Correction continues, but it is only a correction.
Gains in the foreign currencies appears to be mostly short-covering rather than bottom-picking per se. In bigger picture the dollar is consolidating its earlier gains.
Steep losses in the dollar, stocks and commodities, for sure, but does it really signal a systemic crisis?
After trending sharply higher in recent months, the US dollar has entered a consolidative range against most of the major currencies.
Meet ForexChile, the largest purveyor of leveraged contracts for difference in Chile and the subject of a scathing Bloomberg report which outlines how unsuspecting retail investors end up 100X leveraged on derivatives they sometimes do not understand.
Dollar extends gains, defies doom and gloomers again.
There are things going on with the financial markets currently that seem just a bit "out of balance." For example, asset prices are rising against a backdrop of global weakness, deflationary pressures and rising valuations. More importantly, there is a rising divergence between sentiment and hard data. While weather can't be blamed yet, it will likely be the main "excuse" in the months ahead as early record snowfall is already impacting economic production. However, it isn't just the manufacturing data that seems "out of whack."
"The market has been dodging boomerangs, not bullets, and they are likely to come back harder for it." Importantly, rich valuations here cannot be “justified” by appeals to current interest rates or profit margins unless that justification carries with it the assumption that both zero interest rate policy and cyclically-elevated profit margins will be sustained for decades, coupled with the assumption that economic growth will proceed at historically normal rates.
Yes the US does not practice laissez faire capitalism. It never did. It manipulates sets intersest rates. The fx market is still understandable and the dollar is moving higher.
Investing in oneself and enterprises one actively controls may now be the only legitimate deployment of capital that qualifies as an investment in the traditional sense - that is, capital isn't being risked in rigged gambling halls and Ponzi schemes.
Next week marks the beginning of May and the potential for a regime change in US Treasuries. As BofAML's Macneil Curry notes, historically the month of May coincides with a jump in Treasury volatility. A seasonal analysis of implied Treasury volatility using the MOVE Index (Merrill Option Volatility Estimate) shows that May is traditionally the second strongest monthly of the year after December. With the MOVE Index also showing signs of basing, and 10yr Treasury yields stuck in an increasingly unsustainable narrow range, this May is unlikely to disappoint. While the long term trend for US 10s suggests that Treasury yields should climb higher, in the near term we prefer to take a wait and see approach, watching for a break of the range extremes at 2.825% and 2.591%.
Dispassionate big picture overview.
While the perma bears may find comfort in the dollar's decline, its weakness has not been very broad, but really limited to the euro, sterling and currencies that move in their orbit. Still further dollar declines look likely near-term.
Investors who believe that history has lessons to teach should take our present concerns with significant weight, but should also recognize that tendencies that repeatedly prove reliable over complete market cycles are sometimes defied over portions of those cycles. Meanwhile, investors who are convinced that this time is different can ignore what follows. The primary reason not to listen to a word of it is that similar concerns, particularly since late-2011, have been followed by yet further market gains. If one places full weight on this recent period, and no weight on history, it follows that stocks can only advance forever. What seems different this time, enough to revive the conclusion that “this time is different,” is faith in the Federal Reserve’s policy of quantitative easing. The problem with bubbles is that they force one to decide whether to look like an idiot before the peak, or an idiot after the peak...
As suggested here last week, the dollar moved higher over the past five sessions. Although it finished the week on a firm note, I suspect we may have a pullback before seeing higher levels. Here is why.