- ISM Manufacturing: 51.7, Exp. 51.0, Last 51.5
- Consumer Confidence: 72.2, Exp. 73.0, Last 68.4
- Construction Spending: 0.6%, Exp. 0.7%, Last -0.1%
As we enter the North American session, equity markets are seen marginally higher, as concerns over the never-ending Greek debt drama are offset by the release of an encouraging data from China. Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI printed a fresh 8-month high, while the official Chinese Manufacturing PMI came in line with expectations. In addition to that, a state researcher has said that the countries economy has bottomed and is stabilizing. Meanwhile in Greece, the fact that debt is now seen climbing to 192% in 2014 and an agreement on how to defuse the situation has yet to be found may lead to another speculative attack not only on Greek paper, but also other southern states. As a result, GR/GE 10s spread is seen wider by 30bps, however other peripheral bond yield spreads with respect to the German Bund are tighter. The second half of the session sees the release of the latest weekly jobs report, consumer confidence and the weekly DoE from the US.
It was a week ago when we first observed that the defense of 1400 in the ES at all costs must go on, or else the only thing that is keeping the market propped up - psychology (now with the AAPL euphoria long gone), would be gone as would all support. But once again, the overnight session has proven that, with a little help from its central banking friends, 1400 (and 1.2900 in the EURUSD) can be defended. This was in danger of being breached until China reported two PMI numbers: an official one which printed at 50.2, or modest expansion, and up from 49.8, magically right on top of expectations of 50.2, and the HSBC PMI, which also rose to 49.5, from 47.9: the 12th straight contraction print, but the highest number in 8 months. The market spin is naturally that this is an indication of a rebounding China. Sadly, just like in the US, this is merely pre-party congress data manipulation. The only thing that does matter out of China: whether or not the country will actually ease as opposed to doing day to day reverse repo injections. Without the former, the Chinese economy will not rebound, and will not lead to an improvement in corporate outlook for US tech stocks, period, the end.
If trying to explain why S&P futures are up another 9 points to 1417, and are now 25 ticks from the Monday night lows, there are so many catalysts: perhaps it was the European September unemployment rate rising to a new record of 11.6%, (Italy unemployment is now 10.8% up from 10.6% but it still has a way to go until it hits Spain's 25%) even as Consumer prices kept inflation at a steady 2.5% rate, or that French producer prices rose more than expected even as spending missed expectations, or that Spanish housing permits collapsed by 37.2% in August from July, or that Greek retail sales plunged by 7.2% Y/Y and the Greek 2013 economic outlook was cut in the latest budget with the budget deficit now seen at 5.2% from 4.2% before and that Greece now sees 189.1% debt/GDP in 2013 up from 175.6% in 2012, or that Japan just cut its economic outlook last night after its manufacturing PMI came at 46.9, the lowest since 2009 excluding Fukushima, or that UK consumer confidence printed -30, vs -28 last and the lowest since April, or that Taiwan slashed its 2012 GDP forecast from 1.66% to 1.05%, or that nothing has been resolved on the Greek labor reforms or the now two month overdue Troika bailout, or that insolvent Spain has still not requested a bailout, or that virtually every company that has reported revenues in the last two "dark days" missed expectations, or that US Mortgage applications tumbled 6% for its fourth straight weekly decline (government refi index down 5.5%, mortgage apps down 4.8%), or of course that Hurricane Sandy will cut both Q4 GDP and corporate profits (not to mention sales). Truly, there are so many reasons why the S&P has now soared since Apple announced the termination of its two key executives on Monday afternoon, one doesn't know where to start (and don't you dare say "window dressing"). Perhaps Kevin Henry would, but sadly his Bloomberg status is now "gray"...
It is cloudy out there as Sandy enters the mid-Atlantic region, although for all the pre-apocalypse preparations in New York, the Frankenstorm may just be yet another dud now that its landfall is expected to come sufficiently south of NYC to make the latest round of Zone 1 evacuations about overblown as last year's Irene hysteria (of course it will be a gift from god for each and every S&P company as it will provide a perfect excuse for everyone to miss revenues and earnings in Q4). That said, Wall Street is effectively closed today for carbon-based lifeforms if not for electron ones, and a quick look at the futures bottom line, which will be open until 9:15 am Eastern, shows a lot of red, with ES down nearly 10 ticks (Shanghai down again as the same old realization seeps day after day - no major easing from the PBOC means Bernanke and company is on their own) as the Friday overnight summary is back on again: Johnny 5 must defend 1400 in ES and 1.2900 in EURUSD at all costs for just two more hours.
If it wasn’t because the government sponsorship doping Q3 US GDP, we wouldn’t have much on the bright side.
European equities still desperate to shoot up. Feels like too many fickle shorts and too many uncomfortable longs at the same time.
Markets uneasy after round-tripping back to OMT / QE unleash levels and no follow-up stimuli to be seen.
There have been no major overnight events or surprises, with Europe continuing a war of semantics whether the Spanish bailout is a bailout, and attempting to avoid it as long as possible while reaping the benefits of Spanish bonds which are trading at post-bailout levels for a 3rd months now, as well as whether Greece will receive more Troika money (the WSJ reported that Greece requires €30 billion through 2016 to close its funding gap: a number which will eventually double, then triple), and yet as of moments ago the EURUSD slipped under the psychological 1.2900 support, which also means that 1400 on the SPX cash is in play. Italy did not help after business confidence declined from 88.3 to 87.6 on expectations of a rise to 88.7 What news there has been is largely the realization that reality is here to stay, following misses and guides lower from Amazon and Apple, and no matter what some low-volume algo tries to represent by buying the stock in the after hours session, profitability and cash flow creation for both companies will be lower going forward. In terms of newsflow, the NYT released a report last night that China's Premier may have been hiding billions in "related-party" transactions - imagine that, and one which promptly got the NYT blocked from China's internet. Obviously this is a touchy topic for China days ahead of its internal party vote, and one which will hardly score the US brownie points with the domestic administration. Concurrently, Japan announced a new fiscal "stimulus" for a whopping ... $9.4 billion. That is roughly the amount of money needed to evade deflation for 2-3 hours. More apropos, Bild reports what Bloomberg noted earlier, namely that Merkel has no majority for reported Greek aid, further blowing up the hole that Greek finmin Stournaras dug himself in with his lies earlier this week. So while everyone is once again on edge, with the Shanghai composite sliding 1.7%, and key technical levels either breached or in play, today's session promises to be quite interesting.
Puh… Why don’t we just wait for Apple? They might pitch a maxi iPhone 6? Or so…
Otherwise, rather Bad Karma day.
Flat start, bullish morning, refreshing afternoon. Nothing concrete or fundamental, so it’s a spiritual thing.
Uuuhh. Yesterday a heart attack and today Lights Out? Then again, markets went up seamlessly with no trigger and can thus slide the same way.
AAPL will need to come up with a helluva surprise mini iPad that does the cooking and bring the kids to school to turn around things overnight.
Spain situation still by far not settled enough to last without some real interventions / decisions.
Easy come, easier go. After yesterday's last hour ramp driven by a MarketWatch article that said absolutely nothing new about the Fed's monetization plans and an AAPL surge which saw the firm add $22 billion in market cap in one day (or more than the market cap of CBS Corp) sent stocks green, the overnight session has taken it all away and then some, with futures now trading roughly 12 ticks lower or at yesterday's lowest levels. The catalyst is, once again, Spain where Moody's downgraded five Spanish regions including Catalonia after the market close (for the reason, see our piece from the weekend "Spanish Regional Bailout Fund Runs Out Of Money"), coupled with news from Confidencial that Spain's budget deficit will overshoot the EU target of 6.3% and hit at least 7.3%, driven by a €10.5 billion deficit in the social security system, trashing the promises from last month's Spain's "reform" package, and as BNP said (confirming what we warned weeks ago), making the conditionality hurdle suddenly that much higher for Spain. And just as the world was getting comfortable that Spain will get away with using the OMP with virtually no conditions. The cherry on top came from France where the business conditions index slid to a 3 year low on expectations a trough had been put in place. The result is a tumble in the EURUSD to below the 1.3000 barrier, dragging stock futures, commodities, and of course Europe with it, sending the Spanish bond curve yield higher, and generally giving a very sour mood to the day as traders walk in.
- Dead Heat for Romney, Obama (WSJ)
- The Cheerful Billionaire Who Thinks Obama's a Socialist (Businessweek)
- "Get to work, Mr. Japanese Chairman": Japan Exports Tumble 10% as Maehara Presses BOJ to Ease (Bloomberg)
- Chinese Investors Fear Chill in Canada (WSJ)
- Rosneft Buys BP’s TNK-BP Stake for $26 Billion in Cash, Shares (Bloomberg)
- Hong Kong Defends Its Currency Peg for First Time Since 2009 (Bloomberg)
- Democrats threaten payroll tax cut consensus (FT)
- Spain's Rajoy gets mixed message in regional votes (Reuters)
- Merkel to warn UK on Europe budget veto (FT)
- Netanyahu says doesn't know of any U.S.-Iran talks (Reuters)... neither does Iran, so near certainty
- Der Kurrency Tsar: ECB’s Knot Backs Schaeuble Call for Stronger EU Budget Power (Bloomberg)
- Fannie Mae Limiting Loans Helps JPMorgan Mortgage Profits (Bloomberg)
Once again confusion is rife overnight, following yesterday's main European event, Spain's first "mixed" regional election, which saw Rajoy's PP party in his home state of Galicia eeking a majority by a few seats, offset by wins for nationalist parties in the Basque Country. The immediate read here is that the Galician win is an endorsement of Rajoy's "austerity poilicies" and thus EUR positive (which have yet to be actually implemented as Spanish spending continues to rise, as tax revenues continue to drop), yet it makes the likelihood that Spain requests a bailout before the Spanish regional election on November 25, which is about secession, virtually nil, and thus SPGB negative. Furthermore as Bank of America points out "some euro-area govts may remain reluctant to support Spain’s request as long as yields continue to be low, banks haven’t been recapitalized; probably reinforced by Catalonia elections" but that is a reality tale for another day - the "market" can only handle so much.
- Hillary Clinton Accepts Blame for Benghazi (WSJ)
- In Reversal, Cash Leaks Out of China (WSJ)
- Spain Considers EU Credit Line (WSJ)
- China criticizes new EU sanctions on Iran, calls for talks (Reuters)
- Portugal sees third year of recession in 2013 budget (Reuters)
- Greek PM says confident Athens will secure aid tranche (Reuters)
- Fears over US mortgages dominance (FT)
- Fed officials offer divergent views on inflation risks (Reuters)
- China Credit Card Romney Assails Gives Way to Japan (Bloomberg)
- Fed's Williams: Fed Actions Will Improve Growth (WSJ)
- Rothschild Quits Bumi to Fight Bakries’ $1.2 Billion Offer (Bloomberg)
The economic data twofer this morning was a beat and a miss. Retail sales increased by 1.1% on expectations of a 0.8% increase, with the last month's data being revised from 1.2% to 0.9%. Headline retail sales, ex autos was up 1.1% on expectations of a 0.7% print, and up from an upward revised 1.0%. Some of the main drivers in the September retail sales pick up were in electronics and appliance stores, which rose 4.5% from August (thank you iPhone 5), Gasoline Stations +2.5%, and Motor vehicle and parts dealers 1.3%, which continue to be a notable driver of retail strength for the second month in a row. As for the miss, it came from the Empire Fed, which increased from September's -10.41, to -6.16, but missed expectations of a -4 print. New Orders improved modestly from -14.03 to -8.97, and ironically was the only subindex in the entire report that staged an increase. Shipments declined to a negative print, from 2.75 to -6.40. Declines were also recorded in Delivery Times, Unfilled Orders, Inventories, Prices Paid, Prices Received, the average Employee Workweek, and most importantly, Number of Employees which declined from 4.26 to -1.08. Not even the forward looking indicators, so critical to consumer "confidence" managed to rise, dropping from 27.22 to 19.42.