We can hear the mainstream media now - "Great News Everyone!! The American consumer is back" - online sales on Black Friday rose 10% to $1.7 billion which ComScore says shows "strong spending." The only problem is - which we suspect will be oddly missing from the mainstream narrative, as ShopperTrak reports total sales on Black Friday crashed 10% to $10.4 billion. While blame has been placed on early opening on Thanksgiving, that is false too since spending on that day also plunged 10%. So, the sales news is unequivocally bad - which is hardly surprising given the collapse in consumer confidence.
With the winter of 2015 so far shaping up to be what some have dubbed "abnormally hot", we thought that at least this year the weatherconomists would keep their mouth shut: after all, if you blame cold weather for an underperforming economy, you better say nothing at all if the weather is warmer than usual as it has been in October and November. Alas, it was not meant to be, and so, without further ado, here are everyone favorite economweathermen from Goldman Sachs, warning everyone that, drumroll, yes, Winter Is Coming.
- Russia Takes Aim at Turkish Economy Amid Fighter-Jet Spat (WSJ)
- ‘Commercial scale’ oil smuggling into Turkey becomes priority target of anti-ISIS strikes (RT)
- Russia-Turkey Ties Are Headed Into a Deep Freeze (WSJ)
- France signals softer stance on Assad after Russia talks (FT)
- China Calm Shattered as Brokerage Probe Sparks Selloff in Stocks (BBG)
- China Stock Bulls Hit Breaking Point as State Dials Back Support (BBG)
- China's Bond Stresses Mount as Two More Companies Flag Concerns (BBG)
While US floor markets are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday (equity, rates and energy futures are open until 1pm Eastern), Europe and Asia (as well as US equity futures) were busy rebounding overnight on strength in the commodity complex following yesterday's news that China's metals producers have asked for a wholesale government bailout or the "QEmmodity" as we have dubbed it, for the first time since 2009, which together with news that China would soon start arresting "malicious metal sellers" has provided a push for commodity prices across the board.
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.
Following yesterday's dramatic geopolitical shock, U.S. equity index futures rise as Russia has not escalated the confrontation with Turkey as some had feared, while Asian shares fall, reversing earlier gains. European stocks are rallying and the euro is falling on the back of a Reuters report that the ECB is mulling new measures to prop up lending, although it’s not clear at this point what the real impact from these measures would be.
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 had been a relatively quiet session overnight when as reported previously, the geopolitical situation in the middle east changed dramatically in a moment, when NATO-member country Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet allegedly over Turkish territory even though the plane crashed in Syria, and whose pilots may have been captured by local rebel forces. The news promptly slammed Turkish assets and FX, sending the Lira tumbling, pushing lower European stocks and US equity futures while sending 2 Year German Bunds to record negative yields.
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.
Dear Mr. President, your country faces a stagnating economy... The truth is it is too late for our politicians to act, because the speculative peak that precedes the crisis is already upon us.
Stocks Jump On Hope For More Central Bank Intervention After Japan's Quintuple Recession, Syrian StrikesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/16/2015 07:03 -0500
As so often happens in these upside down days, was the best thing that could happen to the market, because another economic slowdown means the BOJ, even without sellers of JGBs, will have no choice but to expand its "stimulus" program (the same one that led Japan to its current predicament of course) and buy up if not government bonds, then corporate bonds, more ETFs (of which it already own 50%) and ultimately stocks. Because there is nothing better for the richest asset owners than total economic collapse.
Mid-East Stocks, US Futures Slide As Goldman Warns Of Paris Attacks' Negative Implications For MarketsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/15/2015 13:30 -0500
Following the weakness in the few minutes of after-hours trading on Friday's US session that overlapped with the first headlines from France, we are getting a first glimpse at the posible fallout from the Paris terror attacks. The Middle Eastern stock markets tumbled significantly with Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share index down 3% (biggest drop in 3 months) to its lowest since December 2012, and Dubai's FMG Index plunged 3.7% to its lowest since 2014. Short-run implication for the equity market is likely to be negative according to Goldman, with a notably higher risk premium regarding uncertainties about the medium-term political implications.
- Bonds Rise as China Drags Down Metals, Selloff in Stocks Resumes (BBG)
- European Stock Rally Runs Out of Steam Amid China Growth Concern (BBG)
- Obama's immigration action blocked again; Supreme Court only option left (Reuters)
- Ukraine: Cyberwar’s Hottest Front (WSJ)
- With $170.4 Million Sale at Auction, Modigliani Work Joins Rarefied Nine-Figure Club (NYT)
- IEA Sees OPEC Market Share Growth in 2020 as Rivals Stagnate (BBG)
"After many years of ultra-accommodative polices, it is clear that ongoing interventions have failed to boost actual economic growth and only exacerbated the destruction of the middle class. It is clear that employment growth has only been a function of population growth, as witnessed by the ongoing decline in the labor-force participation rates and the surging levels of individuals that have fallen out of the work-force. While we will continue to operate to foster maximum employment and price stability, the reality is that the economy overall remains far to weak to sustain higher interest rates or any tightening of monetary policy."