Everything is awesome... or terrible - depending on when you were asked. The Conference Board's consumer confidence surged to its highest since October 2015 at 98.1 (beating expectations of 96.5). However, Gallup shows economic confidence crashing back from a post-State of the Union bounce to its lowest since November 2015. Take your pick...
"... there is presently an enormous chasm between the point where self-reinforcing selling pressure by speculators is likely to emerge, and the much lower point where balancing buying pressure by value-conscious investors is likely to support the market. Because every seller necessarily requires a buyer, the enormous gap between the two represents substantial crash risk."
With the US closed today for Martin Luther King Holiday, global risk tone has once again been set entirely by oil, which opened sharply lower at fresh 12 year lows on fears of an Iran oil glut, but has steadily rebounded on the latest OPEC comments, and at last check both WTI and Brent were unchanged trading in the low $29's on muted volume. With Asian markets mixed, European shares swung between gains and losses, while the yen weakened as China stepped up efforts to curb foreign speculation against its currency. Crude oil rose from a 12-year low after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast a decline in supplies from rival producers.
Futures Jump After Friday Drubbing, Despite Brent Sliding To Fresh 11 Year Lows, Spanish Political UncertaintySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/21/2015 06:55 -0500
In a weekend of very little macro newsflow facilitated by the release of the latest Star Wars sequel, the biggest political and economic event was the Spanish general election which confirmed the end of the PP-PSOE political duopoly at national level. As a result, there was some early underperformance in SPGBs and initial equity weakness across European stocks, which however was promptly offset and at last check the Stoxx 600 was up 0.4% to 363, with US equity futures up nearly 1% after Friday's oversold drubbing. In other key news, the commodity slide continues with Brent Oil dropping to a fresh 11-year low as futures fell as much as 2.2% in London after a 2.8% drop last week.
Heading into the Fed's first "dovish" rate hike in nearly a decade, the consensus was two-fold: as a result of relentless telegraphing of the Fed's intentions, the hike is priced in, and it will be a "dovish" hike, with the Fed lowering its forecast for the number of hikes over the next year. Consensus was once again wrong on both accounts: first the rate hike was far more hawkish than most had expected (see previous post), and - judging by the surge in Asian, European stocks and US equity futures - the "market" simply is enamored with such hawkish hikes which will soon soak up trillions in liquidity from the financial system.
In a recent survey not a single major central bank could provide an example of an accurate “a priori” recession forecast. The silence from the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, BOE, BOJ and the Bank of Canada is deafening.
There is a high hurdle following October's surprisingly strong gain of 271,000 jobs. On the other hand, Wall Street is confident we would have to see a significantly lower number, somewhere in the 100,000 range or even lower, — and weakness in other parts of the report, such as the unemployment rate, hourly wages and weekly hours — for the FOMC to postpone a rate hike into next year.
In the face of a collapse in the conference board confidence and ongoing weakness in Bloomberg's consumer comfort index, UMich confidence rose on the month to 91.3 (despite fading from its flash 93.1 print). While baffle 'em with bullshit continues, we note that Democrats and full-time workers confidence is lowest in at least a year.
The lowest income Americans appear to have officially given up on the "hope"...
Just three months ago Consumer Confidence was peaking at 8 year highs and everything was awesome. Now, with the biggest miss since March 2009, Consumer Confidence crashed to 90.4 from 99.1. This is the lowest since Septmeber 2014 as the "decline was mainly due to a less favorable view of the job market." Almost every cohort - across age, income, race saw a collapse in confidence though we note low income and under-35s saw the biggest declines as Income Growth expectations plunge to the lowest in 14 months.
It may be a holiday shortened week in the US with Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales on deck (some of which may be starting as soon as Wednesday) but there is a lot of macro data to digest in the next few days.
Futures are modestly higher in early trading having tracked the USDJPY once again almost tick for tick, with the carry trade of choice rising to 123 shortly after Mario Draghi's latest speech pushed the dollar strong initially only to see most gains promptly evaporate against both the Yen and the Euro. European shares are likewise little changed, after gaining earlier, while Asian stocks rise; oil also advanced in early trading only to drop to its lowest overnight level moments ago, a few dimes over $40, with aluminum and copper both posting modest increases.
Despite ongoing low gas prices, a recovery in stocks, and the nationally-advertised unemployment rate remaining low, Consumer Confidence tumbled in October from eight-year highs to three-month lows. Worse still, "hope" slid to its lowest in 3 months as "jobs plentiful" slid notably with fewer jobs and decreasing income.
After yesterday's dramatic late day market rout catalyzed by the tumble in the biotech sector in general, and Valeant in particular, and foreseen in its entirety by Gartman who went bullish just hours before, this morning US equity futures and European stocks have recouped some losses on the recursive, and traditional, hope that Mario Draghi will say something to push risk higher when he speaks in 2 hours at the ECB's press conference in Malta. And yet, just like Yellen a month ago, Draghi faces the paradox of reflexivity that after years of being ignored, is the "new thing" in town: how does he intervene and demonstrate he is readier than ever to set up stimulus, without panicking investors over euro area’s health.
It is a generally quiet week on the economic front, with updates mostly on the housing front where following today's euphoric NAHB Housing Market Index, we have housing start and permits, blaims and existing home sales. Elsewhere, Fed speakers continue to speak, with Lacker, Dudley (again) and Powell confusing traders once more. The big news this week is earnings as some of the most prominent companies report, including IBM, Verizon, GM, Ebay, Coke, Boeing, Amazin, AT&T, CAT, Microsoft and P&G.