Across the Curve

E-Mini Liquidity Has Crashed 40% In The Past Quarter, JPMorgan Finds

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:

Dow Drops 6th Day - Longest Losing Streak In 14 Months

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.

Manic-Buying Turns To Panic-Selling As 'Illiquid' Stocks Plunge To 5-Month Lows

Just as we warned, liquidity was incomprehensibly low today (below normal pre-market levels during the peak of the trading day) and the intraday whipsaws were meteoric as a closed cash bond market enabled the slightest twitch in USDJPY to send S&P algos into conniptions. Biotech crashed. Trannies were ripped ridiculously higher at the open - then collapsed into correction (-11% from highs); US Airlines have fallen for 6 straight days, crashing 17% (with today's 7% plunge - driven by chatter over airborne Ebola - its biggest in over years). Tresury futures implied a notable drop in yields across the curve (10Y -7bps at 2.21%, 30Y 2.97%, and 5Y 1.45%). The USdollar closed -0.33% led by EUR and JPY strength (but AUD surged 1% extending gains after China data).  Gold ($1234), Silver, and copper all gained on the day as WTI fell once again (despite some intraday strength in the middle of the day). Stocks "flash-crashed" on very heavy volume in the last 30 mins with VIX breaking above 24 (highest in 16 months). All major equity indices are now below their 200DMA with the worst 3-day loss since late 2011.

30 Year Yield Tumbles To May 2013 Lows As 3 Year Paper Sells In Blistering Auction

Moments before today's first of the week auction of $27 billion in 3 Year paper concluded, the yield on the 30 Year was sliding, breaching the lows of 2014. Which obviously led most to suspect that demand for the 3 Year would be blistery. And sure enough, it was, with the yield on the paper pricing a whopping 0.9 bps through the 1.003% When Issued at 0.994%, and printing under 1% once again, after surpassing 1% in September which was also the highest yield since May 2011. The internals were very strong as well, with the Bid to Cover of 3.423 jumping from September's 3.171, the highest since February's 3.450. Indirects took down 35.5% of the auction despite China's holiday, which left 47% for dealers and 17.4% for Directs, just modestly below the 18.8% TTM average.

Stocks Close "Not Off The Lows", Small Caps Unchanged Since Oct 2013

The Russell 2000 is -7.5% from July highs, -3% in 2014, unchanged since last October and year-over-year small-cap performance is the worst since July 2012. Despite four valiant momo-pump efforts to rally stocks to VWAP (to cover institutional sellers), they just kept falling back to bond-market-reality as US equities decoupled lower from JPY after Europe closed. The USD closed unch (after major swings intraday around Europe's close) with GBP strength and AUD/CAD weakness leading it lower on the week. Treasury yields dropped 2-3bps across the curve (down 3-5bps on the week) and all below FOMC levels (30Y -11bps). Gold is now up 0.6% on the week with oil and silver rising modestly. Copper found no bid. Financials slipped once again (catching down closer to credit). On the day, the European close signaled risk-off and the ubiquitous Tuesday panic buying in the last hour lifted the S&P to VWAP before a very weak close "not off the lows." Dow down 100+ pts 2 days in row for first time since June. VIX closed just shy of 15 at 7-week highs.

Strong 30 Year Auction Ends This Week's Treasury Issuance

If yesterday's tailing 10 Year auction left people concerned that today's final for the week 30 Year bond issuance would be weak, then the results put that promptly to rest, after the $13 billion reopening of Cusip RH3 priced at 3.24%, pricing 2.3 bps through the 3.263% When Issued. Furthermore, the Bid to Cover if 2.67 was above the August 2.60, well above the TTM average of 2.40, and the second highest of 2014, second only to June's 2.69. The internals were very solid as well, with Directs taking down 21.8%, above the 16.8% average, Indirects holding 45.5%, in line with last month and above the TTM average of 43.4%, and Dealers left with 32.8% of the paper which they can quickly flip back to the Fed for the next 6 or so weeks until QE ends (before it has to resume once again of course).

"Deflation In Europe Is Just Beginning"... And How To Trade It

Zero inflation is like death penalty to debt-laden countries. It has been estimated that Italy would need a primary surplus of ~8% if it wanted to stabilize its debt/GDP at zero inflation, which means just stopping it from moving even higher. Spain would need a primary surplus of 2%+, instead of current negative 1.44%. Which means more austerity and more contractionary policies, to cause more internal devaluation than it is currently the case, more declines in unit labor costs, more salary cuts, more unemployment, less consumer spending, less corporate investments.... Incidentally, we have for European assets and the ECB the same feeling we have for Japan and the BoJ. Abenomics has a high chance of failure, in the long term. Nevertheless, on the road to perdition, chances are that efforts will be stepped up and more bullets shot in an attempt to avert the end game. As stakes are raised, financial assets will be supported and melt-up in bubble territory, doing so at the expenses of a more turbulent end-game in the years ahead.

Who Is Short Treasurys? (Spoiler: Pretty Much Everyone)

Asset managers are long, while dealers, hedge funds, and other buy side investors are short. Using alternative positioning indicators, we assess where we can give credence to the CFTC data, and where there is more to the picture than the CFTC data reveals.... The clearest position concentration is short USTs (Figure 1). As the grey shaded squares indicate, the short has increased materially over the last 3 months. Equally importantly, there is an absence of corresponding longs in any client group to balance these shorts. Together that points to the prospect of even lower UST yields.

Blistering Demand For 30 Year Paper; Lowest Yield Since May 2013; Directs Strongest Since 2011

The only word to describe today's just concluded, and final for the week, auction of 30 Year paper can only be described with one word: blistering. First, the pricing yield itself, coming at 3.224% a whopping 2.5 bps through the When Issued, was the lowest since May 2013, just before the first Taper tantrum which sent yield surging only to regain all Ultra losses in the next year.

30 Year Auction Tails Despite Surge In Indirect Takedown, Lowest Yield In Over A Year

In what was practically a carbon copy of yesterday's 10 Year auction, moments ago the Treasury sold $13 billion in 30 Year paper which priced at 3.369%, the lowest yield since June of 2013 when it hit 3.355, even if it meant a modest 0.9% bps bps tail to the 3.360% When Issued. The internals were both good and bad: bad in that the Bid To Cover came at 2.40, modestly lower than last month's 2.69 but better than the TTM average of 2.38. Good in that the Indirect takedown of 53.25 was the highest since we began keeping records in 2008, and continues the trend seen last month in which Indirects bought more than half of the auction. This strength, however, was offset by a drop in the Direct bid by nearly half from last month's 21.8% to 11.1%, leaving a modest 35.7% to the Dealers to promptly flip back to the monetizing Fed.

Belly-Buster: Primary Dealers Come To Rescue Of Tailing 7 Year Auction

Perhaps the reason why the just concluded 7 Year auction priced quite sloppy, if not outright ugly, is because it came at a time when virtually nobody was paying attention, or otherwise bidding. Moments ago the Treasury sold $29 billion in 7 Year paper, which priced at 2.152, a notable 1.2 bps tail to the 2.140% When Issued, indicating not all was well with the internals. Sure enough, the Bid to Cover of 2.435 was well below the TTM average of 2.56, and was the lowest since November. Direct Bidders were not too excited with the paper, and as a result took down only 16.66% of the final allottment, the lowest also since November. And with Indirect taking down a tame 40.62%, this mean Dealers were forced to step up and buy 42.72% of the issue - the highest Dealer allocation since, you guessed it, November. Perhaps the only thing the auction had going is that at 2.15%, the closing yield remains decidedly low (having peaked recently at 2.32 in April), if rising modestly from the 2.01% in May which happened to be the lowest since October.

Overnight Equity Futures Algos Jittery After Discovering Dubai On The Map

Judging by the surprising reversal in futures overnight, which certainly can not be attributed to the latest data miss out of Europe in the form of the June German IFO Business Climate report (print 109.7, Exp. 110.3, Last 110.4) as it would be naive to assume that centrally-planned markets have finally started to respond as they should to macro data, it appears that algos, with their usual 24 hour delay, have finally discovered Dubai on the map. The same Dubai, which as we showed yesterday had just entered a bear market in a few short weeks after going turbo parabolic in early 2014. It is this Dubai which crashed another 8% just today, as fears that leveraged traders are liquidating positions, have surfaced and are spreading, adversely (because in the new normal this needs to be clarified) to other risk assets, while at the same time pushing gold and silver to breakout highs. Recall that it was Dubai where the global sovereign crisis started in the fall of 2009 - will Dubai also be the place where the first domino of the global credit bubble topples and takes down the best laid plans of central-planners and men?

Scorching Demand For 30 Year Paper Means Lowest Dealer Award On Record, Soaring Bid To Cover

Where does one begin with the plaudits for the just completed 30 Year auction. Following this week's weak, tailing 3 and 10 Year auctions, there was concern the 30 Year would be a disaster. It was everything but: pricing at 3.444% (virtually unchanged from the 3.44% last month), the final demand stopped through the When Issued of 3.467% by some 2.3 bps - the largest in recent history. And speaking of recent history, the Bid to Cover soared from 2.09 in May to 2.69 today, the highest since February 2013. And then there were the internals: Indirect bidders just couldn't get enough, with the allotment to Indirect bidders exploded to 51.8%, the highest since February 2006 and second highest ever, and since Directs took down an aggressive 21.8%, this means that Dealers we left with a tiny 26.5%: the lowest Primary Dealer allottment in history.