What began as a glitch in pre-market trading turned into the NYSE's longest trading halt since Hurrican Sandy battered the East Coast. The ever-increasing complexity of US equity markets combined with an ever-decreasing pool of greater fools leaves windows open on down days (for it appears these 'glitches' only ever occur on down days) for markets to break. While NYSE traders defended the very market structure they have abhorred in the past as evidence that today was "not a failure," we can't help but find CNBC's Scott Wapner's ignorant remarks that "if retail investors want low cost liquid trading they are going to have learn to live with it," the perfect post-mortem for a rigged system brimming with confident insiders ever excited to take mom-and-pop's money.
With equity markets jumping vertically on every possible 'hope' of a deal - no matter what the consequence - we look to the asset class that is a) not driven by headline-reading algos and HFT, and b) is by far the most sensitive to reality - Greek Bank Bonds... and they are carnaging!!
At around 645ET, EURCHF suddenly took off out of nowhere. This instantly lifted European stocks off new post-Greferendum lows, slammeds EU credit risk lower, lifted US equity markets, and drove Treasury yields higher. The SNB has declined to comment on whether it intervenened but we ask in all frankness, have we become so divorced from 'free markets' that China can blatantly enter markets to save them (and fail) and European markets can mysteriously go bid and no one bats an eyelid that this is all rigged.
Today's market battle will be between those (central banks) "hoping" that a Greek deal over the weekend is finally imminent (which on one hand looks possible after a major backpeddling by Tsipras - who may never have wanted to win the Greferendum in the first place - yesterday in Brussels and today during his speech in the Euro Parliament, but on the other will be a nearly impossible sell to Greece as any deal terms will be far harsher than the deal offered by the Troika 2 weeks ago and will have no debt reduction), and those who finally noticed that the Chinese central planners have effectively lost control.
The impact of a full-blown financial crisis in China, if it materializes, on the economy would likely be severe. On corporate earnings, other than the drag from slower growth, many companies may have to book stock-market related losses over the next few quarters by our assessment. Stock lending related losses could run into Rmb trillions.
For corporate management teams it’s all about instant gratification these days and if you needed proof that US equity markets have become the preferred channel for transferring debt sale proceeds directly into the pockets of top management, Bloomberg has all the evidence you need.
When it comes to Greece, and Europe in general, "hope" continues to remain the driving strategy. As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow summarizes this morning, "if you were looking for a word to describe the general feeling of equity markets today, you might well pick hopeful. U.S. equity futures opened higher and have been up all day. European bourses opened cautiously higher as they await word, any word, from the European finance ministers or more importantly, Chancellor Merkel. Equity markets will continue to be very reactive to European headlines, but so far, no news has been taken as a reason for hope." Which incidentally, has been the general investment case for the past 6 years: "hope" that central banks know what they are doing.
"My concern is not just that markets are mis-pricing Greece contagion, mis-pricing deflation, mis-pricing street liquidity and mis-pricing the (now negative) trend in corporate (US) revenues and earnings (Q2 earnings season is upon us and may well show year-over-year earnings down 5%/5%+). My concerns are also that markets are way too optimistic about global growth (especially the US), about China, about the ability of policymakers to do anything new and/or effective to alter things meaningfully to the upside,"
Tumbling Futures Rebound After Varoufakis Resignation; Most China Stocks Drop Despite Massive InterventionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/06/2015 06:52 -0400
More than even the unfolding "chaos theory" pandemonium in Greece, market watchers were even more focused on whether or not China and the PBOC will succeed in rescuing its market from what is now a crash that threatens social stability in the world's most populous nation. And, at the open it did. The problem is that as the trading session progressed, the initial 8% surge in stocks faded as every bout of buying was roundly sold into until every other index but the benchmark Shanghai Composite turned sharply red.
On the heels of a weekend which saw Beijing launch a series of ad hoc policy maneuvers designed to stop the bleeding in China's equity markets, the SHCOMP opened sharply higher Monday only to give back half of its opening gains minutes later in a preview of what will likely be a week of unprecedented volatility as panicked housewives and banana vendors looking to sell the rips battle the PBoC for control of China's stock market mania.
On Sunday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced that the PBoC is set to inject capital into China Securities Finance Corp which will use the funds to help brokerages expand their businesses and reinvigorate stocks. In other words, the PBoC is now in the business of financing leveraged stock buying.
What investors will focus on in the week ahead
China has moved in the direction of direct intervention in its flagging equity markets, although it appears Beijing will try to orchestrate a “private” sector (whatever that means in China) solution first before going the nuclear route with the central bank’s balance sheet. As Bloomberg reports, the country’s largest brokerages are teaming up to invest nearly $20 billion in “blue chip” Chinese equities.
The referendum on Sunday will likely have a significant impact on the prospects of Greece reaching a new bailout agreement and the immediate future of the governing Syriza party. Following the expiration of the second bailout and the missed IMF repayment on 30th June, Greece has had to impose capital controls while negotiations between the country and its creditors have been put on hold until after the referendum. Eurozone officials have indicated that a “No” vote would likely mean a Greek exit from the currency union although the Greek government sees the vote as only pertaining to the terms of a bailout programme.
European risk has never traded at such an extreme level relative to US risk... ever. But when looking for the best bang for your Greferendum-trading buck - are you better off buying higher vol in Europe or lower US vol? Or, as Goldman Sachs explains below, what are the highest payouts on bets for a rebound...