FX markets and precious metals are continuing to trade weaker after hours along with Treasury yields (in some very gappy and unhappy ways) - but the S&P 500 futures are flatlining for now (as NKY futures push higher - merely playing catch up to ES since New Year's Eve). Odder and odderer...
Update 2: MLNX down 22%. Earnings, and cash flows, matter. And now, time to ramp some other stock only to see it implode when it announces earnings or guides down.
Update: MLNX, a $2.6 billion market cap company, was up 3% today before being halted after hours and crushing guidance by preannouncing horrible revenues. Expect many other S&P 500 companies to be forced to do the same now that their market value, driven almost exclusively by "someone's" ceaseless selling of VIX futures and by correlation engines which assume every company has to rise (and sometimes even fall) by the same amount as the biggest synthetic indicator, the E-Mini, is so disconnected from any cash-flow reality, that only the Fed can possibly assume there is fair value for the stock market at current levels.
The drop in VIX in the last two days is the biggest percentage drop on record (based on Bloomberg's data) as the S&P 500 futures (ES) have managed a 70-point rally. The exuberance at today's open ebbed through the middle of the day but then resurged into the close as the day-session range was actually quite narrow (sub-10pts). High-yield credit surged (leading the way) coupled with VXX (huge odd volume spike) as pain trades were everywhere. FX markets were decidedly unimpressed even as Treasuries tracked along with stocks for most of the day (though lagged the late-day surge as 10Y yields stalled out at the 12/187 highs). Commodities held on to gains even as the USD turned positive on the week. On the bright side, all those who have been invested in the S&P since March 2000 can exit at (nominal) breakeven and all it took was a 400% increase in the size of the Fed's balance sheet. This feels very delicate and all anchored on a massive protection unwind (as volumes and blocks were dumped into the late-day ripfest).
Update: market so far seems to be happy with extracting cash from working capital so is squeezing the shorts 8% higher after hours
Moments ago Blackberry stock was halted in advance of earnings. Here they are.
- Revenues: $2.72bn, Est. $2.66 bn - beat
- EPS: -$0.22, Est. -$0.35 - beat
- Cash increase of approximately $600 million to $2.9 billion; Cash flow from operations was approximately $950 million
- Subscriber base: 79 million, down from 80 million
- Phone units sold 6.9 million, down from 7.4 million
- RIM's Chief Information Officer, Robin Bienfait, announces retirement
- "The Company expects that there will be continued pressure on operating results as it gets set to launch its BlackBerry 10 platform in the fourth quarter"
- Republicans put squeeze on Obama in "fiscal cliff" talks (Reuters)
- Inquiry harshly criticizes State Department over Benghazi attack (Reuters)
- Banks See Biggest Returns Since ’03 as Employees Suffer (BBG)
- Italy president urges election be held on time (Reuters)
- Bank of England Says Sterling Hurting Economy (WSJ) - there's an app for that, it's called a Goldman BOE chairman
- China slowdown hits Indonesian farmers (FT)
- China dispute hits Japanese exports (FT)
- Market to get even more monopolized by the HFT king: Getco wins Knight with $2 bln sweetened offer (Reuters)
- MF Global Cases Focus on 'Letters' (WSJ)
- UBS fined $1.5 billion in growing Libor scandal (Reuters)
- Spotlight swings to interdealer brokers (FT)
- China Widens Access to Capital Markets (WSJ)
- With Instagram, Facebook Spars With Twitter (WSJ)
Anyone watching the close of the market last night will likely still be shaking off the hangover as we noted 'the most ridiculous' market movements occurred in the space of a few milliseconds. As ever, trusty investigator of all things ridiculous in equity markets, Nanex highlights a rather disturbing trend, now completed its third year, where volume compression simply breaks the market. On 11/30/11, quotes from Nasdaq suddenly stopped for about 20 seconds after another explosive close where multiple seconds worth of trading were jammed into the last second. However, trading at Nasdaq wasn't affected. This is yet another example of where direct feeds illegally give data to one group of subscribers ahead of the consolidated feed. Clearly, the NBBO was ignored. For the last 3 years (2009, 2010, and 2011), there has been unusually high trading activity in the final minutes of trading activity on the last trading day in November. We show one example stock in detail below (SPY). Human discounting of a known rebalancing event? No. Completely 'broken markets' that are driven by self-reinforcing and chaos-reverting algos? Yes.
After hours shots fired, with Moody's hitting the long overdue one notch gong on France:
- MOODY'S DOWNGRADES FRANCE'S GOVT BOND RATING TO Aa1 FROM Aaa
- FRANCE MAINTAINS NEGATIVE OUTLOOK BY MOODY'S
Euro tumbling. In other news, UK: AAA/Aaa; France: AA+/Aa1... Let the flame wars begin
See-sawing – and still looking for direction. Open weaker, in line with the US close. Some exuberance ahead of the Italian auction, despite negative figures. Awakening that nothing was justifying this. Re-correction while awaiting the US take of things. With the US opening flattish plus, Europe had a light lift and started tagging along, tick for tick, stuck in a loop. Some more European gloomy news to end the day. Way Down. For the moment mostly an equity move. And cut.
"Way Down" (Bunds 1,34% unch; Spain 5,92% +9; Stoxx 2475% -0,8%; EUR 1,274 +20)
That's another $190.1 Bn available to spend on IPad Minis and IPhone 5s in the Appleconomy!
There have been no major overnight events or surprises, with Europe continuing a war of semantics whether the Spanish bailout is a bailout, and attempting to avoid it as long as possible while reaping the benefits of Spanish bonds which are trading at post-bailout levels for a 3rd months now, as well as whether Greece will receive more Troika money (the WSJ reported that Greece requires €30 billion through 2016 to close its funding gap: a number which will eventually double, then triple), and yet as of moments ago the EURUSD slipped under the psychological 1.2900 support, which also means that 1400 on the SPX cash is in play. Italy did not help after business confidence declined from 88.3 to 87.6 on expectations of a rise to 88.7 What news there has been is largely the realization that reality is here to stay, following misses and guides lower from Amazon and Apple, and no matter what some low-volume algo tries to represent by buying the stock in the after hours session, profitability and cash flow creation for both companies will be lower going forward. In terms of newsflow, the NYT released a report last night that China's Premier may have been hiding billions in "related-party" transactions - imagine that, and one which promptly got the NYT blocked from China's internet. Obviously this is a touchy topic for China days ahead of its internal party vote, and one which will hardly score the US brownie points with the domestic administration. Concurrently, Japan announced a new fiscal "stimulus" for a whopping ... $9.4 billion. That is roughly the amount of money needed to evade deflation for 2-3 hours. More apropos, Bild reports what Bloomberg noted earlier, namely that Merkel has no majority for reported Greek aid, further blowing up the hole that Greek finmin Stournaras dug himself in with his lies earlier this week. So while everyone is once again on edge, with the Shanghai composite sliding 1.7%, and key technical levels either breached or in play, today's session promises to be quite interesting.
After defying gravity for months on end, on what we quarter after quarter warned were ever declining margins and revenue growth, the Amazon bubble (just about 300x P/E at last check) has finally popped, and investors no longer believe that the company can offset collapsing profit margins with increasing volume. And yes, the Kindle is proving to be nothing more than yet another fad rather than the latest and greatest razor-razorblade ecosystem paradigm.
Everyone's favorite Whitney Tilson repeat-endorsed, slow motion trainwreck, NetFlix, has reported results after hours. They are, as expected, terrible with lots of cash burn, declining margins and excuses, and as a result the short squeeze is over and the stock is imploding after hours. Among the details:
- Q3 Gross profit declined to 26.8% from 27.6% in Q2 and 34.7% in Q3 2011.
- Total cash declined by $32 million
- Free cash flow was -$20 million, despite positive "net income"
- Q3 Streaming content obligations were flat at a whopping $5 billion. $2.1 billion is due in the next year. The brilliance strikes here first. These obligations "not include obligations that we cannot quantify but could be significant." Uh... What?
And while the firm forecasts a net income loss in Q4 of ($13)MM to $2MM as seen in the table below, which means a far worse free cash flow loss in Q4, the absolute pearl was the following:
"The biggest issue holding back much stronger growth is payments."
Watching the 3000 line on the Nasdaq, and AAPL.
At this point saying Texas Instruments guides lower is about the most habitual thing about this broken market, aside from the traditional Fed-Citadel juiced 3 pm ramp, of course. Sure enough, moments ago the analog circuits company announced results which were modestly better on the bottom and top line (following repeated earnings guidance lower), and yet which did the usual TXN thing and slashed guidance:
- SEES 4Q REV. $2.83B-$3.07B, , EST. $3.22B
- TI SEES 4Q EPS 23C-31C, EST. 37C
Just a tad. And, amusingly just as we predicted moments ago that in a ZIRP environment CapEx will be the first thing let go, here is TXN announcing it is slashing its full year growth spending forecast by 30%:
- TI SEES YR CAPEX $0.5B, DOWN FROM PRIOR VIEW $0.7B
Of course who needs to invest in future revenue growth when the Fed has toner. The market, which is back to responding in absolute bizarro fashion is taking the latest disappointment in short squeeze stride, and has even managed to push the stock higher in the after hours session.
Playing in the market, with Phil.
To summarize: European stocks are little changed although Spanish shares rise. Spain 10-yr bond yields fall to the lowest level in more than 6 months. S&P futures are now higher on the trading session, driven by correlation engines as the euro is up vs the dollar, despite major disappointments by IBM and Intel. In other news Germany formally shut down the debt redemption fund proposal, ending one more rescue avenue for when the recent baseless euphoria ends, even as Spanish La Vanguardia reports that Germany is pressuring Italy to request European aid alongside Spain so that the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti doesn’t reap the benefit of lower borrowing costs without being tied to tougher economic reforms. Needless to say, Italy is said to resist the proposal: after all in Europe one just wants the upside from being bailed out, as opposed to actually being bailed out...