As US equity markets push to higher and higher highs, the underlying substance of the exuberance is becoming not just more and more defensive but more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer names... now where have we seen this before?
With the bond market closed today due to Veteran's Day and the correlation and momentum ignition algos about to go berserk without any parental supervision, it was only a matter of time before some "stray" headline sent first the carry pair of choice, i.e., the USDJPY, and subsequently its derivative, the Emini, into the stratosphere. And sure enough, just before 3am Eastern, it was once again Reuters' turn to leak, only this time not about the ECB but Japan, as usual citing an unnamed "government official close to Abe's office", that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was likely to delay a planned sales tax increase.
- JAPAN MORE LIKELY TO DELAY SALES TAX INCREASE, REUTERS REPORTS
Which of course is a repeat of what Reuters said 2 days ago but since it came on the weekend, the momentum ignition algos didn't notice. The result was an instant surge in the USDJPY, which shortly thereafter touched on 116.00 the highest level in 7 years, and is up now 200 pips since yesterday as the obliteration of Japan's economy proceeds, in turn pushing European stocks, and shortly, the S&P, higher
The central planners are in a state of fear and panic. They are trying everything and anything to create market validation for their policies, watching with trepidation as their favored economic metrics fail to respond to all of their frenzied efforts. They are so far over the tips of their skis right now that there's nothing they won't do. By the time a central bank is behaving as recklessly as Japan, it's time to edge towards the exit, because the chance of a flash fire in the building has grown uncomfortably high. That is, instead of providing comfort, these most recent moves should invoke greater worry for those of us alert enough to see them for what they are: acts of panic.
The All-Important Seasonal Adjustment That Everyone Will Ignore: Previewing Today's Non-Farm Payrolls ReportSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/07/2014 08:04 -0500
- US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls (Oct) M/M Exp. 235K (Low 140K, High 314K), Prev. 248K, Jul 180K.
- US Unemployment Rate (Oct) M/M Exp. 5.9% (Low 5.8%, High 6.1%), Prev. 5.9% European
- This will be the first employment report since the Fed announced the conclusion of QE3
- Stronger data of late has increased expectations of a solid October report
- Seasonal factors could also be supportive
- Focus could again may turn to the wage component of the jobs report as the Fed looks to exit easy policy
Despite the powerful rally over the last several weeks that brought the US equity markets back to their all-time highs, treasury yields are up only slightly and are well below mid-September levels. Meanwhile, as Gavekal Capital notes, speculators are still carrying a hefty short position in 10-year treasury futures and options contracts, implying that yields have further to fall yet. Simply put, if history is a guide we are going to have to observe a massive change in positioning before yields make a low.
We've written a lot about Japan lately as what happens today under the no longer rising sun is going to have such repercussions worldwide that it would be foolish not to pay attention. Moreover, there’s something about what Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said this morning that both perfectly and painfully illustrates to what depths, economically as well as morally, the country has sunk.
While hardly a surprise, the spin for the latest round of overnight BOJ USDJPY-buying exuberance, which sent the pair higher by another 100 pips to a fresh 7 year high of 114.500 and just over 500 pips from the Albert Edwards "line in the sand" 120 and pushed US equity futures higher with it, has been the Republican sweep in the midterm elections which not only solidified GOP control of the House but also gave Republicans outright control of the Senate.
“On October 15th 2014, if only for a few short minutes, market forces broke out and the failure of central bankers was briefly evident... There is a very simple lesson that when the markets finally break through the manipulation they move to price in deflation and not inflation. This is key because it means financial repression has failed.” These days, you don’t tend to hear the words ‘failure’ and ‘central bankers’ in the same sentence (unless the topic happens to be Zimbabwe). But perhaps the omniscience and omnipotence of central bankers is somewhat overstated.
what is strange is that while traditionally such a major downward growth revision would have been sufficient to send futures soaring - why: because in a world where only central banks are left, it means more central bank global bailouts of course - this time the adverse update actually had the impact of sending futures to their lows of the session, granted just a few tiny points since the market is clearly disconnected with even the most pro forma, non-GAAP version of reality, but the reaction direction was clearly unexpected. Perhaps this is explained by the ongoing devastation in both WTI and Brent, which were trading at $76.70 and $82.50 at last check, both down almost 3% as the plan to use Saudi Arabia to crush Russia has instead backfired and the Saudi princes are now openly looking at destroying the US shale infrastructure, as we forecast in the worst, for Obama, scenario.
The problem with what we call the Exit Rule for Bubbles - "you only get out if you panic before everyone else does" – is that you also have to decide whether to look like an idiot before the crash or an idiot after it.
After peaking in 1999 at 37%, the prosperity line has gradually declined since, and is now sitting at 34%. In between there was a housing boom and a global financial crash, both with noticeable effects on the line. That decline may not sound like much, but it will take years to rebuild all that wealth – assuming that the economy is moving in the right direction. And it was exactly at the bottom of the earnings scale that things got pretty bad. People earning less than $35,000 per year went from 31% at the turn of the century to 34% today, more or less matching the decline in percentage points at the top of the table. The new century brought a lot more discomfort to a growing number of Americans, fueling a lot of talk recently about income inequality in the country. Therefore, despite all the subsequent economic growth, large fiscal stimulus packages, unprecedented Federal Reserve intervention and booming capital markets, we could say that PROSPERITY IN AMERICA PEAKED IN 1999!
In August 2013, the Nasdaq SIP broke and trading in Nasdaq stocks was halted for 3 hours. Yesterday, at 1:07 PM ET, the NYSE SIP broke but trading was allowed to continue until the backup facility was put on line. ?Apparently, the NYSE didn’t think it was necessary to halt trading in their listed stocks... despite customers not receiving accurate pricing.
To 'prove' that the end of QE3 is not a negative for stocks and to 'confirm' the Fed's narrative that the economy is surging (despite all the unsustainable one-offs in the GDP print), algos are tearing stocks higher, targeting the crucial 2,000 S&P level... thanks to 2-week old headlines from Japan, a broken options market, and the NYSE unable to report trades... As Nanex notes "this is a bigger event than the 2013 market blackout."
To summarize (even though with liquidity as non-existant as it is, this may be completely stale by the time we go to print in a minute or so), European shares erase gains, fall close to intraday lows following the Fed’s decision to end QE. Banks, basic resources sectors underperform, while health care, tech outperform. Companies including Shell, Barclays, Aviva, Volkswagen, Alcatel-Lucent, ASMI, Bayer released earnings. German unemployment unexpectedly declines. The Italian and U.K. markets are the worst-performing larger bourses, the Swiss the best. The euro is weaker against the dollar. Greek 10yr bond yields rise; German yields decline. Commodities decline, with nickel, silver underperforming and wheat outperforming. U.S. jobless claims, GDP, personal consumption, core PCE due later.