Bank of America
After China's shocking currency devaluation, which some more conspiratorially-minded observers have concluded was China's retaliation to the west for the IMF's recent snub that pushed back China's evaluation for inclusion into the SDR to some indefinite point in 2016, the only question on everyone's mind is whether the Fed will delay or outright cancel any imminent "data-dependent" rate hikes as a result of the implicit tightening of monetary conditions thanks to China, and the dramatic appreciation of the USD which would not have taken place without China.
One year ago, as part of its always entertaining long-run forecasting exercise, Bank of America predicted that GDP growth in 2015 and 2016 would be 3.3% and 3.4% respectively. Fast forward one year, when in its updated "long-run" forecast, Bank of America's crack economist Ethan Harris admits he was off by "only" 30% in his prediction of next year's GDP, and instead of 3.3%, he now "forecasts" 2015 GDP to be... 2.3%. But the punchline is this: "if history is our guide, at some point in the next decade the US will experience a recession, but predicting a recession far in advance is almost impossible. We plan to update this table on a regular basis."
What do you do when even wealthy people begin to face an increasingly hard time purchasing a home in a vertical market completely disconnected from income trends? You reduce downpayments and lower credit standards, of course. Where have we seen this story before...
Aside from the socialist utopias of Greece and Venezuela, who else is on the default chopping block? The CDS heatmap below lays out all the countries which according to the market, are most likely to tell their creditors the money is gone... it's all gone.
"The wealth management arm of Bank of America Merrill Lynch is liquidating its clients’ money from one of Paulson & Company’s funds and has put another fund under "heightened review,'" NY Times reports. As it turns out, this was not the year to be long Greece and Puerto Rico.
Curious why after its massive drubbing yesterday, which led to the second highest volume day for AAPL stock in 2015, the phone market is down another 1.3% this morning? The reason: Wall Street's momentum chasing penguins have re-emerged, and moments ago Bank of America, right on time as in just after the stock broke its 200 DMA and entered a correction, decided to downgrade AAPL from Buy to Neutral, lowering its price target from $142 to $130.
- Unhappy Voters Shake Up Presidential Race (WSJ)
- China stock exchanges step up crackdown on short-selling (Reuters)
- China Dethroned as World’s Most Liquid Stock Market After Curbs (BBG)
- Xiaomi retakes the smartphone lead in China as Apple slips (Engadget)
- Impact of EPA’s Emissions Rule on Industry to Vary (WSJ)
- Citadel’s Ken Griffin Leaves 2008 Tumble Far Behind (WSJ)
- Greece says expects bailout deal by Aug 18 (Reuters)
Note that the classic sign of crisis and capital flight, higher interest rates, falling currency, and falling bank stocks are now visible in Brazil (and elsewhere). Indeed, the correlation between Brazilian bond yields and Brazilian financials/BRL turned sharply negative during each of the past 3 systemic crises (Asia ‘98, Tech ‘02 & Lehman ’08) and is doing so again today.
Just days after Blythe Masters took up her role as Chairman of Santander Consumer - the world's largest subprime auto lenders; former FDIC head Sheila Bair has resigned her position on the board of Banco Santander citing excess "travel" as a reason. One cannot help but wonder if the clash of the titans was too much, if the embrassment of a failed stress test was unbearable, or if Ms. Bair sees the rapidly approach light at the end of the tunnel of subprime lending for what it is... a bigger train that 2008's.
A serious deflationary bust is in the making...
Nowhere is this new "glamour" bubble more visible than in the divergence between these "sexy" names built up on nothing but hype, or as David Einhorn would call them "story" stocks, and good old "resource" companies: those engaging in such "old economy" activities as energy and materials.
Investors are dumping billions of dollars worth of gold, commodities and emerging market assets in a wave of "capitulation" selling, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said today as reported by Reuters.
- Greek PM keeps lid on party rebellion to pass bailout vote (Reuters)
- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Remains Popular Despite Tough Bailout Deal (WSJ)
- Beijing's stock rescue has $800 billion bark, small market bite (Reuters)
- Capital exodus from China reaches $800bn as crisis deepens (Telegraph)
- Why Investors Shy Away From China’s $6.4 Trillion Bond Market (WSJ)
- Oil Rigs Left Idling Turn Caribbean Into Expensive Parking Lot (BBG)
- Bank of America replaces CFO in management shake-up (Reuters)
- The Financial Buzz? Pearson to sell Financial Times (Reuters)
We always keep a weather eye on the state of retail investing in the U.S. There is, of course, the old saw that this batch of buyers doesn’t get involved until the top; therefore, it makes sense to see if they are getting too “Bulled up”. Then there is the fact that retail “Cult” stocks can hold premium valuations far longer than those without such sponsorship.
If yesterday's market action was boring, today has been a virtual carbon copy which started with the usual early Chinese selloff levitating into a mildly positive close, with the SHCOMP closing just above the psychological 4,000 level: the next big hurdle will be 4058, the 38.2% Fib correction of the recent fall. In the US equity futures are currently unchanged ahead of a day in which there is no macro economic data but lots of corporate earnings led by Microsoft, Verizon, UTX and of course Apple. Most importantly, some modest USD weakness overnight (DXY -0.1%) has helped the commodity complex, with gold rebounding from overnight lows, while crude has at least stopped the recent carnage which sent WTI below $50.