Same slide, different day, as the crude crash continues, with both WTI and Brent tumbling to multi-year highs, below $49 and $52 respectively. This happened despite the news overnight that China is accelerating 300 infrastructure projects valued at 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) this year, suggesting that China will focus more on fiscal policy than monetary easing, which in turn led to much confusion in the SHCOMP, which fluctuated up and down for the day several times before finally closing unchanged. There was no confusion about the stops slamming USDJPY, and its Nikkei225 derivative which tumbled 3%, sending Japanese Treasury yields to fresh record lows. Record low yields were also seen in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, France (and many other places), which in turn forced the US 10 Year to finally dip back under 2.00%. In fact, taken together, the average 10Y bond yield of the U.S., Japan and Germany has dropped below 1% for the first time ever, according to Citi.
"Oil is incredibly important right now. If oil falls to around $40 a barrel then I think the yield on ten year treasury note is going to 1%. I hope it does not go to $40 because then something is very, very wrong with the world, not just the economy. The geopolitical consequences could be – to put it bluntly – terrifying."
“Don’t look back - something might be gaining on you,” Satchel Paige famously warned. For connoisseurs of civilizational collapse, 2014 was merely annoying, a continued pile-up of over-investments in complexity with mounting diminishing returns, metastasizing fragility, and no satisfying resolution. So we enter 2015 with greater tensions than ever before and therefore the likelihood that the inevitable breakdown will release more destructive energy and be that much harder to recover from.
"Some folks are selling stocks..." and, according to The White House, President Obama is closely monitoring it. As The Hill reports, despite the meme that lower-oil-prices-are-unequivocally-good-news-for-Americans, the Obama administration is monitoring whether the fall in oil prices is affecting the US stock market. Just over 5 years ago, President Obama explained to the American public that "profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal," so we can rest assured that our leaders are (for now) "hesitant" to say whether the fall of the stock market, which came as crude oil trades briefly dipped below $50, was related to oil prices.. so blamed Europe.
Not satisfied with merely "nailing the number", Goldman Sachs' David Kostin forecasts the S&P 500's trajectory through 2015. Recognizing, as we did, that Bullish Sentiment is as highs as it gets, Kostin expects short-term weakness during the next month (the drop), earnings growth thanks to lower oil prices into mid-year (the pop), but multiple compression after rate hikes into year-end (the slop)...
For all the endless media buzz pitching the bullish spin of plunging gas prices, namely that while crude capex spending and energy company earnings are both crashing, high-paying shale jobs are about to suffer pervasive layoffs and energy HY bonds are entering mass default territory leading to who knows what unexpected downstream effects, the average US consumer will spend substantially more to offset all the adverse side-effects of the plunging oil price. Or rather, was supposed to spend more. Because as Gallup finds, this did not happen. Here is what did happen.
While the predictions of Blackstone's Byron Wien (born in 1933) have been all over the place in the last few years, they nevertheless provide some color on just what the mainstream does not believe... This is the 30th year Byron has given his views on a number of economic, financial market and political surprises for the coming year. From "our luck running out on cyberterrorism" to "shock and awe no longer working in Japan", Wien's non-predictions range from The Fed to China and from Oil to Hillary Clinton...
WTI crude oil prices are now down almost 55% from the June highs, the impossible just happened... WTI Crude broke into the $40s... the 6-month plunge is the largest since the pre-Lehman plunge and 2nd biggest plunge in 28 years.
2014 proved to be a momentous one for the oil markets, having seen prices cut in half in just six months. The big question is what oil prices will do in 2015.
It is anybody’s guess, but here are the top five variables that will determine the trajectory of oil prices over the next 12 months, in no particular order.
While Bob Pisani last week told the world that he was "encouraged" by the decoupling of energy-related stocks from their basic raw material oil prices, today's rational response to fresh 5-year-lows in crude oil prices would suggest the 'most important thing' is to be "discouraged." Just how long did 'investors' think energy stocks and crude could remain decoupled... as the post-FOMC Yellen squeeze is erased rapidly...
The ubiquitous opening ramp into the US equity open has given way rapidly and stocks are testing earlier lows - along with WTI Crude (as energy stocks lead the way lower). Silver is surging higher (up almost 3%) and Gold is back above $1200. USDJPY broke below 120.00 and is weighing heavy on stocks broadly. So much for the Santa Rally..
The new year is not even a week old and already the volatility fireworks are off, as well as the continued commodity derisking. But while for now US stocks continue to be an island oasis in a turbulent global sea where GDP forecasts decline every single day, the same can not be said about either the Euro, which after crashing overnight to a 9 year low, and rebounding briefly, has continued to decline and is now once again flirting with a key support level, this time 1.19, last reached during the May 2010 first Greek bailout. The catalyst, as usual, Greece which may or may not be leaving the Eurozone shortly, as well as ongoing bets on ECB QE following this morning's regional German inflation data which declined once more and now hints at outright deflation in Europe's strongest nation.
2014 may go down as the year when gold and silver conspiracy “theories” became conspiracy “facts” as banks globally were found to have conspired to rig the prices of gold, silver, currency and many other markets.
USDJPY tumbles to a 119 handle briefly before Japan opened to its normal JPY-selling spike temporarily lifted the pair 'off the lows'. This drop dragged stock futures lower with Nikkei 225 tumbling over 350 points from its Friday trading highs. Oil prices continue to slide (WTI now with a $51 handle) and EURUSD is bouncing back from its precipitous decline earlier in the evening. S&P futures were down almost 10pts but have recovered about half their losses.