"If investors want complete safety, they can't get much income, and if they aim for high income, they can't completely avoid risk. It’s much more challenging today with rates being suppressed by governments. This is one of the negative consequences of centrally administered economic decisions. People talk about the wisdom of the free market – of the invisible hand – but there’s no free market in money today. Interest rates are not natural."
First The 'unaudited' Fed leaks its FOMC minutes. Then they leak 'inside-information' to Nikkei's latest addition, Medley Global advisors (and remain "above the law" with regard consequences. And now, The Fed admits it leaked full blown confidential economic projections (due to a code glitch), whose summary assessment is shown below as per the leaked file.
Despite the glad-handing over Amazon's results, the rest of the world appears less than impressed with the state of the status quo. Bond yields continue to plummet with 30Y yields at 2.95% - its lowest since the start of June. Gold saw a double-flash-crash overnight but is bouncing back for now - back above the key $1080 level. The Dow and S&P have given up gains and are back in the red and even Nasdaq is fading fast as Biogen and Amazon battle it out to affect the index...
Because of their credit issues, these bonds often trade more closely with equities than they do with base interest rates. Occasionally, however, junk bonds and stocks will diverge with one another. Such a divergence is occurring at the moment. It is often suggested that when the bond and stock markets diverge, the bonds typically prove to be correct, i.e., the stock market usually ends up going the way of the bonds. Is there evidence to back that up? According to our research there is, and with junk bond yields at s-x month highs while the S&P is within 1% of record highs, for stock bulls, that isn’t necessarily good news.
After yesterday's latest drop in stocks driven by "old economy" companies such as CAT, which sent the Dow Jones back to red for the year and the S&P fractionally unchanged, today has been a glaring example of the "new" vs "old" economy contrast, with futures propped up thanks to strong tech company earnings after the close, chief among which Amazon, which gained $40 billion in after hours trading and has now surpassed Walmart as the largest US retailer. As a result Brent crude is little changed near 2-wk low after disappointing Chinese manufacturing data fueled demand concerns, adding to bearish sentiment in an oversupplied mkt. WTI up ~26c, trimming losses after yday falling to lowest since March 31 to close in bear mkt. Both Brent and WTI are set for 4th consecutive week of declines; this is the longest losing streak for Brent since Jan., for WTI since March.
In almost all cases, including the most recent rise, the intermittent change in psychology that drove interest rates higher in the short run, occurred despite weakening inflation. There was, however, always a strong sentiment that the rise marked the end of the bull market, and a major trend reversal was taking place. This is also the case today. Presently, four misperceptions have pushed Treasury bond yields to levels that represent significant value for long-term investors. While Treasury bond yields have repeatedly shown the ability to rise in response to a multitude of short-run concerns that fade in and out of the bond market on a regular basis, the secular low in Treasury bond yields is not likely to occur until inflation troughs and real yields are well below long-run mean values.
There could be trouble ahead....
Junk-rated Chicago is paying nearly 8% to issue debt these days and although the city's fiscal woes are set to persist, some asset managers are taking the plunge ahead of a key court ruling scheduled for Friday.
As the following chart shows, with $203 billion in investible dry powder which is probably the best way of calling AAPL's cash the Cupertino-based company is more than $30 billion larger than what is generally accepted to be the largest hedge fund in the world, Ray Dalio's Bridgewater, which however "only" managed some $171 billion as of May 2015.
- Greek PM keeps lid on party rebellion to pass bailout vote (Reuters)
- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Remains Popular Despite Tough Bailout Deal (WSJ)
- Beijing's stock rescue has $800 billion bark, small market bite (Reuters)
- Capital exodus from China reaches $800bn as crisis deepens (Telegraph)
- Why Investors Shy Away From China’s $6.4 Trillion Bond Market (WSJ)
- Oil Rigs Left Idling Turn Caribbean Into Expensive Parking Lot (BBG)
- Bank of America replaces CFO in management shake-up (Reuters)
- The Financial Buzz? Pearson to sell Financial Times (Reuters)
A slow week devoid of virtually any macro news - last night the biggest weekly geopolitical event concluded as expected, when Greece voted to pass the bailout bill which "the government does not believe in" just so the ECB's ELA support for Greek depositors can continue - is slowly coming to a close, as is the busiest week of the second quarter earnings season which so far has been largely disappointing despite aggressive consensus estimate cuts, especially for some of the marquee names, and unlike Q1 when a quarterly drop in EPS was avoided in the last minute, this time we won't be so lucky, and the only question is on what side of -3.5% Y/Y change in EPS will the quarter end.
The forward curve currently points towards a recovery in prices that is far worse than in 1986. As there was no sharp downturn in the ~15 years before that, the current downturn could be the worst of the last 45+ years. If this were to be the case, there would be nothing in our experience that would be a guide to the next phases of this cycle, especially over the relatively near term. In fact, there may be nothing in analysable history.
As expected, the Greek parliament has approved a second set of prior measures, clearing the way for formal discussions on a third bailout program for the debt-stricken country. 36 Syriza lawmakers did not support the bill.