News That Matters
Earlier today FCX announced that in order to save its business, it would lay off 10% of its employees, and that it now expects $4 billion in capital expenditures for 2016, down from a prior estimate of $5.6 billion. Its 2015 capital expenditure budget currently stands at $6.3 billion. The resultant surge in the company, which exploded by 30% in the regular hours, made many wonder if there wasn't more to the story. The answer is: yes, there was, and moments ago none other than Carl Icahn announced an 88 million, or 8.46% stake in the copper miner, in a 13D which said that said the company was "undervalued" and that Icahn is now seeking a board seat.
WTI Crude just surged from $38.50 to over $41 and at the same time the USD Index has been surging. In fact, the correlation regime between these two seemingly negatively correlated assets has entirely shifted since last week's FOMC Statement.
Aggressive Chinese Intervention Prevents Another Rout, Sends Stocks Soaring 5% In Last Trading Hour; US Futures JumpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/27/2015 06:48 -0400
After a 5 day tumbling streak, which saw Chinese stock plunge well over 20% and 17% in just the first three days of this week, overnight the Shanghai Composite was hanging by a thread (and threat) until the last hour of trading. In fact, this is what the SHCOMP looked like until the very end: Up 2.6%, up 1.2%, up 2.8%, up 0.6%, up 2%... down 0.2%. And then the cavalry came in: "Heavyweight stocks like banks and insurance companies helped pull up the index, and it’s possibly China Securities Finance entering the market again to shore up stocks," Central China Sec. strategist Zhang Gang told Bloomberg by phone. Net result: the Composite, having been red just shortly before the close, soared higher by 156 points or 5.4%, showing the US stock market just how it's down.
Here We Go Again: US Equities Surge Even As Chinese Stock Market Rollercoaster Tumbles To 8 Month LowSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/26/2015 08:16 -0400
It seemed like finally China's relentless and increasingly futile attempts to have a green stock close would work: interest rate cuts, liquidity injections, direct stock interventions, even threats on the Prime Minister's head, and just to make certain moments before the close news very deliberately broke that government funds are buying large financial stocks, especially state-owned banks, to support the index, in the latest clear signs of government support, the Shanghai Composite seemed on pace to end an unprecedented series of consecutive tumbles which have dragged the composite down nearly 1000 points, or 25% in one week, and then... red close, with the SHCOMP down 1.3% to 2927, and a stunned China watching in horror as the central bank and government lose control, and everything they throws at the biggest market bubble of 2015 does absolutely nothing.
The Fed could potentially go “nuclear” with a massive QE program if the markets fall far enough, but this would only accelerate the pace at which investors lose confidence in Central Banks’ abilities to rein in the carnage.
The PBOC cut itself was not surprising, considering the PBOC now has to juggle and micromanage every aspect of the economy, from its sliding currency, to the bursting stock bubble, to record capital outflow, to soaring real interest rates, to the slowing economy. In fact, bulls around the globe will welcome the latest central bank bailout. Which also happens to be the worst aspect of today's intervention, because one can once again toss all the talk that China would finally stop intervening in asset pricing, with today's decision merely perpetuating the market's reliance on central banks. As a reference, this was the second time China cut both RRR and interest rates in 2 months: the last time it did so was during the depths of the financial crisis.
"Gold and silver will be your only lifeboats as they are no one’s liability in a world where everything including the money in your pocket is someone else’s liability.”
We warned on Friday, after last week's China rout, that the market is getting ahead of itself with its expectation of a RRR-cut by China as large as 100 bps. "The risk is that there isn't one." We were spot on, because not only was there no RRR cut, but Chinese stocks plunged, with the composite tumbling as much a 9% at one point, the most since 1996 when it dropped 9.4% in a single session. The session, as profile overnight was brutal, with about 2000 stocks trading by the -10% limit down, and other markets not doing any better: CSI 300 -8.8%, ChiNext -8.1%, Shenzhen Composite -7.7%. This was the biggest Chinese rout since 2007.
"It is an old saying in commodities that the best cure for low prices is low prices. Market participants are now asking how much further prices need to fall and how long they need to stay there to bring supply and demand back in to balance and halt the price declines across a broad swathe of different raw materials markets. The fear is that just as the upside of the supercycle brought an unprecedented and long period of historical price highs, the plunge to the downside is shaping up to be equally dramatic and may yet have a way to run."
"The combined levels of bullish optimism, lack of concern about a possible market correction (don't worry the Fed has the markets back), and rising levels of leverage in markets provide the 'ingredients' for a more severe market correction. However, it is important to understand that these ingredients by themselves are inert. It is because they are inert that they are quickly dismissed under the guise that 'this time is different.' Like a thermite reaction, when these relatively inert ingredients are ignited by a catalyst, they will burn extremely hot. Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly what that catalyst will be or when it will occur. The problem for individuals is that they are trapped by the combustion an unable to extract themselves in time."
Even if it is short term oversold, this is actually a quite dangerous market – caveat emptor, as they say.
Perhaps the biggest surprise about the overnight Chinese stock rout is which followed the lowest manufacturing PMI since March 2009, is that it happened despite repeat sellside pleas for a PBOC RRR cut as soon as this weekend: usually that alone would have been sufficient to push the market back into the green, and it almost worked when in the afternoon session stocks rebounded after dropping as much as 4.7% below the "hard" floor of 3500, but then a second bout of selling just before the close took Chinese stocks right back to the lows with the Shanghai Composite closing at 3,507, down 4.3% on the day, having wiped out the entire 18% rebound from July 8 when the PBOC first threatened both sellers and shorters with arrest.