Once again it's all about Greece, with the latest iteration of a "Greek deal is imminent" rumor making the rounds and, just like yesterday, sending futures in the green, just a little over an hour after the increasingly more illiquid E-mini future has slid 0.7%. The EUR, where the bulk of Virtu headline kneejerk reacting algos are to be found, has surged over 100 pips overnight on more hope and optimism.
On a year-over-year basis, average spending in May of 2015 was $7 less than 2014, and nearly identical to 2013, when the US unemployment rate was nearly 3% higher, and the economy was supposedly sputtering badly enough for the Fed to launch QE3. Finally, as the chart below shows, this was the biggest month of May consumer spending drop in nominal dollar terms since the 2008 financial crisis.
"Wall Street’s generous supply of funds to U.S. oil drillers helped create the American energy boom. Now that same access to easy money is keeping them going, despite oil prices that are languishing around $60 a barrel," WSJ says, proving that the era of easy money has in fact led to deflation.
- Senate lets NSA spy program lapse, at least for now (Reuters)
- Draghi Deflation Relief Means Little With Greek Threat Unsolved (BBG)
- Tepid factory data add to Asian gloom (FT)
- Citigroup Likely to Close Banamex USA (WSJ)
- Frugality of High Earners in U.S. Shows Long Shadow of Recession (BBG)
- Greece’s Tsipras Warns Bell May Toll for Europe (BBG)
- Carnegie Mellon Reels After Uber Lures Away Researchers (WSJ)
- Romário leads drive for Brazilian probe into Fifa (FT)
- Faster than China? India's road, rail drive could lay doubts to rest (Reuters)
Remember China's 6% crash last week? It is now a distant memory made even more remote thanks to the latest batch of ugly data out of China, coupled with hints of even more liquidity injections, which led to the latest surge in the Shcomp, an index that has put most pennystocks to shame. In Europe, the big story remains Greece, and as everyone expected, the doomed country and its creditors failed to make a deal on Sunday. This is after Greek Officials were said to have prepared a draft agreement, which was expected to be announced on Sunday. Not helping things, Greek PM Tsipras came out in fully defiant mode and accused bailout monitors of making “absurd” demands and seeking to impose “harsh punishment” on Athens. A bunch of final PMI number showed a modest improvement in the periphery at the expense of Germany whose deterioration is starting to be a concern.
Having detailed the less status-quo-sustaining side of things, thanks to some frankness from Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller, who warned "unlike 1929, this time everything - Stocks, Bonds and Housing - is overvalued," we thought it only fair-and-balanced to illustrate the alternative perspective and who better than Jeremy Siegel to deliver it. In his anti-thesis of Shiller's facts, Siegel unleashes textbook dogma to pronounce, "in no way do current levels quality as a bubble", that stock returns should remain supported by fundamentals, there is no sign of a recession in the next 18 months, The Dow's fair-value currently is 20,000, and "not much" could dissuade him from holding stocks.
Combination of important events/data and large move in last two weeks, the dollar may pullback/consolidate in the days ahead.
"The oil rebound has run out of gas and now you are seeing nervous investors with itchy trigger fingers bailing out of USO," notes Bloomberg, as the biggest US ETF that tracks oil is heading for the largest two-month outflow in six years, raising concern that crude’s 30% rally may stall. As BNP points out, "we do not think that the bulls have enough supporting fundamental factors to make a case for a higher oil price," and judging by the mass exodus from USO, as Bloomberg concludes, knife-catching 'investors' "don’t want to get burned by another drop in oil."
With production soaring by the most in almost 2 years, the rig count declines (or additions) appear to have become noise but following last week's single oil rig decline but this week's re-acceleration of declines is rather notable. Total rigs declined 10 to 875 and oil rigs declined 13 to 646 (the biggest weekly drop in a month). Crude prices had soared into the rig count data (despite the record production in Russia, OPEC's promise to keep production at highs, US production surging, and economic growth slumping) and kept going after.
While it is likely oil prices could get a bit of a bump from a decline in the U.S. dollar, ultimately it will come down to the fundamentals longer term. It is quite clear that the speculative rise in oil prices due to the "fracking miracle" has come to its inglorious, but expected conclusion. What is interesting is that most have not figured out that the same thing will occur with the artificially driven surge in financial markets as well. It is quite apparent the some lessons are simply never learned.
Another day, another stock market dump saved by another Greece headline...
GREECE WILL MAKE JUNE 5 PAYMENT DUE TO IMF, GREEK ECONOMY MINISTER STATHAKIS: REAL
The question is, what money will Greece use this time? They already "borrowed" their IMF reserves to make the May 12 €750MM payment to the IMF...
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.
"The supply of oil continues to build," warns the CEO of one super-tanker fleet, and "all of this oil needs to go somewhere," which is why the surge in super-tankers to a seven year high strong suggests all is not well in the world's hopeful 'demand' picture. With charter rates up a stunning 57% in the last few weeks with millions of barrels being stored on ships is another indication that the oil glut is yet to dissipate (and in fact, as Bloomberg reports, is getting worse - with almost half a billion barrels of oil in transit to buyers at the start of June, the most this year). With OPEC's meeting around the corner, a sudden realization of this rising glut may send prices plummeting once again.