyperinflation-a-coming, you probably don't wanna read this.
Program trading as a percentage of total NYSE volume exploded last week with quadruple-witching. Index Arbitrage activity across the 20 most active member firms increased 1,190% ... with RBC and JP Morgan accounting for 53.55% of all reporting member firm activity. Crossing Session II volumes jumped 146% ... with Barclays, Goldman and Morgan Stanley accounting for 91.61% of all reporting member firm activity. Principal activity rose 71.39%, from just over a billion shares traded to 1.7619 billion ... with significantly escalated volumes for everyone but Goldman.