Sometimes it’s nice to get a sanity check and hear other investors and market professionals views on how the stock market has changed over the past few years. We hear more and more from various market participants that the market seems to be one big correlated beast that doesn’t trade on supply and demand anymore...
"The other day I was watching the stock open up, and it went up on share volumes of a few thousand shares. I mean, every trade was a tick up. That's not the way it should operate in an honestly or intelligently run exchange. But that's the thing, all those guys sold their dark pools and their order flow and the positioning on the floors of the servers to the HFTs. And it's made a couple of guys that I'm friendly with very rich because they are high-frequency traders."
"Something disturbing happened this morning. I bought a nymex copper contract with an attached stop limit and take profit. My stop got rejected by the exchange. I think it was in pending mode. I ignored it and when the market moved up, i moved the stop up. Then the exchange accepted it. My take profit order got hit instead. Then, I shorted an ES. Again, the market rejected my stop limit."
The "unsinkable" global financial system is rushing headlong toward its encounter with the iceberg, while the passengers and crew remain supremely confident and unaware of the risks, risks that will only become "obvious" after the global financial system has broken in half and sunk to the bottom, destroying most of those who believed it unsinkable.
- Stocks cautious after rocky China data, bonds fly high (Reuters)
- Oil falls on China data, fading prospect of OPEC action (Reuters)
- Republican Vote in Iowa Caucus Hinges on Newcomer Turnout (WSJ)
- When Trump tells supporters not to donate, they mostly listen (Reuters)
- Goldman Sachs Employees Shift to Rubio as Bush Support Fades (BBG)
- Four Theories on How Oil Has Hypnotized the Global Stock Market (BBG)
It didn't take much to fizzle Friday's Japan NIRP-driven euphoria, when first ugly Chinese manufacturing (and service) PMI data reminded the world just what the bull in the China shop is leading to a 1.8% Shanghai drop on the first day of February. Then it was about oil once more when Goldman itself said not to expect any crude production cuts in the near future. Finally throw in some very cautious words by the sellside what Japan's act of NIRP desperation means, and it becomes clear why stocks on both sides of the pond are down, why crude is not far behind, and why gold continues to rise.
Exchange says Nasdaq/Finra TRF -- a service dark pools and other off-exchange venues use to report stock trades -- is experiencing technical issue.
European shares tumbled, wiping out gains from a two-day rally, Asian stocks slid and the cost of insuring corporate debt rose as investor concern over global growth prospects resurfaced. U.S. equity-index futures pared gains of as much as 0.9 percent. Government bonds rose, with yields falling to records in Japan and China amid anxiety over the world economy. U.S. crude prices stabilized after dropping below $30 a barrel on Tuesday to touch the lowest since 2003 as Iran moved closer to boosting exports.
My overriding theme and the central drama for the coming year is that unexpected events can take on greater importance as the Federal Reserve ends its near-decade-long Zero Interest Rate Policy. Consensus premises and forecasts will likely fall flat, in a rather spectacular manner. The low-conviction and directionless market that we saw in 2015 could become a no-conviction and very-much-directed market (i.e. one that's directed lower) in 2016. There will be no peace on earth in 2016, and our markets could lose a cushion of protection as valuations contract. (Just as "malinvestment" represented a key theme this year, we expect a compression of price-to-earnings ratios to serve as a big market driver in 2016.) In other words, we don't think 2016 will be fun.
America's equity markets are broken. Individuals and institutions make transactions in rigged markets favoring short-term players. The root cause of the problem is that stocks trade on numerous venues, including 11 traditional exchanges and dozens of so-called dark pools that allow buyers and sellers to work out of the public eye. This market fragmentation allows high-frequency traders and exchanges to profit at the expense of long-term investors. Mr. Lewis was right.
The institutional academic system is broken. We need less systemic, traditional education that only provides knowledge of low utility and more alternative education that provides the right high-utility knowledge to thrive during today's global currency wars.
- China's central bank cuts rates for sixth time since November (Reuters)
- Global stocks hit two-month high on dovish Draghi message (Reuters)
- $6.5 Billion in Energy Writedowns and We're Just Getting Started (BBG)
- Alphabet, formerly Google, sets share buyback, shares jump (Reuters)
- Hurricane Patricia, Stronger Than Katrina, Nears Mexico (BBG)
- TVA Cleared to Start First New U.S. Nuclear Power Plant in Nearly 20 Years (WSJ)
If we don't prepare for the coming high tide, we may all drift out to sea.
You'd have to be in full denial mode not to see that it's getting ugly out there in global markets: currencies are melting down, trade and shipping are tanking, commodities are swooning and global stock markets are increasingly on central-bank life support.