And just like that, the Ebola panic is back front and center, because after one week of the west African pandemic gradually disappearing from front page coverage and dropping out of sight and out of mind, suddenly Ebola has struck at global ground zero. While the consequences are unpredictable at this point, and a "follow through" infection will only set the fear level back to orange, we applaud whichever central bank has been buying futures (and the USDJPY) because they clearly are betting that despite the first ever case of Ebola in New York, that this will not result in a surge in Ebola scare stories, which as we showed a few days ago, may well have been the primary catalyst for the market freakout in the past month.
What do an old German bank note, a current $100 bill, and an apple all have in common? The answer, according to ConvergEx's Nick Colas, is that these simple objects can tell us much about the current investment scene, ranging from Europe’s economic challenges to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s attempts to reduce unemployment. Colas takes an “object-ive” approach to analyzing the current investment landscape by describing 10 common items and how they shape our perceptions of reality. The other objects on our list: a hazmat suit, a house in Orlando, a barrel of oil, a Rolex watch, a butterfly, a heating radiator in Berlin, and a smartphone.
Top Bioweapons Expert Is Convinced of It
Futures Bounce On Stronger Europe Headline PMIs Despite Markit's Warning Of "Darker Picture" In "Anaemic" InternalsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/23/2014 06:59 -0400
Perhaps the most interesting question from late yesterday is just how did the Chinese PMI rebound from 50.4 to 50.2, when the bulk of its most important forward-looking components, New Orders, Output, New Export Orders, posted a material deterioration? When asked, not even Markit could provide an explanation that seemed remotely reasonable so we can only assume the headline was goalseeked purely for the kneejerk reaction benefit of various algos that only focus on the headline and nothing else. Luckily, we didn't have much time to ponder this quandary as a few hours later we got the latest batch of Eurozone PMI numbers.
The reactions in USDJPY, Nikkei 225, S&P futures, Gold, Treasury futures, and oil (in a word - none!) tells you all you need to know about the market's total loss of faith in the soft-survey-based PMI data from around the world (and in particular China and Japan). Despite dramatic weakness in a slew of hard-date economic indicators for both nations, the PMIs rose and beat. Japan's to 7-month highs (so much for moar QQE?) but New orders and Output tumbled. China rose and beat but all key components dropped. As the two charts below suggest... things in PMI data production-land need some better "adjustments" if they are to keep the dream alive...
With the US Shale Oil industry up in arms, Venezuela screaming, and Russia awkwardly quiet (as the Ruble slides with the falling oil price stabilizing domestic inflows), the 'secret' Saudi-US oil deal that pressured prices for crude down to $80 (18-month lows today) has 'hurt' a lot of the world's producer nations. However, as Bloomberg reports, there is one nation that is very grateful. The number of supertankers sailing toward China’s ports surged to a nine-month high as over 80 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) - the industry’s biggest ships - sail toward the Asian country’s ports. At an average of 2 million barrels each, the 160 million barrels will help refill China's 727 million barrel SPR which it started in 2012.
While some pointed north to the aweful events in Ottowa, it appears the bigger driver of weakness in stocks today (aside from a sudden absence of broken VIX markets, a lack of Fed Speakers, and the truth about ECB bond-buying being exposed) was the plunge in crude oil. WTI tumbled from over $83 to a low $80 handle after inventories surged more than expected and that appeared the catalyst for equities to catch down to credit weakness. Treasury yields closed the day unchanged but sold off notably in the EU session (like yesterday). The USDollar strengthened for the 2nd day in a row (now up 0.55% on the week) on EUR weakness (CAD volatile around shootings), weighing on commodities. Silver was monkey-hammered early, copper and gold slid, then oil plunged (down 2% on the week). Yesterday's big winner Trannies tumbled the most today (-2%) as stocks gave up half the week's gains today.
It appears some of the 'fundamental' legs of the face-ripping ramp in stocks are fading. Broken Markets - nope; Fed Speakers - nope (blackout period); Crude rising - nope (WTI back under $81)
Alongside the CPI data released earlier which showed the smallest possible broad price increase, when considering that previously the BLS reported flat nominal hourly wages in September, it implied that real wages declined once again. Sure enough, in a separate report today, the BLS announced that real average hourly earnings (in constant 1982-1984 dollars) declined once again, this time from $10.34 to $10.32, a -0.2% drop from past month. This also means that since March, there has been just one month in which real hourly wages have increased, and that was mostly due to the outright deflationary print the BLS reported last month.
Equity Levitation Stumbles After Second ECB Denial Of Corporate Bond Buying, Report Of 11 Stress Test FailuresSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/22/2014 06:57 -0400
If the ultimate goal of yesterday's leak was to push the EUR lower (and stocks higher of course), then the reason why today's second rejection did little to rebound the Euro is because once again, just after Europe's open, Spanish Efe newswire reported that 11 banks from 6 European countries had failed the ECB stress test. Specifically, Efe said Erste, along with banks from Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece, had failed the ECB review based on preliminary data, but gave no details of the size of the capital holes at the banks.
Spot the odd one out: Short-end Treasuries flat, JPY carry risk-off, IBM/KO/MCD dumped, HY Credit weak... Stocks best day in a year!
Summing it all up: Volumeless buying panic on ECB buying rumors!
Latest Central Bank Sticksave Halts Futures Slide, Sends E-Mini Soaring After ECB Said "Looking To Buy Bonds"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/21/2014 06:41 -0400
To summarize: the S&P 500 is now almost 100 points higher from last Tuesday as the global central bank plunge protection team of first Williams and Bullard hinting at QE4, then ECB's Coeure "ECB buying to start in a few days", then China's latest $30 billion "targeted stimulus", then the Japanese GPIF hinting at a 25% stock rebalancing in the pension fund, and finally again the ECB, this time "buying of corporate bonds on secondary markets", rolls on and manages to send stocks into overdrive. Even as absolutely nothing has been fixed, as Europe is still tumbling into a triple-drip recession, as Emerging Markets are being slammed by a global growth slowdown and the US corporate earnings picture is as bleak as it gets. Because "fundamentals."
The problem for a city like Houston (or many others like it), with deep ties to the production and oil, is a "shock" from a supply/demand reversion could bring the economic "boom" quickly to an end. We are certainly not saying that the "wheels are about to come off of the cart." However, we do suggest that there is a potential for a very negative shock in the energy space given the extreme complacency that current exists. History suggests that true "miracles" are few and far between as most tend to just "illusions of hope."
Confused why one second the market is down 1%, and then moments later, upon returning from the bathroom, one finds it up by the same amount on negligible volume? Simple: there continues to be zero liquidity. Although, not just in equities, but in bonds as well, something this website - and the TBAC and Citi's Matt King - has warned for over year. It is the lack of bond liquidity that led to last week's dramatic surge in bond prices as Bloomberg noticed overnight. So for those curious just how bad bond liquidity is now, here is JPM's Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou with the explanation: