Dow Jones Industrial Average

Hugh Hendry Throws In The Bearish Towel: His Full Must-Read Letter

"Just be long. Pretty much anything. So here’s how I understand things now that I am no longer the last bear standing. You should buy equities if you believe many European banks and their sovereign paymasters are insolvent. You should buy shares if you put a higher probability than your peers on the odds of a European democracy rejecting the euro over the course of the next few years. You should be long risk assets if you believe China will have lowered its growth rate from 7% to nearer 5% over the course of the next two years. You should be long US equities if you are worried about the failure of Washington to address its fiscal deficits. And you should buy Japanese assets if you fear that Abenomics will fail to restore the fortunes of Japan (which it probably won’t). Hey this is easy… And then it crashed"

- Hugh Hendry

6 Things To Ponder: Bulls, Bears, Valuations & Stupidity

With just a tad more than three weeks left in the year it is time to start focusing on what 2014 will likely bring.  Of course, what really happens over the next twelve months is likely to be far different than what is currently expected but issuing prognostications, making conjectures and telling fortunes has always kept business brisk on Wall Street.

Margin Debt Soars To New Record; Investor Net Worth Hits Record Low

The correlation between stock prices and margin debt continues to rise (to new records of exuberant "Fed's got our backs" hope) as NYSE member margin balances surge to new record highs. Relative to the NYSE Composite, this is the most "leveraged' investors have been since the absolute peak in Feb 2000. What is more worrisome, or perhaps not, is the ongoing collapse in investor net worth - defined as total free credit in margin accounts less total margin debt - which has hit what appears to be all-time lows (i.e. there's less left than ever before) which as we noted previously raised a "red flag" with Deutsche Bank. Relative to the 'economy' margin debt has only been higher at the very peak in 2000 and 2007 and was never sustained at this level for more than 2 months. Sounds like a perfect time to BTFATH...

Trading Twitter: Where Noise Becomes Signal

Over four years ago when we discussed the high frequency predator traders feasting on the signals of others, few believed it possible (and fewer still comprehended it). Today there is another potential disruptor in US equity market microstructure, the transformation of noise to signal from the overwhelming drivel of a Twitter stream. Macro signals (the hashcrash in April when AP's account was hacked and this week's Israeli military tweet misunderstanding) have had dramatic effects on the market but individual stock trading success remains elusive. “You have to be happy with a lot of noise in your data,” one advocate notes, but, as the FT notes, a recent PhD study concluded, "The proponents of this idea really do exaggerate it... I’m not saying there’s nothing here, but I’m not saying you can print money either."

The Government Shutdown Looms: A Q&A On What Happens Next (And Who Stays At Home)

With a government's October 1 shut down - temporary of course - now seemingly inevitable, and more importantly with the peak debt ceiling negotiations due in just about a week after which point the Treasury will run out of money, many wonder what comes next. That this is happening just two short years after the dramatic August 2011 debt ceiling impasse, when the market tumbled 20% and likely slowed economic growth is still fresh in everyone's mind, is hardly helping matters. Add a potential political crisis in Greece and Italy, and suddenly a whole lot of unexpected variables have to be "priced in."

Pivotfarm's picture

When Obamacare was thought up it was more than just a presidential pledge to woo the poverty-stricken Americans into believing (and voting) that healthcare should be provided for all and sundry and that any Tom, Dick and Harry could get through life by being provided for by the state.

Peter Boockvar: "There Is 0% Chance That This Ends Smoothly"

CNBC just aired a fascinating segment that pitted anchors Mandy Drury and Brian Sullivan (squarely in the markets-are-going-up-and-the-world-must-be-rosy camp) against a more skeptical Herb Greenberg and an awfully fact-based reality agent - Peter Boockvar. Well worth taking the time to witness the cognitive dissonance of believing the market strength is unrelated to the Fed and yet a Fed unable to Taper even a few billion for fear of repercussions... as Boockvar notes, "there is 0% chance this ends well."

On This Day 15 Years Ago The LTCM Bailout Ushered In "Too Big To Fail"

While the commemoration of the 5 year anniversary of the start of the Great Financial Crisis is slowing but surely fading, another just as important anniversary is revealed when one goes back not 5 but 15 years into the past, specifically to September 23, 1998. On that day, the policy that came to define the New Normal more than any other, namely the bailout of those deemed Too Big To Fail, a/k/a throwing good (private or taxpayer) money after bad was enshrined by Wall Street as the official canon when faced with a situation where capitalism, namely failure, is seen as Too Dangerous To Succeed. This was first known as the Greenspan Put, subsequently the Bernanke Put, and its current iteration is best known as the Global Central Banker All-In Systemic Put. We sow the seeds of bailing out insolvent financial corporations to this day, when instead of making them smaller and breaking them up, they are rewarded by becoming even bigger, even more systemics, and even Too Bigger To Fail, and their employees are paid ever greater record bonuses.

Pivotfarm's picture

There is one good thing about money, apart from the fact that there is a race to grab it and keep in in our claws making it highly in demand, and that’s the fact that wealth attracts wealth. Money is a dirty little magnate that can only attract more money and it’s not a question of opposites attracting here.

Ben Bernanke Press Conference - Live Webcast

For now, markets are holding on to gains (in bonds, stocks, and gold) as we prepare for Ben to explain just how bad things are... and answer the tough questions about the growth slowdown in 2016... Of Course, that doesn't matter:

DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE RISES TO ALL-TIME HIGH
*S&P 500 RISES TO RECORD HIGH AFTER FED STATEMENT

Seems like moar of the same is here to stay in the Yellen Fed but now we know that QE is not helping the real economy - how will they 'communicate' its effectiveness? We suppose that, for now, Stein's warning of 'froth' is just for the academics...

 

Frontrunning: September 11

  • Obama Holds Fire on Syria, Waits on Russia Plan (WSJ)
  • China Shadow Banking Returns as Growth Rebound Adds Risk (Reuters)
  • Not one but two: Greece May Need Two More Aid Packages Says ECB’s Coene (WSJ)
  • BoJ insider warns of need for wage rises (FT) ... as we have been warning since November, and as has not been happening
  • California city backs plan to seize negative equity mortgages (Reuters)
  • Home Depot Is Accused of Shaking Down Suspected Shoplifters (BBG)
  • Most-Connected Man at Deutsche Bank Favors Lightest Touch (BBG)
  • Norway Pledges to Limit Oil Spending (BBG)
  • China Shadow Banking Returns as Growth Rebound Adds Risk (BBG)
  • Gundlach Says Fed Is Mistaken in How It's Ending Easing (BBG)

Treasury "X Date" May Hit As Soon As October 18

One reason why the US has been able to extend its true "drop dead" cash exhaustion date has been due to an increase in tax revenues due to the payroll tax cut as well as cash inflows from the GSEs (which are set to reverse and become outflows once the latest housing dead cat bounce reverses), and cash remittances from the Fed. However, the capacity under this extended "revolver" is rapidly running out, and as of August 31, 2013, approximately $108 billion in extraordinary measures remained available for use. In a report released today, the Bipartisan Policy Center has released another analysis of just when the US will hit the "X Date" or the date on which the Treasury will not have sufficient cash to pay all of its bills in full and on time. Should there be still no deal on the debt ceiling by this date, the Treasury will be forced to prioritize payments to avoid a debt default. According to this estimate, the X Date falls anywhere between November 5 to as recently as October 18, or just over a month from now (and there has been zero real discussion in Congress over the debt ceiling hike with all the excitement over Syria).

The Fed's Birthday Party Trick: A Market Of Monetary-Punch-Drunk Liquidityholics

If ever there was an investor reaction that summed up just how much the Federal Reserve has broken the markets it was yesterday morning's post-dismal-jobs-report surge. As John Phelan notes, we now appear to be in a position where the interests of financial markets are precisely at odds with the interests of the rest of the economy; where the good news for us is bad news for them and bad news for us is good news for them. The one way bet of the Greenspan Put maintained, so far, by Ben Bernanke, has created a market of monetary-punch-drunk liquidityholics. On its 100th birthday the Federal Reserve has the tricky task of sneaking the punch bowl out of the party, a task it seems they’ll struggle to manage without starting a riot. They may have printed themselves into a corner.