BAC

French Government Forced To Admit It "Suppressed News Of Gruesome Torture" At Bataclan Massacre

A French government committee has heard testimony, suppressed by the French government at the time and not released to the media, that the killers in the Bataclan tortured their victims on the second floor of the club... "Wahhabist killers apparently gouged out eyes, castrated victims, and shoved their testicles in their mouths. They may also have disemboweled some poor souls. Women were stabbed in the genitals..."

"We Do Not Have An Explanation" - Home Improvement, Luxury Spending Unexpectedly Plunges

What was most disturbing in BofA's latest debit and credit card spending report is what happened with spending in  home improvement stores: spending which traditionally is directly correlated to new home purchases and construction. It crashed, leaving even Bank of America speechless: "We do not have an explanation for this divergence"

What The Biggest Hedge Funds Did In Q1: The Full 13-F Summary

While far less attention is being paid to hedge fund 13F filings, which show a stale representation of equity long stakes among the hedge fund community as of 45 days prior, than in years gone by as a result of increasingly poor performance by the 2 and 20 crowd, they still remain closely watched source of investment ideas but mostly to find out what the new cluster ideas and hedge fund hotel stocks are at any given moment. Here are the highlights from the latest round of 13F filings.

What The Charts Say: No Bull - The Evidence

Today, looking at the technical evidence that, so far, suggests that there is zero evidence to suggest that we are in a bull market. In fact it appears there is risk building that this is a completely broken market in its final inning. Yes we’ve had a massive rally off of the February lows, but the technical evidence is mounting that this may still be a bear market rally. Why? Because key charts remain decisively bearish and any sizable pullback could literally kill any notion of a bull market...

The Fed Sends A Frightening Letter To JPMorgan, Corporate Media Yawns

Yesterday the Federal Reserve released a 19-page letter that it and the FDIC had issued to Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, on April 12 as a result of its failure to present a credible plan for winding itself down if the bank failed. The letter carried frightening passages and large blocks of redacted material in critical areas, instilling in any careful reader a sense of panic about the U.S. financial system. The Federal regulators didn’t say JPMorgan could pose a threat to its shareholders or Wall Street or the markets. It said the potential threat was to “the financial stability of the United States.”

April Retail Sales Plunge Most Since 2005

Something ugly this way comes. As we noted last week, despite proclamations that any weakness in US spending or economic data is merely seasonal or transitory, BofA's credit and debit card spending data revealed that sales were notably weak. Today we get further confirmation of what Retail ETF investors have been seeing for a while as Johnson-Redbook reported a 2.8% plunge in Same-Store-Sales - the worst start to an April since 2005.

Earnings Implosion Looms Amid The Illusion Of "Permanent Liquidity"

The problem with forward earnings estimates is that they consistently overestimate reality by roughly 33% historically. The illusion of“permanent liquidity,” and the belief of sustained economic growth, despite slowing in China, Japan, and the Eurozone, has emboldened analysts to continue push estimates of corporate profit growth higher. Even now, as the earnings recession deepens, hopes of a sharp rebound in profitability remains ebullient despite the lack of any signs of economic re-acceleration.

Consumer Spending Falls Again In March According To Latest Credit Card Data

While big banks blame the collapse in Q1 GDP on "residual seasonality" (more on that later), with BofA recently slashing its Q1 estimate from as much as 2.7% to just 0.2%, the reality is that something is not well with the US consumer. The latest proof of this comes from the most recent Bank of America credit and debt card spending data, which reveals that sales were once again down 0.1% yoy.

What Hedge Funds Bought And Sold In Q4: The Full 13-F Summary

Yesterday was the last day for hedge funds to submit their Q4 13-F filings, and the biggest reactions this morning can be found in the stock of Kinder Morgan which rises 9% pre-mkt after Berkshire reported a new stake. Autodesk also gained 2% post-mkt yday after Lone Pine took a new position. Several funds boosted or reported new stakes in JD.com while Jana Partners reported a new stake in Valeant. Both Icahn and Einhorn trimmed their AAPL holdings.

The Return Of Crisis

Let me be blunt: this next crash will be far worse and more dramatic than any that has come before. Literally, the world has never seen anything like the situation we collectively find ourselves in today. The so-called Great Depression happened for purely monetary reasons. Before, during and after the Great Depression, abundant resources, spare capacity and willing workers existed in sufficient quantities to get things moving along smartly again once the financial system had been reset. This time there’s something different in the story line...