Consumer Sentiment

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Frontrunning: December 23





  • Christmas rally enters sixth day in Europe (Reuters)
  • Downing North Korea's Internet not much of a scalp (Reuters)
  • North Korean Internet Access Restored After Hours-Long Outage (BBG)
  • At U.N. council, U.S. calls life in North Korea 'living nightmare' (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Cuts Gold Reserve to Nine-Year Low as Russia Buys (BBG)
  • De Blasio Seeks to Heal Rifts With Police After Officers Slain (BBG)
  • Oil steady around $60 on hopes of strong U.S. data (Reuters) - so it fell below $60 because...
  • Australian Dollar Hits Four and a Half Year Low on Chine Growth Worries (Reuters)
 
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Did The American Consumer Just Unwittingly Call The Top?





Who said economics can’t be fun?! How is it not absolutely brilliant that in the face of a collapsing shale oil industry – or at least, for the moment, of its financing model -, and the worst week for the Dow since 2011, the Thomson Reuters/UofMichigan consumer sentiment index shows American consumers are more optimistic than they’ve been in 8 years, and that “more consumers volunteered good news than bad news than in any month since 1984?? 1984! How does one trump that as a contrarian signal? And that I don’t mean to sound funny: that is serious.

 
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Will Oil Kill The Zombies?





If prices fall any further (and what’s going to stop them?), it would seem that most of the entire shale edifice must of necessity crumble to the ground. And that will cause an absolute earthquake in the financial world, because someone supplied the loans the whole thing leans on. An enormous amount of investors have been chasing high yield, including many institutional investors, and they’re about to get burned something bad. We might well be looking at the development of a story much bigger than just oil.

 
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Frontrunning: December 12





  • Oil slide hits European stocks, safe-haven assets sought (Reuters)
  • IEA Cuts Global Oil Demand Forecast for 4th Time in Five Months (BBG)
  • Cue constant pro-Abe propaganda out of Japan: Japan’s Secrecy Law Takes Effect as Abe Seeks Fair Vote Coverage (BBG)
  • As if it has a choice: Japan’s GPIF Bets on Abenomics-Driven Recovery (WSJ)
  • Heather Capital: How a $600 Million Hedge Fund Disappeared (WSJ)
  • Senate Panel Votes to Authorize U.S. War on Islamic State (BBG)
  • Japan’s 28 IPOs in 11 Days Give Abe a Lift as Startups Boom (BBG)
  • U.S. authorities face new fallout from insider trading ruling (Reuters)
  • Greek Stock Rout Means ASE Is 2014 Worst After Russia (BBG)
 
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Crude Drops, Yields Slump, Futures Tumble





Anyone who was hoping the market would rebound on last-minute news that the US government has gotten funding for another 9 months, will be disappointed this morning, when futures are finally starting to notice the relentless decline in crude, and with Brent down another 1% as of this writing following yet another cut in the forecast of Global oil demand by the IEA (the 4th in the last 5 months) and with Chinese industrial production also missing estimates (recall that the Chinese slow-motion hard landing has been said by many to be the primary catalyst for the crude collapse) which however pushed Chinese stocks higher on hopes of even more stimulus, the S&P is trading lower by some 14 points, the 10 Year is in the red zone at 2.12%, and the USDJPY is close to session lows. In short: Kevin Henry's "ETF" desk at the NY Fed will have its work cut out to generate one of the now traditional pre-weekend feel good, boost confidence stock market ramps.

 
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Welcome To The Recovery: 40% of Americans Live Paycheck To Paycheck (Up From 30% In 2012)





Nothing screams economic recovery like 2 out of every 5 Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Especially when that number has reportedly increased by 33% since 2012. Perhaps someone should inform these destitute plebs that the stock market is up nearly 45% over the past two years, and after all, nothing says economic success like the 0.01% enriching themselves via fraud and financial engineering.

 
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Crushing The "Lower Gas Price = More Spending" Fiction





With uncertainty lingering and patience wearing thin after five-plus years of still lackluster wage growth, consumers are increasing saving for the future, hedging against a continuation of “more of the same.” Thus, for many, extra savings at the pump as a result of lower gas prices are simply being stored away to help supplement spending needs in the future, ramping up savings, not spending.

 
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The Macro Mauling Continues: Germany Contracts, Japan Downgraded, Copper Tumbles, WTI Lowest Since 2009, Gold Up





Another day full of global macroeconomic disappointments is certain to send the S&P500 to all time-higherest records as 100,000 or so E-mini contracts exchange hands between central banks and Citadel's algos.

 
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Frontrunning: November 26





  • National Guard, police curb Ferguson unrest as protests swell across U.S. (Reuters)
  • Ferguson Reaction Across U.S. Shows Complex Racial Split (BBG)
  • Democratic senator Schumer: Democrats Screwed Up By Passing Obamacare In 2010 (TPM)
  • Veto threat derails Reid tax deal (Hill)
  • Justice Department Investigating Possible HSBC Leak to Hedge Fund (WSJ)
  • Merkel hits diplomatic dead-end with Putin (Reuters), and yet...
  • Merkel Said to Reject Ukraine NATO Bid as Rousing Tension (BBG)
  • HSBC, Goldman Rigged Metals’ Prices for Years, Suit Says (BBG)
 
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"Failed" Bund Auction At Record Low Yield And All Other Key Overnight Events





While there has been no global economic outlook cut today, or no further pre-revision hints of "decoupling" by the appartchiks at the US Bureau of Economic Analysis,  both European and US equities are pointing at a higher open, because - you guessed it - there were more "suggestions" of "imminent" QE by a central bank, in this case it was again ECB's Constancio dropping further hints over a potential ECB QE programme, something the ECB has become the undisputed world champion in. The constant ECB jawboning, and relentless central bank interventions over the past 6 years, led to this:

  • GERMANY SELLS 10-YEAR BUNDS AT RECORD-LOW YIELD OF 0.74%

The punchline: this was another technically "failed" auction as it was uncovered, the 10th of the year, as there was not enough investor demand at this low yield, and so the Buba had to retain a whopping 18.8% - the most since May - with just €3.250Bn of the €4Bn target sold, after receiving €3.67Bn in bids.

 
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5 Things To Ponder: Rising Risk





There are things going on with the financial markets currently that seem just a bit "out of balance." For example, asset prices are rising against a backdrop of global weakness, deflationary pressures and rising valuations. More importantly, there is a rising divergence between sentiment and hard data. While weather can't be blamed yet, it will likely be the main "excuse" in the months ahead as early record snowfall is already impacting economic production. However, it isn't just the manufacturing data that seems "out of whack."

 
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Frontrunning: November 14





  • "The hate us for our..." Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program (WSJ)
  • Ukraine and Russia take center stage as leaders gather for G20 (Reuters)
  • Moscow and Kiev trade accusations; U.S. warns Russia against escalation (Reuters)
  • Heartland Central Banker Calls Asset Bubbles Top Concern (BBG)
  • U.S. Said to Give Banks December Deadline in FX Probe (BBG)
  • Series of Failures Enabled White House Breach, Report Finds (WSJ)
  • Yen plumbs seven-year trough on likely Japan sales tax delay (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan Chase Bankers Said to Lead Moscow Departure (BBG)
 
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Italy Remains In Recession As Germany Avoids Triple-Dip By Smallest Possible Margin





The key event overnight was the release of European Q3 GDP data, which saw Germany averting a recession by the narrowest of margins when following a -0.2% drop in Q2 economic growth, Germany grew by the smallest amount possible in Q3, or 0.1%, in line with expectations, thus averting two consecutive quarters of decline, the technical definition of a recession. The French economy likewise posted a modest increase in Q3, although one wonders how aggressively the data had to be fudged for a country whose PMIs all indicate a -1% or greater contraction. Italy however was less creative with its use of "hookers and blow", and continued its recession with a 3rd negative print, contracting at -0.1% as expected, while Portugal also missed third quarter growth estimates.

 
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Dollar Profit-Taking Keeps Futures Flat In Quiet Session





Following Friday's sticksave, where the usual 3:30 pm ramp brigade pushed futures just barely green into the close despite a miss in the payrolls report which the spin brigade did everything in its power to make it seem that the hiring a few hundred thousand young female waitresses was bullish for the economy, overnight we have seen a listless session, dominated by more USD-profit taking as increasingly more wonder if the relentless surge higher in the Greenback is massively overdone, especially considering that stocks are screaming "worldwide recession" excluding the US, if only for now, because as Goldman explained soaring USD means plunging Oil, means tumbling E&P capex, means lower GDP, means less growth, means lower corporate profits, and so on. That said, we expect the now trivial Virtu JPY momentum-ignition algos to activate shortly, pushing the USDJPY and its derivative, the S&P500, higher in the coming minutes, and certainly before the US market opens in under 3 hours.

 
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