With just two days left in 2015, the main driver of overnight global stocks and US equity futures remains the most familiar one of all of 2015 - crude oil, which, after its latest torrid bounce yesterday has resumed the familiar "yoyo" mode, and again stumbled dropping below $37 on yesterday's surprising API 2.9 million crude inventory build, as well several more long-term "forecasts" by OPEC members, with Kuwait now budgeting for $30 oil, while Venezuela's Maduro said the oil price fell to $28/bbl and is "headed downward." As a result U.S. futures declined and European stocks fell, extending their worst December drop since 2002 in thin volume on the last full trading day of the year.
While everything was awesome last week (apart from the last 10 minutes), it appears lower oil prices this week (WTI just crossed back below Brent's price and under $37 once again) is not "unequivocally good" for US equity markets. Following the bloodbath in China's "B" Shares overnight, traders are hoping this pain will stop once the machines "get back to work" at 930ET...
For those who enjoyed his encyclopedic 2015: Year In Review, this week we spend an hour with David Collum to ask: After processing through all of that information, what do you think the future is most likely to bring? Perhaps it comes as little surprise that he sees the global economy headed back down into recession, one that will be deeper and more damaging than the 2008 crisis...
America's equity markets are broken. Individuals and institutions make transactions in rigged markets favoring short-term players. The root cause of the problem is that stocks trade on numerous venues, including 11 traditional exchanges and dozens of so-called dark pools that allow buyers and sellers to work out of the public eye. This market fragmentation allows high-frequency traders and exchanges to profit at the expense of long-term investors. Mr. Lewis was right.
"Oil and gas sector bankruptcies have reached quarterly levels last seen in the Great Recession. At least nine U.S. oil and gas companies, accounting for more than $2 billion in debt, have filed for bankruptcy so far in the fourth quarter."
There has been a "continued shunning of fixed income" with over $25 Bn of outflows from bond funds in three weeks, of which $6.4 Bn took place in the past week, resulting in outflows in 6 of past 7 weeks.However, the biggest outflow risk is not to Junk but to investment grade, that main funding source for trillions in corporate stock buybacks: it was the IG space that took another beating with largest outflows ($3.5bn) in 17 weeks!
Santa Rally Lifts Global Stocks For Third Day: Will Volumeless Levitation Push The S&P Green For 2015?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/23/2015 06:55 -0500
With just a handful of trading sessions left in the year, this is how the major global markets look as 2015 is about to close. As of this moment, and in keeping with the Christmas spirit, the biggest question is whether the S&P500 will close green or red for the year.
While Sweden is over-flowing with excess cash on bank balance sheets, it appears that banks in Hong Kong are desperate to borrow Yuan (or scared to lend) as overnight HIBOR just exploded higher to 9.45% - a record for the interbank offered rate. The HKD and CNY/CNH FX markets remain relatively stable (with Yuan fixed marginally higher again for the 3rd day). The last time 1-week HIBOR rates spiked like this, US equity markets crashed on Black Monday.
Having anticipated 2015 as the starting point to a turn in volatility for the last two years, BofAML warns that from here on, based on the 'Economics of Volatility framework', they expect to see a rising trend in equity volatility levels, a trend that could last 1-2 years, transporting us from the low volatility regime of the last 3 years towards a sustained high volatility regime.
The first Fed rate hike in seven years was supposed to trigger a powerful equity rally as the bulls expected money to pour out of bonds into stocks; especially into the cyclicals. Unfortunately for the equity bulls,, as Mizuho's Steve Ricchiuto notes, this time things are different and instead of the Fed rate hike triggering the traditional Santa Claus rally; it looks like the FOMC is actually the Grinch. The key message delivered by the Fed though the SEP, the DOTS and the Chair’s post meeting press conference is that this is the best the economy is going to get.
"There no obvious solution. This is why we think that a second election around March 2016 is as likely as any of the alternatives. [In fact,] an early election in the short or medium term seems the most likely outcome."
The Fed is now - for the first time in adult memory for half the world’s traders and money managers - tightening rather than loosening monetary conditions. A quick look at financial history is all it takes to lead anyone with leveraged money at risk to lighten up. Equally important - and vastly more strange when you think about it - this tightening comes at a time when major parts of the global economy are either grinding to a halt or imploding.
“To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious, but the stupid have an answer for everything.” ~Edward Abbey
Repo Experts Stumped: How Could Fed Hike Without Draining ANY Liquidity: "This Is A Market By Decree"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/19/2015 12:04 -0500
"The Fed didn't really drain any liquidity yesterday. They moved the IOER up to .50%, moved the RRP rate up to .25%, and the RRP volume came in at $105 billion, only $3 billion more than the day before. Where was the draining? But interest rates moved up anyway to reflect the tightening, without any fundamental change. Basically, the Fed decreed a rate tightening and the market moved rates higher.... I wonder how many economic interest rate models include "by decree" as a factor?"
Just in case yesterday's weakness was mistaken for "well, it's just stabilizing before the next leg higher," US equity markets are pooping the bed this morning with the Dow down over 500 points from its post-Yellen highs, FANGs plunging red, credit collapsing, and bond yields slumping. Between the widely watched quad-witching, Fed policy error concerns, and the utter failure of the Bank of Japan's efforts to save the world, global stocks and bonds are flashing red warnings for the end of centrally planned markets.