All those saying the Fed will never be able to raise rate are looking particularly smug this morning, because if the market needed a green light that despite all the constant posturing, pomp and rhetoric, the US economy is simply (never) ready for a rate hike, it got it late last night when Goldman is pushing back its forecast for the first Fed rate hike from September to December 2015 saying that "in large part this reflects the fact that seven FOMC participants are now projecting zero or one rate hike this year, a group that we believe includes Fed Chair Janet Yellen. We had viewed a clear signal for a September hike at the June meeting as close to a necessary condition for the FOMC to actually hike in September, but the committee did not lay that groundwork today."
"The Fed is allowing the [market] tail to wag the [monetary policy] dog... The Fed's credibility itself is at stake... they have backed themselves into a very tight corner... the tightest ever... The hope today is that the current era of easy monetary policy will have no deep economic ramifications. Such thinking, though, may prove to be naive... All retirees’ security is thus at risk when the massive overvaluation in fixed income and equity markets eventually rights itself."
"...excluding Energy and rate sensitive sectors such as Telecom and Utilities, which have been bringing down the average, most sectors continue to show very strong breadth. In particular, Healthcare, Consumer Discretionary and Financial stocks continue to show very strong uptrends."
The last time the Fed tried to exit a period of massive balance sheet expansion coupled with ZIRP - back in 1937 - its strategy completely failed. The Fed tightening in H1’37 was followed in H2’37 by a severe recession and a 49% collapse in the Dow Jones. This is the ghost of 1937 and it is about to make a repeat appearance.
Another day of constant Grexit chatter, and this time the futures are really starting to react as what was seen as mostly impossible for the past 4 months is now almost inevitable. The first tremors emerged when Greece announced it would not present a new proposal to the Eurogroup to unlock aid, relying instead on what has already been submitted and which the Troika said was inadequate. Then, confusing matters, a new GPO poll posted on Greece's Mega TV showed that increasingly more, or over 56% at last count, of Greece would prefer a "bad" deal with creditors than being kicked out of the Eurozone putting the future of Tsipras' cabine tin jeopardy. And then, hinting that the endgame is officially here, the FT reported that "Eurozone officials discuss holding emergency summit on Greece", suggesting a second Lehman weekend may be just around the corner.
European shares remain lower, close to intraday lows, with the banks and autos sectors underperforming and food & beverage, retail outperforming. Tsipras hardens Greek stance after collapse of bailout talks. The Italian and Swedish markets are the worst-performing larger bourses, the U.K. the best. The euro is weaker against the dollar. Greek 10yr bond yields rise; Spanish yields increase. Commodities decline, with copper, nickel underperforming and natural gas outperforming. U.S. Empire manufacturing, net TIC flows, NAHB housing market index, industrial production, capacity utilization due later.
"We have a problem with this, and that is central bank hubris. They now think that they are omnipotent, because, essentially the government has said we are going to pass over all control of the economy to the central banks, they say to everybody else including financial market participants that “you don’t know, you don’t understand, we have our models and they are right”. And that kind of hubristic approach is when you sow the seeds of your own destruction."
For a sense of what is driving sentiment this morning look no further than the Athens stock market which exploded higher yesterday on a Bloomberg story based on "two sources" that Germany was willing to compromise, only to close just as the IMF pulled a classis bad cop and announced it was halting work on Greece, and before further news from Bild that Germany was preparing for a Greek default while Europe had given Greece 24 hours to submit a final, workable proposal. As a result, it tumbled promptly at the open even as optimism persists and since the opening plunge, Greek stocks have continued to climb and are now back to yesterday's euphoric opening levels.
While we are now well aware of the unpatriotic-ness of tax inversions, Goldman Sachs raises the red flag on another corporate action that is about to become highly politicized - share buybacks. The last (and only) pillar of buying left in the US equity markets is set to draw political attention and likely to gain prominence, particularly ahead of the 2016 election.
After a Chinese session which following the MSCI failure to include Chinese stocks in its EM index, if only for the time being, was largely a dud with Shanghai stocks actually dropping by 0.1% after a late day selloff, eyes turned to Europe, which once again did not disappoint and where the bond rout continued apace, with the 10Y Bund yield spiking just after the European open, and rising above 1.05%, the widest level since September 19, before recouping some losses and trading just around 1.00% at last check.
"China's market is highly inefficient, which means it's relatively easy to produce absolute returns. Chinese retail investors don't have any advantage over us."
After Bridgewater, and Goldman Sachs, today it is SocGen's turn, which overnight advised clients that with "US set to unwind QE", now is the time to "increase cash" and "reduce risk." This is how SocGen advises its clients to be positioned ahead of the end of QE...
After a quiet Asian session, where not even the latest Chinese CPI miss was enough to push the SHCOMP to new multi-year highs, all eyes were on Europe where a few hours ago the European Commission announced it had received not one but two new proposals from Greece with the Greek government adding that it considers proposals submitted last week as remain basis for political negotiations. However, barely had Europe received the Greek addenda when it nein'ed all over them, with BBG citing an international official directly involved in talks saying that the "Greek government's revised proposal to unlock bailout funds is vague rehash of earlier plans, not considered credible."
Why has the dollar jumped in recent weeks? Global conspriacy and lies? Are thousands of investors and participants being deluded?