Bank of America
This Friday appears to be make or break for the Fed's data dependency, as the FOMC's September rate decision looms.
By monetizing more than the entire Japanese budget deficit, the BOJ is running of out willing sellers. Without those, Japan's QE, just like that of the ECB, will grind to a halt. Better yet, this creates a vicious loop, because with every passing month, the inevitable D-Day when the BOJ has no more TSYs on the offer gets closer, which in turn will force those who bought stocks to sell in anticipation of the end of QE, and to seek the safety of bonds themsleves, in effect precipitating the next inevitable Japanese stock market crash.
Update: even the rating agencies finally noticed - S&P: GLENCORE TO BBB/NEGATIVE FROM BBB/STABLE
Earlier today, Glencore stock plunged to a new all time low, after crashing nearly 20% in the past two days as investors with rose-colored glasses finally appreciate the dire reality facing the global miner. However, the best way to trade the beginning of the end for Glencore is not using stock at all.
News That Matters
Where the great oil crash hits close to home for most Americans, is when firms such as Houston based ConocoPhillips announce that the E&P giant is about to terminate 10%, or 1,800 people, of its global workforce, in the next several weeks as it copes with low oil prices. "Our industry is undergoing a dramatic downturn, which has caused us to look at our future workforce needs. As we have assessed the implications of lower prices on our business, we’ve made the difficult decision that workforce reductions will be necessary.”
Just two days before the September 3 ECB governing council meeting and press conference, ABN Amro released the genie from the bottle, when its head macro strategist Nick Kounis said the he now sees "a much bigger risk that the ECB will step up QE as soon as this week’s meeting. We see this probability at around 40%, so it is an increasingly close call.
Llast week, during which the S&P 500 was up 0.9% as the market rebounded off of Tuesday’s lows, BofAML clients were net buyers of $5.6bn of US stocks—the biggest inflow in our data history (since ’08) following five weeks of selling. The last time flows were close to these levels was during the (less extreme) volatility in early January of this year, as well as following the Tech/Biotech sell-off in early 2014 (see chart below). Net buying last week was broad based—while no client group saw record flows relative to its own history, hedge funds, institutional clients and private clients were all big net buyers which led to record inflows when combined.
Is September 2015 going to be one of the most important months in modern American history?
First the good news: of the 28 global regions that have reported PMIs so far (the US Markit PMI is due later today), 18 posted a print of over 50, or indicating manufacturing expansion.
Now the bad news: more than two-thirds of PMIs in August deteriorated compared to July suggesting that while the global economy is not in a recession yet, absent some dramatic improvement, a global economic contraction is just around the corner.
- Charting the Market: New Month, Same China (BBG)
- China jitters send stocks tumbling (Reuters)
- Oil falls on weak China factory data (Reuters)
- Euro zone factory growth eases in August despite modest price rises (Reuters)
- Euro-Area Joblessness Falls to Lowest Level Since Early 2012 (BBG)
- Clinton friend advised on U.S. politics, foreign policy (Reuters)
- Korea exports slump as Asia's woes deepen (Reuters)
Assuming that after being wrong for 7 years about everything, economists are actually right about the market still having some discounting abilities left, what then is the market telegraphing? The answer, according to the Bank of America: the biggest surge in recessionary odds since 2011, which over the past few days have nearly hit a 50% probability of an economic slowdown.
Small Cap stocks are in the middle of their worst summer doldrums since 2011 - and in fact for many individual stocks, worst summer since the collapse in 2008/9. While talking heads proclaim these smaller (supposedly more domestically-oriented) stocks a must-own, they have underperformed significantly as the credit cycle turns (thanks to their higher sensitivity to funding costs, among other things). Judging by this week's farce, the supposedly high-beta small caps are being BTFD'd aggressively either and perhaps that is because, since 1926, on average, September and October are the only months in which small-capitalization stocks have posted losses.
If anyone was curious why the Fear and Greed index is at 13 (up from 5) despite the biggest 2-day surge in the Dow Jones ever, the answer is very simple: nobody believes the "broken market "any more, as confirmed by the biggest weekly equity outflow on record.
"As soon as people sense the government is withdrawing from direct intervention, there will be lots of investors starting to dump stocks again."
As Bloomberg reports, "China has cut its holdings of U.S. Treasuries this month to raise dollars needed to support the yuan in the wake of a shock devaluation two weeks ago, according to people familiar with the matter. Channels for such transactions include China selling directly, as well as through agents in Belgium and Switzerland, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as the information isn’t public. China has communicated with U.S. authorities about the sales."