Well, after the Great Disconnect last week, next to the Great Pumpkin, and Sandy, we had Election week and suddenly the great Wake-Up Call. Fiscal Cliff was suddenly all the rage and ramped up equities (disconnect) were beaten flat by bonds.
"Wake Up" (Bunds 1,34% -11; Spain 5,81% +17; Stoxx 2481 -2,4%; EUR 1,271 -130)
It's been a mere seven weeks since the CNBC'ers announced to the world that every widow, orphan, and pet-monkey should buy the market with both hands and feet as Bernanke just opened the gates. The exact phrase on the evening of QEternity was:
"Buy everything that's not nailed down... as bearish as I want to be, you cannot fight the Fed. You buy everything. Buy copper, which i did today, FCX which i mentioned last night. Anything else? Emerging markets! everything! Just buy it. Buy it all. You never have to short again. Buy it. I had a guy call me today trying to sell me research on the short side, and I said I'm sorry, I think you're going to go out of business. You shouldn't short anymore."
Things haven't quite gone as planned...
Europe had wanted a rebound, tried to hold on, panicked, sold off, triggered stops – and recovered as the US, although not rebounding fast and furious, at least held the line. EGB running a little out of steam, although August levels were traded again in Bunds. Periphery eventually tracking Risk, but with no own dynamic. Need to see how things close tonight. No More.
"No More" (Bunds 1,34% -2; Spain 5,81% -3; Stoxx 2481% +0,1%; EUR 1,271)
Hmmm… Initial rebound after yesterday’s bashing was rather modest, settling on a bit better and awaiting US input. Spain overdid its auction, which looked just good in the sense of being able to say it sold a new bond for size – to its dealers. ECB, happy to have provided the idea of OMT to save the world from simple panic, now going pessimistic (in non-panicky way). It’s just soft out there… It’s the economy, Stupid! And it is weak.
"Bop 'Til You Drop " (Bunds 1,36% -2; Spain 5,84% +16; Stoxx 2479% +0,1%; EUR 1,275)
As the Romney bounce was removed last night, German (and European) growth is lowered, AAPL's dominance is questioned, and the 'fiscal cliff' (oh yeah that) comes into focus, is it any wonder equity markets dumped today. Depending on which index you looked at, equities fell the most in a year (or a month) with the Dow and Nasdaq closing below their 200DMA. Gold and Bonds outperformed and S&P futures plunged further after-hours closing below its 100DMA for the first time in over 3 months (as VIX closed at 19% - its highest in 3 months)
Exuberant start (Who knows why?), flat lunch (made more sense…), dismal afternoon (to say the least). EGBs ramped up, as the reality of the last days’ figures kicked in. And suddenly everyone woke up and saw… and bonds were right. Tommy, "See Me, Feel Me".
"Pinball Wizard" (Bunds 1,38% -5; Spain 5,68% +4; Stoxx 2486 -1,8%; EUR 1,276)
Markets have found a good excuse to be on hold. Elections. No real US figures and a tendency to ignore European ones. No shoe dropping means upside, a little. Core EGBs rather firm nevertheless, for choice. Periphery, in absence of news, trading back and forth, so better today. EZ Q4 growth looks like stalling with a catch-up of a more lenient summer. More to come.
"Elected " (Bunds 1,43% +1; Spain 5,64% -9; Stoxx 2513 +0.5%; EUR 1,281)
Nothing really mattered… Eventually. Europe correcting Friday’s excessive optimism, in line with the US, treading water ahead of the elections. Still, the Periphery remained under (controlled) pressure with Spain cornering most, if not all negative headlines today – ahead of Thursday’s auction. 10 YRS periphery backing up to (selective) symbolic levels of 5% and 5.75% (damn’ near 6%).
Moments ago the Non-manufacturing ISM came out, and in keeping with the theme of Baffle with BS, started last night when the China HSBC services PMI dropped even as the Manufacturing PMI from last week signaled the start of a "new recovery" or something (just don't look at the Baltic Dry, and definitely don't look at the endless barrage of reverse repos proving the PBOC will not engage in wholesale easing), it printed the first miss and decline in three month, coming at 54.2 on expectations of a 54.5 print and down from 55.1 previously. What is troubling is that while otherwise an economic miss such as this one would have been sufficient to ramp the bizarro marke, today it has merely sent ES to fresh intraday lows. Perhaps the reason is that unlike last week's Manufacturing ISM, whose headline was good but internals were not, this time it is the other way around with New Orders down but Employment rising from 51.1 to 54.9, the highest since March. Does this meant the Fed will prematurely end QEternity? Of course not, but the market appears to be shooting first, as usual, and asking questions later.
We had ended the week on Fri 26 being “On the Road to Nowhere”, which essentially wasn’t that wrong a call, as markets got stuck on Sandy’s path.
So, as last week: Nothing new. Spailout OMT still not in play – and might not be this year's business. Officially. Hmmm... Yeah. Sure. We'll see. Greece, haggling not over.
Big Disconnect between Risk and Reality, Equities and Bonds.
If you bought the deep OTM, high theta option that is the Greek stock market on October 1, or wheat on January 1, 2012, you can now retire. For everyone else who still hasn't gotten the hang of this here "New Normal" Cramer market, better luck next time.
While everyone is loudly patting themselves on the back for getting the electronic exchanges open and enabling a few proud men to wriggle out of positions (or into them) into month-end, we can't help but notice the overall weak tone of equities. The S&P 500 cash markets proclaim a very small green close but after-hours futures are getting hammered. The Dow is only -10pts (but with IBM and HD alone accounting for 25 points of gain!), The Nasdaq is leaking painfully as AAPL traded down exactly as we thought - inched back above VWAP and tumbled into the close -1.5%. Broad risk-assets, which had been indicating a lower move in US equities, kept on sliding and stocks stayed with them all day as correlations picked back up. Treasury yields are 4-6bps lower than Friday's close, the USD is down around -0.12%, but Gold and Silver are up 0.6% on the week now. Oil slipped (after a European close spike and dike) and Copper slid from the US open. The main story of today is the crash in S&P 500 futures after-hours to the lows of the day (down 8 points from its cash close).
The choice of the word “unadulterated” is not accidental. There were many different kinds of gold standard, including what we now call the Classical Gold Standard, the Gold Bullion Standard, and the Gold Exchange Standard. Each contained flaws; each was adulterated.
It doesn’t matter how abundant liquid fossil fuels might be; it’s their cost that impacts the economy. Many people think “peak oil” is about the world is “running out of oil." Actually, “peak oil” is about the world running out of cheap, easy-to-get oil. That means fossil fuels might be abundant (supply exceeds demand) for a time but still remain expensive. We are trained to expect that anything that is abundant will be cheap, but energy is a special case: it can be abundant but costly, because it’s become costly to produce. EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) helps illuminate this point.
Uhhhh. It just couldn’t last. Risk had been pushed higher and higher in anticipation, but a combination of reality-check, rather unsettling Q3 earnings and renewed Spanish jitters just made players come down hard from their previous week’s high flying exercise.
Spailout OMT still not in play. Greece, haggling not over. Earnings rather bad. PMIs dismal. Central Banks on hold, as everything is on the table, at least for the moment.