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Is The Auto Loan Bubble Ready To Pop?

On Tuesday, it was announced that over seventeen million new vehicles were sold in 2015, the highest it’s ever been in United States history. While the media claims that this record has been reached because of drastic improvements to the US economy, they are once again failing to account for the central factor: credit expansion. The auto bubble has yet to burst, but its negative effects are already starting to gradually appear.

Stocks Resume Rout After Massive Chinese Intervention Fails To Lift Shanghai, Calm Traders

After yesterday's historic -6.9% rout in the Shanghai Composite, which saw the first new marketwide circuit breaker trading halt applied to Chinese stocks (on its first day of operation), many were wondering if the Chinese government would intervene in both the once again imploding stock market, as well as China's plunging and rapidly devaluing currency. And, after the SHCOMP opened down -3%, the government did not disappoint and promptly intervened in both the Yuan as well as the stock market, however with very mixed results which global stocks took a sign that the "national team" is no longer focused solely on stocks, and have resumed selling for a second consecutive day. 

The Fed's Grinchmas Message To Markets: This Is As Good As It Gets, Mizuho Warns

The first Fed rate hike in seven years was supposed to trigger a powerful equity rally as the bulls expected money to pour out of bonds into stocks; especially into the cyclicals. Unfortunately for the equity bulls,, as Mizuho's Steve Ricchiuto notes, this time things are different and instead of the Fed rate hike triggering the traditional Santa Claus rally; it looks like the FOMC is actually the Grinch. The key message delivered by the Fed though the SEP, the DOTS and the Chair’s post meeting press conference is that this is the best the economy is going to get.

3 Things: Tick-Tocks, Stocks, & Shocks

Please meet the “worst economic forecasters” ever. And while the mainstream media quickly laps up the optimistic outlook of the Fed, you might want to consider their own record of forecasts when making long-term investment bets. Based on statistical history combined with the current underpinnings in the market, the outlook really isn’t as bright as Ms. Yellen suggests.

Fed Mouthpiece Reads Liftoff Tea Leaves

"When the Fed moves next will depend importantly on how inflation evolves. The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation has run below its 2% objective for more than three years. The central bank focused extra attention on the inflation outlook in its statement, saying it would “carefully monitor” actual and expected progress toward the goal. This point implied the Fed will be reluctant to raise rates again unless it sees inflation actually moving up. For now, officials said they were “reasonably confident” inflation would rise."

Global Stocks, US Futures Greet Historic Fed Day With Euphoria

The day has come when the boxed-in Fed has no choice: with the vast majority of the market expecting a rate hike, Yellen has to deliver or suffer a crushing confidence blow like no other. And deliver she will, with expectations that said hike will be "as dovish as possible." For now however, the market is desperate to convince itself that just as more easing and more QE were bullish for the market, so rate hikes are just as bullish. Recall from late 2013: "tapering is not tightening," then the 2015 version of this refrain is "tightening is not tightening."

3 Charts The Fed Should Consider

With economic growth currently running at THE LOWEST average growth rate in American history, the time frame between the first rate and next recession will not be long. For investors, there is little “reward” in the current environment for taking on excess exposure to risk assets. The deteriorating junk bond market, declining profitability and weak economic underpinnings suggest that the clock has already begun ticking. The only question is how much time is left.

Global Stocks Start Off December With A Bang, US Equity Futures Rebound; Yuan Drops

There was something for everyone in last night's much anticipated Chinese PMI data, with the official number sliding to the lowest in over 3 years, suggesting the PBOC will need to do more stimulus and is thus bullish, while the unoffocial Caixin print rising to the highest since June, suggesting whatever the PBOC is doing is working, and is also bullish. Not unexpectedly, global stocks decided to take the bullish way out, and have risen across the globe led by Asia, where stocks rose as much as 1.8%, Europe also green and US equity futures up 10 points as of this writing.

Paris Is Prologue

The recent attacks in Paris evoke strong emotions for many people, but investors need to look through those feelings to the short, medium, and long-term implications. We believe Paris may mark an important turning point for Europe and the global business cycle... but for different reasons than you may think. There is a chance that the slow disintegration of Europe will drive more capital onto US shores, boosting valuations and fueling a blow-off top in the US equity market; but beware global shocks and take any rally as a chance to get defensive.