If the last three days all started with a rout in futures before the US market open only to ramp higher all day, today it may well be the opposite, when shortly after Europe opened it was the ECB's turn to talk stocks higher, when literally within minutes of the European market's open, ECB's Coeure said that:
- COEURE SAYS ECB WILL START WITHIN DAYS TO BUY ASSETS
Which was today's code word for all is clear, and within minutes US futures, which until that moment had languished unchanged, soared by 25 points. So will today be more of the same and whatever early action was directed by the central bankers will be faded into a weekend in which only more bad news can come out of Ebola-land?
With 80% of Americans concerned about Ebola, and Europe's most worrisome 'factor' is rising prices (yes, rising, despite central banks' deflation ogre fears), we thought it might be useful to remember just what other concerns the world has. From 'inequality' to 'religious hatred' and from 'nuclear weapons' to 'pollution', there is a lot of diverse fears around the world.
The Fed’s public relations firm of Hilsenrath & Blackstone was out this morning with the official line on the market’s tremors of recent days. It seems that $10 trillion in freshly minted digital money at the world’s major central banks over the last eight years—-that is, a tripling of their balance sheets to $16 trillion—- is not enough. Not only is 2% inflation still MIA, but it now threatening to enter the dark side: Behind the spate of market turmoil lurks a worry that top policy makers thought they had beaten back a few years ago: the specter of deflation. Never mind that there is nothing close to a sustained run of negative consumer price indices anywhere in the world.
Yesterday afternoon saw the world and his asset-gathering mum surging to business media TV to calm their commission-paying customers that all-is-well, the worst is over, BTFD, and "see, stocks have made a bottom" as equities surged marginal-call-squeeze-driven into the close. However, they forgot that Europe would open again... As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow notes, "not all falling knives are meant to be caught" noting that the drip, drip of troubling news overcame the desire to pick an extreme and wait for verbal intervention. There is lots of commentary about overbought bonds and oversold stocks but with five different Fed speakers set to jawbone today, we suspect confusion will be the order of the day.
If you thought the last several days were volatile in the market, you ain't seen nothing yet: judging by the early liquidity, or rather complete lack thereof, in the market moving E-Mini contract, the asset class through which as we disclosed a month ago central banks directly manipulate markets with the CME's blessing, then we urge all those who have stop losses close to the NBBO to quietly pull those as they will get hit adversely. The reason? As this Nanex chart of ES orderbook levels show, there is zero, zilch, nada liquidity in the ES.
Yesterday afternoon's "recovery" has come and gone, because just like that, in a matter of minutes, stuff just broke once again courtsy of a USDJPY which has been a one way liquidation street since hitting 106.30 just before Europe open to 105.6 as of this writing: U.S. 10-YEAR TREASURY YIELD DROPS 15 BASIS POINTS TO 1.99%; S&P FUTURES PLUNGE 23PTS, OR 1.2%, AS EU STOCKS DROP 2.54%.
Only this time Europe is once again broken with periphery yields exploding, after Spain earlier failed to sell the maximum target of €3.5 billion in bonds, instead unloading only €3.2 billion, and leading to this: PORTUGAL 10-YR BONDS EXTEND DROP; YIELD CLIMBS 30 BPS TO 3.58%; IRISH 10-YEAR BONDS EXTEND DECLINE; YIELD RISES 20 BPS TO 1.90%; SPANISH 10-YEAR BONDS EXTEND DROP; YIELD JUMPS 29 BPS TO 2.40%.
And the punchline, as usual, is Greece, whose 10 Year is now wider by over 1% on the session(!), to just about 9%.
The last time the stock market reached a fevered peak and began to wobble unexpectedly was August 2007. Markets were most definitely not in the classic “price discovery” business. Instead, the stock market had discovered the “goldilocks economy." But what is profoundly different this time is that the Fed is out of dry powder. Its can’t slash the discount rate as Bernanke did in August 2007 or continuously reduce it federal funds target on a trip from 6% all the way down to zero. Nor can it resort to massive balance sheet expansion. That card has been played and a replay would only spook the market even more. So this time is different. The gamblers are scampering around the casino fixing to buy the dip as soon as white smoke wafts from the Eccles Building. But none is coming. For the first time in 25- years, the Wall Street gamblers are home alone.
Central banks have reached a fork in the road.
- M&A Bubble is bursting: AbbVie Says It Reconsiders Merger Pact With Shire (WSJ)
- Winner of bad headline timing award: Spinoffs Could Set Stage for Next Merger Wave (BBG) - and now wait for the spinoffs getting pulled
- Record mortgage settlement pushes Bank of America into third-quarter loss (Reuters)
- Korea joins the Japan currency war: Bank of Korea Cuts Base Rate (WSJ)
- Double Irish’s Slow Death Leaves Google Executives Calm (BBG)
- Global Oil Glut Sends Prices Plunging (WSJ)
- Slow Rise in Prices Shows China’s Economy Is Still Struggling (WSJ)
Nearly two decades of central bank financial repression have created huge distortions and imbalances in the world economy. Now they are coming home to roost as the impossibility of ZIRP forever dawns on even our mad money printers. Having created yet another round of ebullient financial bubbles, they are now getting palpably nervous.
Equity markets live and die on several well-established conventions, according to ConvergEx's Nick Colas, noting that these are the rules that investors use as the bedrock of their fundamental analysis. The volatility of the last few weeks shows that some of these paradigms are now under attack. Chief among the question marks: “Do central banks always have the power to tip the balance between growth and recession?” Another rising concern: “Can stocks constantly shrug off recessionary signals from commodity and fixed income markets?” Lastly, “How many exogenous, if largely unpredictable, global events can equities ignore before their collective weight halts a bull market?” Bottom line: the debate on these topics isn’t over for October or the balance of the year.
The rising fear may reflect a shift in sentiment from faith in the omnipotence of central banks to skepticism.
With this in mind we hope the Swiss people display their fierce independence and reject the advice of the "experts," many of whom got us into this mess, in favour of the policies that have kept them peaceful and prosperous for centuries ...
Futures Euphoria Deflated By Latest Batch Of Ugly European News: Germany Can't Exclude "Technical Recession"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/14/2014 06:47 -0400
So far the overnight session has been a mirror image of Monday's, when futures languished at the lows only to ramp higher as soon as Europe started BTFD. Today, on the other hand, we had a rather amusing surge in the AUDJPY as several central banks were getting "liquidity rebates" from the CME to push the global carry-fueled risk complex higher, only to see their efforts crash and burn as Europe's key economic events hit. First, it was the Eurozone Industrial Production, which confirmed that the triple dip is well and here, when it printed -1.8%, below the expected -1.6%, and far below last month's 1.0%. This comes in the month when German IP plunged most since 2009, confirming that this time it's different, and it is Germany that is leading Europe's collapse into the Keynesian abyss not the periphery. And speaking of Germany, at the same time Europe's former growth dynamo released an October ZEW survey of -3.6%, the 10th consecutive decline and well below the 0.0% expected: first negative print since late 2012!
“Hyperinflation and hyper-deflation are just two different forms of the same phenomenon: credit collapse. Arguing which of the two forms will dominate is futile: it blurs the focus of inquiry and frustrates efforts to avoid disaster.”