Following the collapse in Gallup's consumer confidence and Bloomberg's Consumer Comfort, UMich Consumer Senitment printed 90.7 (against expectations of a rise to 89.5 from 95.9). With May's preliminary print the biggest miss in 17 months, this final drop leaves Consumer Sentiment at its lowest since November 2014. Hope dropped from 88.8 to 84.2 but it was the collapse in Current conditions - which fell from 107 to 100.8 - that crushed the headline. This is the biggest plunge in current conditions since Summer 2011 (the US debt downgrade). Business expectations plunged to 8-month lows, employment expectations tumbled... but the number who think it's a good time to buy a house rose.
The most prominent market event overnight was once again the action in China's penny-index, which after tumbling at the open and briefly entering a 10% correction from the highs hit just two days ago, promptly saw the BTFDers rush in, whether retail, institutional or central bankers, and after rebounding strongly from the -3% lows, the SHCOMP closed practically unchanged following a 2% jump to complete yet another 5% intraday swing on absolutely no news, but merely concerns what the PBOC is doing with liquidity, reverse repos, margin debt, etc. Needless to say, this is one of the world's largest stock markets, not the Pink Sheets.
With business confidence collapsing, Bloomberg's Consumer Comfort index - after dropping to its lowest since December - plunged once again this week to 40.9 (from 42.4). This is the lowest since Novemeber and extends the losing streak to 7 weeks - something we have not seen sionce May 2008. This confirms Gallup's weekly tracking of consumer confidence dropped back to its lowest levels since early December 2014 with 53% of Americans now saying the economy is getting worse. Despite all the exuberance over lower oil prices, Consumer Comfort in The South is crashing. Perhaps even worse - for a consumer-driven economy - is that the "buying-climate"suffered its biggest drop since Dec 2011.
Courtesy of central planning, virtually every single capital market has become an illiquid penny stock, with wild swings from one extreme to the other, the latest example of this being the Shanghai Composite, which after soaring 10% in the past ten days, crashed 6.5% overnight tumbling 321 points to 4620 after it briefly rose just shy of 5000. This was the biggest drop since January 19 when the Composite dropped 7.7% only to blast higher ever since. Putting the "plunge" in perspective, now the SHCOMP is back to levels not seen in... one week.
Switzerland is set to open its first Bitcoin bank, multiple sources tell Handelszeitung. Meanwhile, Xapo, the self-appointed "Fort Knox" of the crypto currency world, is relocating from Silicon Valley to Zurich.
Today's entire surge in stocks and EURUSD was predicated on nothing more than momentum ignited from rumors of a report that a deal was imminent. So now that Germany has come out and stated - unequivocally - that:
*GERMAN GOVT SURPRISED BY GREEK REPORTS OF PROGRESS: OFFICIAL
One might imagine some of the ramp would be removed.. and it is in EURUSD, but not in stocks. However, as JPMorgan warns "hope is not an investment case. The longer we go without a deal, the less likely we believe a deal becomes/the higher the chance of Grexit."
"The price of it swings, but on the other hand it is a 100 percent guarantee from legal and political risks." - Dmitry Tulin, manager of Russia's monetary policy.
It had been a painfully quiet session in Asia (where Chinese levitation continues with the Shanghai Composite up another 0.6% oblivious of yesterday's rout in the US, because as we explained for China it is now critical to blow the world's biggest stock bubble) and Europe, where the only notable news as that for the first time in months the ECB had not increase the Greek ELA, keeping it at €80.2 billion on conflicting reports that Greek deposit withdrawals had halted even as Kathimerini said another €300MM had been pulled just yesterday, suggesting the ECB has reached the end of its road when it comes to funding nearly two-thirds of what Greek deposits are left in local banks. But the punchline came moments ago when Bloomberg reported that "Greece will likely miss a deadline for a deal with creditors by the end of the week as the two sides have made little progress during talks in recent days."
... at least according to the Atlanta Fed. Based on the one GDP model which hasn't lost all credibility and which for the past 3 months has captured the attention to wannabe weathermen and other Wall Street strategists, today's bevy of stronger than expected data, everything from Durable Goods, to core CapEx, to New Home Sales, to Case Shiller, to Consumer Confidence, and even the Richmond Fed was sufficient to push Q2 GDP... by 0.1% to 0.8%.
Having missed for a record 5 months in a row, Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook collapsed further in May to -20.8 (against expectations of -12.4). Thisis the 5th drop in a row (only ever seen in a recession) and 6th monthly miss in a row (never seen before) as it appears Former Dallas Fed Fisher was talking crap once again when he said "net, low oil prices were good for Texas." Despite Consumer Confidence indicating, somehow, that Texans are the most confident in a year (up from 121 to 130 in May), business survey continues to point to notable weakness with employment collapsing, hours worked crashing, and production plunged. However, on a bright note, expectations for the future jumped from -5.9 to +4.9 - hope springs etermal eh?
In an important interview with Reuters in 2012, John Butler suggested that if one country - he cited Russia - were to back its currency with gold it could cause a 20% collapse in the dollar in just 24 hours. In order to stabilise the currency and in an attempt to preserve the reserve currency status of the dollar, the U.S. would be forced against its will to back its currency with gold.
While yesterday most markets were closed and unable to express their concerns at the very strong showing of "anti-austerity" parties in Spain's municipal election from Sunday, then today they have free reign to do just that, and as a result European stocks are broadly lower, alongside the EURUSD which dripped under 1.09 earlier today, with Spanish banks among the worst performers: Shares of Banco Sabadell, Bankia, Caixabank and Popular were down 1.8 to 2.3% earlier this morning, and while the stronger dollar was a gift to both the Nikkei and Europe in early trading, after opening in the green, Spain's IBEX has since slid into the red on concerns of what happens if the Greek anti-status quo contagion finally shifts to the Pyrenees.
With US markets closed for the Memorial Day holiday, and some of the key European markets likewise shuttered for public holiday including the UK, Germany and Switzerland, it is difficult to find where one can observe or trade the weekend's newsflow, which is once again centered on developments in Europe, where on Sunday Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party suffered its worst result in a municipal election in 24 years while Greece continues to threaten with default 5 some years after it should have officially pulled the plug.
Chinese Stock Bubble Frenzy Returns; US Futures Flat Ahead Of Today's Pre-Holiday Zero Volume Melt UpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/22/2015 05:51 -0500
The highlight of the overnight newsflow may have been the BOJ's preannounced statement that it is keeping its QE unchanged (which comes as no surprise after a few weeks ago the BOJ adimitted it would be unable to keep inflation "stable" at the 2% in the required timeframe), but the highlight of overnight markets was certainly China, where the Banzai Buyers have reemerged, leading to another whopping +2.8% session for the Shanghai Composite which has now risen to a fresh 7 years high.
To preserve any idea that the US is not heading into recession, the FOMC is now wholly reliant on statistical processes within the BEA’s use of the Census Bureau’s updated ARIMA-X13 modeling system. It is amazing to see this policy body that once proclaimed, unequivocally and forcefully, that it could perform the monetary equivalent of sorcery and alchemy reduced to quivering about winter. The latest policy statement, a silly farce of its own accord, is, quite simply, an embarrassment.