Bond

Mission Accomplished: Spanish Bond Yields Converge To Treasuries

Thanks to more jawboning promises of QE from Draghi this morning, peripheral bond yields in Europe have collapsed once again. Any minute now, Spain will be a lower-yielding bond than the US... and at this pace, you will have to pay Spain to lend it money within a few months... we are sure someone has figured out how entirely useless asset-purchases would be at these levels.. but for now, fight the fed in the US (they remind us that tapering is not tightening remember) but don't fight the promise of the ECB...

Draghi QE "Reflection" Drops Euro, Pops Bonds/Stocks

Despite Draghi's explanation that a QE program in Europe (due to the greater extent of bank lending vs capital market financing) would not be "as efficient" as the Fed's program, his comment that:

*DRAGHI SAYS COUNCIL WILL REFLECT HARD ON DESIGN OF QE

Has provided just enough "hope" juice to drive the EUR lower and ramp bond and stock prices across Europe (for now). We will have to see what the half-life of this jawboning is. Of course, the EUR selling is USD buying and that is pumping USDJPY higher - and therefore a pre-open pump in US equities.

Futures Surprise Nobody With Now Mundane Overnight Levitation

Being that markets are unrigged and all, at least according to every single proponent of HFT that is, futures have done their overnight levitation as they have every day for the past month driven by the one staple - the Yen carry trade - even if in recent days the broader market slump during the actual daytrading session mostly impacted biotechs yesterday. And since any news is good news, we don't expect today's main event, the ECB's rate announcement and Draghi press conference, both of which are expected to announce nothing new despite Europe's outright inflationary collapse which most recently dropped to 0.5%, the lowest since 2009.

Dow Fails To Hold 2014 Gains As Treasury Yields Hit 7-Month Highs

Biotechs ended positive but for the 10th day in a row saw the early pump, dumped (as did a number of the momo names). But the big news is the Dow getting back into green for 2014...and then failing to hold it! Trannies and the S&P both hit new record highs. Treasury yields continue to press higher with 5Y now at 7-month highs (testing 1.80%) as 30Y yields are up 11bps on the week. The USD rallied modestly all day (ahead of tomorrow's hope-strewn ECB meeting) but commodities were mixed with general flatness interrupted by significant spikes in gold and silver around 8amET. Copper faded during the US day session. VIX was slammed under 13 into the close but faded back higher into the close.

Have We Reached Peak Wall Street?

Though the mainstream financial media and the blogosphere differ radically on their forecasts - the MFM sees near-zero systemic risk while the alternative media sees a critical confluence of it - they agree on one thing: the Federal Reserve and the “too big to fail” (TBTF) Wall Street banks have their hands on the political and financial tiller of the nation, and nothing will dislodge their dominance. In addition, the U.S. dollar’s status as a reserve currency is a key component of U.S. global dominance. Were the dollar to be devalued by Fed/Wall Street policies to the point that it lost its reserve status, the damage to American influence and wealth would be irreversible. What if there is another possibility to the consensus view that the Fed/Wall Street will continue to issue credit and currency with abandon until the inevitable consequence occurs, i.e. the dollar is devalued and loses its reserve status. What if Wall Street’s power has peaked and is about to be challenged by forces that it has never faced before. Put another way, the power of Wall Street has reached a systemic extreme where a decline or reversal is inevitable.

Goodbye Blythe Masters

A week ago we wrote: 'While it has been public for a long time that i) JPM is eager to sell its physical commodities business and ii) the most likely buyer was little known Swiss-based Mercuria, there was nothing definitive released by JPM. Until moments ago, when Jamie Dimon formally announced that JPM is officially parting ways with the physical commodities business. But while contrary to previous expectations, following the sale JPM will still provide commercial gold vaulting operations around the world, it almost certainly means farewell to Blythe Masters." Sure enough:

JP MORGAN COMMODITY CHIEF BLYTHE MASTERS LEAVING, WSJ SAYS       

Farewell Blythe: we hope your replacement will be just as skilled in keeping the price of physical gold affordable for those of us who keep BTFD every single day.

Frontrunning: April 2

  • Why did Yellen use criminals in her employment case studies? Hilsenrath explainz (Hilsenrath)
  • GM avoided defective switch redesign in 2005 to save a dollar each (Reuters)
  • Xuzhou Zhongsen Said to Avert Bond Default on Guarantor Aid  (BBG)
  • France's New Finance Minister Faces Fiscal Challenge (WSJ)
  • The magic is gone: Draghi’s Attempt to Talk Down Euro Lost on Traders (BBG)
  • Another John Kerry smashing success: U.S. Gambit on Mideast Peace Talks Falters (WSJ)
  • Combat-Ready China Military Seen as Xi’s Goal in Graft Battle (BBG)
  • Huge earthquake off Chile's north coast triggers tsunami (Reuters)
  • Pressure rises on Gross as investors pull $3.1 billion from Pimco's flagship fund (Reuters)

Overnight "Rigged" Market Summary

Nikkei 225 (+1.04%) outperformed overnight, buoyed by S&P 500 posting a new all-time high, a dovish BoJ's Tankan inflation survey and reports that the GPIF is to invest in funds specializing in Japanese stocks with high returns. Overall, another quiet session this morning as market participants continued to position for the upcoming ECB meeting, with Bunds under pressure amid further unwind of expectation of more policy easing by the central bank. According to ECB sources, there is no clear consensus at present on policy action, intense debate seen on Thursday after March HICP data, adding that it fears "over-interpretation" by market of QE possibility.

Second Chinese Bond Company Defaults, First High Yield Bond Issuer

In the middle of 2012, to much yield chasing fanfare, China launched a private-placement market for high-yield bonds focusing on China's small and medium companies, that in a liquidity glutted world promptly found a bevy of willing buyers, mostly using other people's money. Less than two years later, the first of many pipers has come demanding payment, when overnight Xuzhou Zhongsen Tonghao New Board Co., a privately held Chinese building materials company, failed to pay interest on high-yield bonds, according to the 21st Century Business Herald.

Frontrunning: April 1

  • GM enters harsh spotlight as Congress hearings begin (Reuters)
  • Facebook's Zuckerberg earns $3.3bn through share options (BBC)
  • Sheryl Sandberg has sold more than half her stake in FaceBook (FT)
  • Chinese Dragnet Entangles Family of Former Security Chief, Zhou Yongkang (WSJ)
  • NHTSA chief: GM did not share critical information with U.S. agency (Reuters)
  • Citigroup uncovered rogue trading in Mexico, fired two bond traders (Reuters)
  • Corporate America’s overseas cash pile rises to $947bn (FT)
  • Thai anti-government protester killed, rekindling political crisis (Reuters)
  • China Milk Thirst Hands U.S. Dairies Record 2014 Profits (BBG)
  • Caterpillar accused of ‘shifting’ profits (FT)
  • New iPhone 6 screens to enter production as early as May (Reuters)

"Best Month For Stocks" Begins With Modest Overnight Futures Levitation

Among the key overnight events was the February Euro area unemployment report, which was unchanged at 11.9%, lower than the 12% median estimate; in Italy it rose to a record 13% while in Germany the locally defined jobless rate for March stayed at the lowest in at least two decades Euro zone PMI held at 53 in February, unchanged from January and matching median estimate in a Bloomberg survey HSBC/Markit’s China PMI fell to 48 in March, the lowest reading since July, from 48.5 in February; a separate PMI from the government, with a larger sample size, was at 50.3 from 50.2 the previous month NATO foreign ministers meet today to discuss their next steps after Putin began withdrawing forces stationed on Ukraine’s border Gazprom raised prices for Ukraine 44% after a discount deal expired, heaping financial pressure on the government in Kiev as it negotiates international bailouts.

Gold Wins The First Quarter While Dow Drops Most Since 2012

Value stocks handily outperformed Growth stocks by the end of Q1 but the window-dressing pump of the last 2 days rescued all but the blue-chip Dow from ending the quarter in the red. This is the worst quarterly performance for stocks since 2012.  Despite disconnects all over the place today, stocks managed to hold onto gains today. Thanks to some dovosh comments by Yellen (that apparently "some time" is interpreted as more than 6 months), bonds and stocks ripped today leaving long-bonds best quarter since Q2 2012. Gold is the best performing asset of the quarter and HY bonds worst as the USD ended unchanged.