After Hours

VIX-Manipulating HFT Algo Is Booted From Dark Pool, Exposed For Whole World To See

VIX was monkey-hammered lower once again today, lifting stocks vertically to Russell 2000 record highs and The Dow within a point of 17,000. The question is who (or what) is doing it. Nanex seems to have found out who... It appears the un-visible hand of VIX manipulation (that we have shown previously) has been forced into the open public markets as Barclays goes dark. Simply put, massive bursts of 1-lot TVIX orders flood and delay the markets enabling HFTs to manipulate the tail that inevitably wags the market (via VXX, SPX options hedges and leverage) and now that the dark pools are disappearing, we see it all in real-time.

Do Any Of These Family Dollar Calls Belong To Phil Mickelson?

While the bulk of the just announced Icahn activist foray into yet another company, this time Family Dollar, is cut and dry, we can't help but wonder: was Phil Mickelson the person buying all those FDO calls just after noon today?

Small Caps Surge To Best Week In 2014

The US Dollar, gold, and oil closed the week unchanged... Treasury yields rose 6-8bps on the week... and the Russell 2000 had its best week in 2014... Sure, why not? VIX was crushed back to a 10-handle as managers lifted hedges and the Tepper-induced short-squeeze from yesterday followed through (+2.5% against a 1% rise in the S&P). The Dow and S&P 500 both closed at record highs (notably rich to the Fed balance sheet). Volume was 20% below average (and that was a payrolls day!). Copper tumbled over 2% - its worst week in 3 months as China's warehouse probe continues.  VIX closed at its lowest close since Feb 2007 (and once again the strange shadowy figure of massive after-0hours volume spikes in VXX appeared).


The Memorial Day Gold Massacre - When HFTs Forget The World's On Vacation

As the rest of America began to relax last Monday with a patriotic beer in their hand and a never-forget-hotdog stuffed in their mouth, the machines that run the gold manipulation market appeared to forget that the world was on vacation. The WTF moment that we described here, appears - thanks to Nanex detailed analysis - to have been the actions of yet another rogue HFT algorithm roller-coastering through an after-hours order book in gold futures. Un-rigged?

Whole Foods Misses, Lowers Guidance, Or What Happens When You Ignore Buybacks At The Expense Of CapEx (Hint: -10%)

While we recently roasted IBM for engaging in an unsustainable debt-funded buyback program, in which IBM has used every dollar of debt issued since 2012 to buyback its stock, moments ago another company showed why management teams would much rather buyback their stock than invest in CapEx in a market that only reward instant gratification in the form of shareholder friendly activity and furiously punishes any attempts to grow for the future.

Frontrunning: May 6

  • Both sides bury dead as Ukraine slides towards war (Reuters)
  • Dollar wilts to 6 1/2-month low; shares drift (Reuters)
  • Draghi Grapples With Money Markets Signaling Recovery Too Early (BBG)
  • Foreign wristslaps: Credit Suisse Nears Record Tax Plea: Credit Suisse Settlement Expected to Exceed $1 Billion (WSJ)
  • OECD joins IMF in cutting global growth forecast, demanding moar QE from ECB  (WSJ)
  • Three Bankers Bolster Blankfein as Goldman Trading Sinks (BBG)
  • Strong performance from eurozone services sector (FT)
  • OECD Cuts Forecast for 2014 Global Growth; Urges ECB Action (WSJ)
  • Elite Colleges Don't Buy Happiness for Graduates (WSJ)
  • How Russia Inc. Moves Billions Offshore -- and a Handful of Tax Havens May Hold Key to Sanctions (BBG)

GOGO Bye Bye?

Some uncomfortable news for the airplane web provider after hours:


GOGO stocks are down 18%... Go Go Gadget "barriers to entry"

Netflix Rises On EPS And Intl Sub Beat, In-Line Revenues, And Domestic Subs Miss; Price Increase

With revenues meeting estimates to the dot, and with largely meaningless non-GAAP EPS (because after all NFLX is valued on a 2024 foward basis), Netflix is choppy after hours as algos try to determine what is more important for them:the miss in domestic subs, which rose 2.25 million on expectations of a 2.31 million increase, of the beat in international (and very much money-losing although now expected to be profitable in 2014) subs, which rose 1.75MM vs estimates of 1.64MM.

Why IBM Is Tumbling: BRIC Sales Plunge, Total Revenue Lowest Since 2009

Curious why after nearly touching $200 in early trading IBM is down 4% in after hours trading? Perhaps this has something to do with it: as the chart below shows, in Q1 IBM reported only $22.5 billion in sales, well below the $22.9 billion expected by the street, and down 3.9% from a year ago. In fact, this quarter's revenue was the lowest for IBM since the first quarter of... 2009. Net Income (non-GAAP of course), which was $2.6 billion and which met reduced estimates, was down a whopping 22% from a year ago. But the punchline, one which Cisco is very familiar with, was this:"Revenues in the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — decreased 11 percent."

Groupon Enters Bear Market On "Lack Of Growth" Scare

While deciphering the adjustments, compulsory one-off charges, promises, ranges, and hopes, dreams, and unicorn tears is hard, the market saw headline beats in EPS and Revenues and surged GRPN above $12 enabling CNBC to proclaim it a winner before moving on... then someone (or maybe a machine) read the statement... "Groupon expects Adjusted EBITDA for the full year to be slightly above 2013 levels." That's just not gonna cut it when you can spend $19 billion on the hope of exponential growth... and sure enough, GRPN shares collapsed - down over 23% from the after-hours highs.

LinkedIn Is Getting Twittered: Here's Why

Yesterday it was Twitter, today it is LinkedIn. Moments ago, the professional social network reported EPS that just barely beat at $0.39 vs expectations of $0.38, while revenue printed at $447.2 MM vs $437.6 MM expected. However, it is this excerpt from the LNKD release that is causing the stock to be TWTRed 10% after hours.