An ugly dump in stocks early on sent all the major indices to yesterday's lows (and bond yields to yesterday's lows) but for a smorgasbord of reasons (pick from: Bullard "QE4", jobless claims, industrial production, oil rising, lack of Ebola panic, oh and POMO) stock performed the ubiquitous bounce and extended gains quite handsomely before fading back in the afternoon. Volume was considerably lower than yesterday but solid (driven mostly by the dump). All major asset classes ticked together all day with USDJPY, Treasury yields, stocks, and oil all rising with one another. The USD was flat (despite some intraday kneejerks) as were gold and silver. Copper slid lower as oil jerked dramatically higher intraday before falling back (holding above $82). VIX fell modestly to around 25.5. Once again early manic-selling led to late buying panic (but the volume buying was dramatically lower). The Dow closed red for the 6th day in a row - longest losing streak since Aug 2013.
When will the Fed... Raise rates? Stop buying bonds? End quantitative easing? Common questions, those, from Wall Street to Main Street. And – apparently – the online world as well, because they also reflect (literally) what Google autofills when individuals pose inquiries about future monetary policy action in the famously simple Google search box.
"There is nothing good to say about the state of Venezuela’s economy, and this isn’t helping," warns Danske's Lars Christensen as tumbling prices for Venezuela’s oil are threatening to choke off funds (oil is 95% of exports) needed to pay debt.. and that is clear from the collapse of bond prices. The Maduro government desperately needs a rise in oil prices, but Saudi Arabia has so far rebuffed calls for an emergency meeting as it pursues a strategy of waiting out higher cost competitors. OPEC does not plan on meeting until Nov. 27. That is an eternity for a country that is beginning to unravel.
"Cavalry Won't Be Coming From The East" - China New Loans Jump But Not Nearly Enough, FX Reserves Drop Most On RecordSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/16/2014 10:50 -0400
"Higher credit aggregates can temporarily plug the monetary gaps, but ultimately this can only mean slower growth, less rapid price rises, ever more illiquid balance sheets (more 'revenues' tied up in receivables and a bigger gap between 'profits' and actual cash), and more recourse to financial trickery to stay afloat. Looks like lots more 'gold' exports to HK will be needed unless today's announcement that SAFE is to conduct an audit of 'trade finance' in Shenzhen manages to bung up that particular loophole! One other salient feature to note in China: QIII-14 non-household power consumption was only 2.5% ahead of QIII-13, just more than half of QII's relatively tardy 4.9% YOY rate. Just like the money numbers, not exactly consistent with 7.x% GDP and 8.x% IP Growth, one might think. If markets are awaiting the Cavalry, they won't be coming from the east - whatever the official data release tries to pretend."
As yet another fed speaker takes the jawboning lectern today, it is becomingly increasingly clear that The Fed truly has only one mandate - to keep stocks up. While claiming to be "data-dependent", which judging by the general trend of government-supplied data (and President Obama), things are going great; Jim Bullard joins his intervention-prone colleague Williams: BULLARD SAYS BOND PURCHASES SHOULD BE DATA DEPENDENT and SAYS 'U.S. FUNDAMENTALS REMAIN STRONG' but BULLARD SAYS FED SHOULD CONSIDER DELAY IN ENDING QE. So much for data-dependence...
Global stocks plummeted yesterday and again today, on investor concern that U.S. and Chinese inflation data are signalling a global slowdown in economic activity. U.S. retail sales fell in September and producer prices declined for the first time in a year.
What's French for 'sacre bleu'? While the fundamental reality of France's record unemployment, plunging industrial production and economic growth, and treaty-busting deficits are all fact, for many months now, the 'market' has been convinced at Draghi's omnipotence and enabled French bonds to trade as if they are 'in the core'. But... on the heels of Sapin's slap in the face of Schaeuble, shunning of Brussels, the market appears to be changing its mind about France's credit worthiness (risk is up over 30% in the last week). Across Europe, we are witnessing a 2012 replay as re-denomination risk rises and risk spreads between the periphery (which means everything but Germany) and Germany surge...
Yesterday afternoon's "recovery" has come and gone, because just like that, in a matter of minutes, stuff just broke once again courtsy of a USDJPY which has been a one way liquidation street since hitting 106.30 just before Europe open to 105.6 as of this writing: U.S. 10-YEAR TREASURY YIELD DROPS 15 BASIS POINTS TO 1.99%; S&P FUTURES PLUNGE 23PTS, OR 1.2%, AS EU STOCKS DROP 2.54%.
Only this time Europe is once again broken with periphery yields exploding, after Spain earlier failed to sell the maximum target of €3.5 billion in bonds, instead unloading only €3.2 billion, and leading to this: PORTUGAL 10-YR BONDS EXTEND DROP; YIELD CLIMBS 30 BPS TO 3.58%; IRISH 10-YEAR BONDS EXTEND DECLINE; YIELD RISES 20 BPS TO 1.90%; SPANISH 10-YEAR BONDS EXTEND DROP; YIELD JUMPS 29 BPS TO 2.40%.
And the punchline, as usual, is Greece, whose 10 Year is now wider by over 1% on the session(!), to just about 9%.
It appears the "Fed is ending QE because the economy is recovering" narrative is failing (as the world wakes up to the fact that The Fed is being forced to exit due to having broken the markets). In the September FOMC meeting, Yellen put the final nail in the QE coffin by confirming the money-printing would end in October. This is what has happened since then...
It’s generally considered that higher volatility in bond markets would accompany higher rates. Thus, if rates are falling, volatility will remain subdued. However, as the PIMCO Eurodollars liquidation showed, the market was already short. So the position liquidation is coming in a rally, rather than a sell-off. On top of that, inflation is falling and with oil under pressure should remain low. Meanwhile the Fed hawks evidently lost the argument to the doves in September, and their hand has been strengthened by the dollar rally. So the conditions are set for higher vol to accompany the fall in rates.
The last time the stock market reached a fevered peak and began to wobble unexpectedly was August 2007. Markets were most definitely not in the classic “price discovery” business. Instead, the stock market had discovered the “goldilocks economy." But what is profoundly different this time is that the Fed is out of dry powder. Its can’t slash the discount rate as Bernanke did in August 2007 or continuously reduce it federal funds target on a trip from 6% all the way down to zero. Nor can it resort to massive balance sheet expansion. That card has been played and a replay would only spook the market even more. So this time is different. The gamblers are scampering around the casino fixing to buy the dip as soon as white smoke wafts from the Eccles Building. But none is coming. For the first time in 25- years, the Wall Street gamblers are home alone.
Presented with little comment aside to say - WTF!!
Theories abound why this is suddenly happening, after years of deceptive calm.
Central banks have reached a fork in the road.