Equity Markets

The Lowest Vol In A Lifetime

In times gone by, of course, exceptionally low financial market volatility was a source of concern for policymakers.   Such conditions, they knew, were unlikely to last but might encourage behaviour that could threaten financial stability when the volatility regime and market risk premia normalized. Fast forward to today, and while there has been the occasional brief mention of the reach for yield, there's been nary a mention of the potentially pernicious problems posed by low volatility.

Global Stocks Decline Along With The Dollar, As Jackson Hole Begins

Global stocks declined broadly, led by European equities which fell for the first time this week while currency markets continued their subdued tone even as the recent 4-day rally in the USD appears to have topped out, as investors took to sidelines ahead of the Jackson Hole meeting which begins tonight. Japanese and Chinese stocks had suffered modest drops in Asia.  S&P 500 Index futures slipped 0.2%, continuing yesterday's modest selloff.

Stocks Creep Higher As Dollar Resumes Falling, Oil Slides For Second Day

While the summer doldrums continue, with little market-moving newsflow overnight and zombified volumes, US futures crept higher and European shares rose after EU PMIs printed modestly better than expected, while a return to dollar weakness pushed emerging markets higher, even if it failed to boost oil which as we noted last night was downgraded by Goldman on various fundamental reasons.

Bulls, Bears & The Broken Clock Syndrome

“Put simply, most apparent “opportunities” to obtain investment returns above zero in conventional assets over the coming decade are based on a misunderstanding of valuations, total returns, and historical yield relationships. At current valuations, virtually everything is priced for a decade of zero. The unwinding of these speculative extremes is likely to be chaotic, and will likely occur over a shorter horizon than investors imagine."

BofA Looks At The "What If" Scenario For Bonds: Find A Surprising Result

One of the big fears among the bond market, where most participants now openly admit there is a "bubble in credit", is that an unwind in global bond yields would lead to substantial losses.  To test this assumption, Bank of America's Ralf Preusser looks at the "what if" scenario, namely what would happen to total returns should government yields fully reverse their 30 year historical evolution. What he finds is surprising.

US Futures Fall, European Stocks Rise As Stronger Dollar Sends Oil Lower

European stocks rose and US S&P futures fell after the dollar strengthened following the latest hawkish comments from Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer signalled that a 2016 rate hike is still being considered and again boosted speculation that US rates will rise this year. The rising dollar pressured commodities and notably oil, which dropped 2% breaking a 7 days stretch of increases; emerging markets retreated. 

Morgan Stanley: "This Is The Most Dangerous Time As Hope And Greed Overtake Fear And Loathing"

"It is often said that a rising tide lifts all boats, but perhaps the more pertinent question just now is whether this logic works in reverse... Although equity valuations continue to look extremely attractive relative to bonds, there is always a plausible argument that the equity rally will continue; however, this is potentially the most dangerous time for investors as hope and greed overtake fear and loathing."

Weekend Humor: Cynics & Skeptics Beware

"Reject cynicism. Reject fear" exclaimed an exuberant Barack Obama, adding that "America is already great." The problem with all this bravado is... you can't eat 'hope' and 'faith' does not put gas in the tank.