"The audience in the ballroom of the Hotel Derek included engineers for shale drillers such as Marathon, Continental and Rice. Pamela Allen, a senior reserves coordinator for Marathon, raised her hand and told Lee that she was worried that using outsized forecasts in public presentations would run afoul of the SEC and “come back to haunt us.” Singhania, the Marathon spokeswoman, said she was unable to comment on Allen’s remarks without seeing a transcript. “If a lot of people get burned -- and I think a lot of people can and will be burned -- by these numbers in the investor presentations, there may be a push by investors to get the SEC to do something about it,” Lee said during the workshop."
And just like that. everything is crashing. Whether it is Asia, Europe, or even US futures, an entire generation of traders are waking up to something few have seen in the past 6 years: a very rare sea of red only this time with the main difference that the perpetual backstop of all risk, the Fed and/or "Edward Quince", may not be there to halt the collapse.
WTI Crude oil has now entered a bear market, down over 20% from its June highs (and energy stocks are not off the lows) edging closer and closer to 28 month lows. Meanwhile, gold prices have risen for 4 days in a row - the longest winning streak in 7 months...
Because humor like this obviously costs money. As always, from the one and only Dennis Gartman: "Down 35 points one day; up 35 points the next! The Bulls were taken out and shot Tuesday; the Bears were shot yesterday and all we know for certain is that the upward sloping trend still holds and that weakness is to be bought with the Fed still behind the market."
BTFD'ers are absent as markets everywhere are in turmoil. Commodities are sliding with WTI plunging (almost a bear market from June highs) and copper crumbling. The USD is slightly lower (3rd day in a row). Treasury yields are slightly lower. But it is stocks that are turmoiling most as the Dow nears unchanged year-to-date. After the dramatic ramp off the lows last week, stocks have entirely roundtripped and then some to fresh cycle lows, led by Trannies and Small caps. VIX is back over 18. In Europe, stocks tanked once again with DAX closing below 9,000 for the first time this year.
Today: "If the Russell were to hold today and turn higher, then we might very seriously consider covering a portion of our derivatives; otherwise, we shall sit tight, remaining market neutral and fearing that indeed the bear market has begun and that rallies henceforth are to be sold rather than weakness bought."
2 Days ago: "The well-defined upward sloping trend channel continues to remain fully intact and until that trend line is broken we have to once again err upon the side of being bullish of shares generally... Support levels have held and trends from the lower left to the upper right obtain. One may wish to join the bearish camp, but one would be wrong."
For the US, it’s now shooting fish in a barrel – but just for now. The three-pronged plan the Fed has started to execute is plain for everyone to see... And it will have the rest of the world begging for mercy.
I think this is a time where people will look back on us and see it as a period of practically central bank worship. The central bankers – Draghi, Yellen, Bernanke – have become almost celebrities in America. People have invested unreasonable hopes in what these central banks can know, and what they can do. I think that, sooner or later, the investing public will become disillusioned of these ideas.... I dare say that stock prices will not continue to rise uninterrupted at the same pace. That’s not a very interesting prediction, but the stock market is certainly a cyclical thing. I think it’s fair to observe that today’s ultra-low interest rates flatter stock market valuations. Stock prices are partly valued based on a discounted flow of dividend income. To the extent that the discount rate you use to value that stream of dividend income, which depends on interest rates, is artificially low, stock prices are artificially high. I think that the burden of proof is on anyone who would assert that we are in a new age of persistently and steadily rising stock prices.
Russia's RTS Index has dropped over 20% from its post-Sanctions 1.0 highs in June, officially entering a bear market. The Ruble continues to slide, breaking above 39.50 against the USD - record weakness. Whether it is US/EU sanctions "costs" and/or merely EM risk-off hot money outflows is unclear, but what is clear is that Russian stocks are extremely cheap...
With over half of all the stocks in the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq already in a bear market, US equity market indices are becoming increasingly driven by a highly concentrated set of stocks that lack any relationship to macro factors. As BofA shows in the charts below, participation in the record-high exuberance in stocks is waning... and waning fast... But, the biggest concern, BofA fears, is a new low for net free credit at -$182 billion - the major risk is if the market drops and triggers margin calls, investors do not have cash and would be forced to sell stocks or get cash from other sources to meet the margin calls. This would exacerbate an equity market sell-off.
“Money amplifies our tendency to overreact, to swing from exuberance when things are going well to deep depression when they go wrong.”
I was originally going to title this post "Jackie DeAngelis Must Die", but I thought she might take it the wrong way.
For the first time since July 2011's plunge, and with almost half its components already in bear market, the Russell 2000 looks set to experience a 'death cross' in the next few days (50-day moving average crossing below the 200-day). But don't look at that - the S&P 500 and Dow hit new record highs (despite market internals slumping) today ahead of the BABA IPO to keep the dream alive just a little longer ahead of tomorrow's quad-witching malarkey. Today's action was dominated by dismal housing data (demolishing yesterday's exuberance in homebuilders), Poroshenko's "Ukraine invasion" headlines, and hopes ahead of BABA and Scottish votes. USD down on the day, commodities down, bonds unch, stocks... UP.
Growing concerns about the weakness of breadth in the stock 'market' where, as we noted here, 47% of Nasdaq Composite stocks are down at least 20% from their highs with the average stock in the index in a bear market (down 24%), continue to be ignored by a market that cares nothing for fundamentals. NewEdge's Brad Wisack adds another "it doesn't matter until it matters" chart to the list of worrisome indicators today by noting that "we haven't seen this before..."
"...we anticipate that the start of US rate hikes will do damage to markets in the short term, but that there will be greater differentiation over a more medium term between liquid and less liquid assets. In the short term, investors sell what they can, making liquid assets more vulnerable." - JPMorgan