The recent reversal is definitely positive. Both false breakouts and false breakdowns often turn out to be reliable trend change signals. An additional bonus in this case was that the initial breakdown has induced widespread capitulation. Contrary to the immediately preceding rally attempt, the current one has been a “scared rally” so far. The mainstream financial press is still busy penning obituaries on gold, which is generally a good sign as well.
CAT confirmed the flow through from its depressed retail sales picture when it announced that not only did revenue tumble by 23% to $11 billion, but it missed already deeply cut estimates of $11.4 billion, leading to a 111% collapse in operating profit which from $1.1 billion turned into a $114 million loss in the quarter. To be sure, the company tried to pull an Alcoa and stuff massive restructuring charges in the quarter amounting to $689, boosting non-GAAP EPS by $0.89 to $0.74, however one can simply ignore this latest accounting fudge attempt.
Gold retains a key role of a major diversifier in well-structured retail investment and pension portfolios ... core defensive and hedging properties vis-à-vis global currencies and fixed income, as well as oil and a range of other commodities.
European shares tumbled, wiping out gains from a two-day rally, Asian stocks slid and the cost of insuring corporate debt rose as investor concern over global growth prospects resurfaced. U.S. equity-index futures pared gains of as much as 0.9 percent. Government bonds rose, with yields falling to records in Japan and China amid anxiety over the world economy. U.S. crude prices stabilized after dropping below $30 a barrel on Tuesday to touch the lowest since 2003 as Iran moved closer to boosting exports.
While most hedge funds will be glad to close the books on a year in which they once again dramatically underperformed a market which hugged the flatline courtesy of just a few stocks (even as most stocks posted substantial declines) and where "hedge fund hotels" such as Valeant suffered dramatic implosions, a handful of traders generated impressive returns for their investors and made billions by going against the herd.
With the oil price collapse accelerating (Brent just dropped below $40 for the first time since Feb 2009), the currencies of major oil-exporting nations - such as the Canadian dollar and Norwegian crown - are plunging...
The lack of fear in risky assets is another way of saying that risk premia have been low, or as we also like to put it, that complacency has been high. Not fully appreciative of this inherent risk, it seems many investors have refrained from rebalancing their portfolios, and bought the dips instead. We believe the Fed’s efforts to engineer an exit from its ultra-low monetary policy should get risk premia to rise once again, that if fear should come back to the market, volatility should rise, creating headwinds to ‘risky’ assets, including equities. That said, this isn’t an overnight process, as the ‘buy the dip’ mentality has taken years to be established. Conversely, it may take months, if not years, for investors to shift focus to capital preservation, i.e. to sell into rallies instead.
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.” - Buddha
It is only logical that a day after the S&P500 surged, hitting Goldman's 2016 target of 2,100 more than a year early because the US manufacturing sector entered into a recession, that Europe would follow and when Eurostat reported an hour ago that European headline inflation of 0.1% missed expectations of a modest 0.2% increase (core rising 0.9% vs Exp. 1.1%), European stocks predictably surged not on any improvement to fundamentals of course, but simply because the EURUSD stumbled once more, sliding by 40 pips to a session low below the 1.06 level.
...and what will the implications be?
If it smells like a rat it probably is a rat, and so it is with respect to these deals by collusion between China and Western governments, and their chosen corporate protégés, whether on currency or trade or investment matters. This is all an exercise in some combination of crony capitalism (with cronies on both sides!) and diplomacy by stealth. The gains and gainers are deliberately kept opaque. The losers are much less evident than the gainers, on whichever side of the fence, but principle and practice tells us that the total losses are much larger than the gains.
Gold is up 3.1% in October and had even larger gains in other currencies. Entering gold’s “seasonal sweet spot” in November, December, January and February.
China's key index, the Shanghai Composite, was is up over 1%, or 40 points in early, to just under 3,500 - the highest in 2 months, a gain which however is well below Friday's pre-rate cut gain and if prior rate cut history is any indication, not to mention the weak reaction by commodities on Friday (continuing into today, where WTI turned green by the smallest of margins just seconds ago we would not be surprised to see China's stocks sliding back into the red very shortly as "sell the news" concerns return, and as the increasingly more addicted "markets" demand even more liquidity from central banks just to stay unchanged, let alone rise to new all time highs.
Correction continues, but it is only a correction.