"Albert Edwards sees the possibility of a 75% decline from the peak if all his fears were to manifest themselves. Now many view this as an incredible and somewhat outlandish forecast, yet it is not that unreasonable in our view.... These types of declines would leave indices down rough 60-65% from peak, and would send leverage ratios skyrocketing."
"The biases of momentum investing and passive indexation have resulted in valuation distortions across assets as well as equity segments including Technology. Over the past years this trend has picked winning assets, sectors, and stocks often with less regard to fundamental valuation and more regard to momentum and extrapolated growth. We believe that 2016 may result in a reversion of this trend.... Even if this rebalancing comes as a result of market volatility and broader equity declines, long term it will benefit capital markets and the efficient allocation of capital."
There is a new element to the latest European selloff, one which turned vicious just minutes after Europe opened for trading this morning with not just commercial banks (who are now all subject to bail-ins courtesy of the BRRD) being dumped with the Deutsche Bank water, but peripheral spreads and equity markets have all joined in. And moments ago, the Athens stock market just dropped to the lowest level since 1990, while the Greek banking index just crashed over 21% to a new all time low.
With China offline for the next 7 days as its celebrates its Lunar New Year, here are 7 bullets from Evercore ISI to get everyone up to speed on the latest developments in the world's most troubled growth economy.
A multi-decade Credit Bubble is coming to an end. The past seven years has amounted to an incredible blow-off top and the ongoing worldwide collapse in financial stocks provides powerful support for the bursting global Bubble thesis. Few are yet willing to accept the harsh reality that the world has sunk back into crisis as mal-investment, over-investment and associated wealth destruction remain largely concealed so long as financial asset inflation persists. This is true as well for wealth redistribution. The unfolding adjustment process will deflate asset prices so as to converge more closely with deteriorating underlying economic fundamentals.
It seems monetary policy is exhausted and the next exogenous lever to pull would be political fiscal initiatives. If/when they fail to stimulate demand, there would be only one avenue left – currency devaluation. If/when confidence in the mightiest currency wanes, we would expect the US dollar to be devalued too - not against other fiat currencies, but against a relatively scarce Fed asset.
How the Chinese central bank derailed the yuan and help Donald Trump rose to power.
Instead of allocating capital to expensive tail risk bets on direct asset class collapse (in equities, credit, and commodities), it appears, just as we detailed previously, the 'smartest money in the room' is "betting" indirectly on a stock market crash through eurodollar options.
US futures were largely unchanged overnight, with a modest bounce after the European close driven by a feeble attempt to push oil higher, faded quickly and as of this moment the E-mini was hugging the flatline ahead of today's main event - the January payrolls, expected to print at 190K and 5.0% unemployment, however the whisper number - that required to push stocks higher - is well lower, at 150K (according to DB), as only a bad (in fact very bad) jobs number today will cement the Fed's relent and assure no more rate hikes in 2016 as the market now largely expects.
After yesterday's torrid, chaotic moves in the market, where an initial drop in stocks was quickly pared and led to a surge into the close after a weaker dollar on the heels of even more disappointing US data and Bill Dudley's "serious consequences" speech sent oil soaring and put the "Fed Relent" scenario squarely back on the table, overnight we have seen more global equity strength on the back of a weaker dollar, even if said weakness hurt Kuroda's post-NIRP world and the Nikkei erased virtually all losses since last Friday's surprising negative rate announcement. Oil and metals also rose piggybacking on the continued dollar weakness as the word's most crowded trade was suddenly shaken out.
While the biggest news of the night had nothing to do with either oil or China, all that mattered to US equity futures trading also was oil and China, and since WTI managed to rebound modestly from their biggest 2-day drop in years, rising back over $30, and with China falling only 0.4% overnight after the National Team made a rare, for 2016, appearance and pushed stocks to close at the day's high, US E-minis were able to rebound from overnight lows in the mid-1880s, and levitate above 1900. Whether they sustain this level remains to be seen.
It certainly does feel like groundhog day today because while last week's near record oil surge is long forgotten, and one can debate the impact the result of last night's Iowa primary which saw Trump disappoint to an ascendant Ted Cruz while Hillary and Bernie were practically tied, one thing is certain: today's continued decline in crude, which has seen Brent and WTI both tumble by over 3% has once again pushed global stocks and US equity futures lower, offsetting the euphoria from last night's earnings beat by Google which made Alphabet the largest company in the world by market cap.
"We originally looked for up to half of past losses to be recovered. We believe that we are perhaps 2/3rds of the way through the bounce, and would look to start fading it within days. We stick to the overriding view that one should use any strength as an opportunity to reduce equity allocation."
Since granting IEX exchange status would lead to an immediate market structure disruption, one which would impair such embedded HFT players as Citadel which, as we have explained previously is the NY Fed's preferred "arms length" intermediator in the market to ingite momentum at critical downward junctions, we are very skeptical that when all is said and done, the SEC will grant IEX what it wants: after all there are too many status quo revenue models at stake, not to mention a potential threat to the Fed's preferred market "intervention" pipeline.
As DB's Jim Reid points out, it was definitely not the easiest start to the year with many global equity markets suffering from their worst January in a post-Lehman world.