Following yesterday's dramatic geopolitical shock, U.S. equity index futures rise as Russia has not escalated the confrontation with Turkey as some had feared, while Asian shares fall, reversing earlier gains. European stocks are rallying and the euro is falling on the back of a Reuters report that the ECB is mulling new measures to prop up lending, although it’s not clear at this point what the real impact from these measures would be.
In a move that ends a weeks-long political stalemate, Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva has named Socialist leader Antonio Costa PM. Due to Costa's alliance with the Left Bloc and the Communists, many worry the stage is now set for a showdown with Brussels, the IMF, and Berlin.
As a result of the global commodity weakness, global stocks have fallen for the first time in six days as the sell-off in commodities continued, dragging both US equity futures and European stocks lower. However, putting this in context, last week the MSCI All Country World Index posted its biggest weekly gain in six weeks: alas, without a coincident rebound in commodity prices, it will be merely the latest dead cat bounce.
Eurozone Composite PMI Surges To 54 Month High Even As ECB Prepares To Launch More QE To "Boost Economy"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/23/2015 05:31 -0500
With the ECB expected to announce a boost to QE and pushing rates even lower into record negative territory, perhaps Markit did not get the memo to double seasonally adjust the seasonally adjusted European manufacturing and services PMI survey data, when instead of providing cover for Draghi ("look, the economy is slowing down even more, surely you must unleash more printing") it reported that not only the Manufacturing PMI rose to 52.8 from 52.3, a 19 month high and above the highest estimate (range was 51.5 to 52.6), not only the Service PMI rose to 54.6 from 54.1, a 54 month high and also above the highest estimate (range of 53.5-54.4), but the Composite PMI soared to the highest level recorded since May 2011, rising from 53.9 to 54.4.
Importantly, while the "bias" of the market is to the upside, primarily due to the psychological momentum that "stocks are the only game in town," the mounting risks are clearly evident. From economic to earnings-related weakness, the "bullish underpinnings" are slowly being chipped away.
- US dollar sell-off: Nov’15 Global FMS shows “long dollar” most crowded trade
- EM rally: China deval complicates rally but humiliated EM ripe for bounce as Fed hike expectations peak
- Positioning less "bearish": risk rally is "narrow" and vulnerable to quick profit-taking in event-rich December: deteriorating RSP/SPY ratio
While it is still unclear just why the FOMC Minutes which are said to have made a December liftoff "more likely" unleashed a dramatic market rally, one which sent both stocks and TSYs higher, the sentiment continued overnight, with both Asian stocks surging on the US momentum, as well as Europe, where the DAX gapped solidly above the 200 DMA as most European shares advanced, led by resources, travel stocks. U.S. futures continue their ramp higher, and at last check were another 8 points, or 0.4%, in the green. But if the Fed Minutes were enough to unleash the latest leg in this rally, than the ECB's own minutes due also today, should send futures back over 2100 without much difficult, regardless of their actual content.
"The equilibrium, for now, is QE infinity – but political risk could be the breaking point"...
...or to put it another way, here is what Deutsche Bank believes are the only two "upside risks" for markets - "a smooth start to Fed tightening" and "eurozone growth surprises to the upside." Other than that, hope that The Fed reverts to old norms and eases, un-tightens is the last best hope for this decoupled, divergent equity market...
"We are sellers of risk SPX 2050-2100, DXY>100. Terror/geopolitics can keep ZIRP for longer, but bullish FMS indicates big EPS needed for sustained new risk highs."
Editor’s Note: Last week gold price fell to 5 year lows and weakness again saw canny buyers accumulate on the dip. Sales of U.S. Mint gold coins jumped the most in nearly three months. The 2015 $10 American Gold Eagles actually sold out.
The odds of a December rate hike have slipped in recent days from over 70% intraday to 64.0% today as, while economists remain convinced that rates will rise in December, traders appear a little less confident. One of the most outspoken - having doubted The Fed (and questioned the economy's ability to handle even a 25bps rate hike) since Spring - DoubleLine Capital co-founder Jeffrey Gundlach said on Sunday that the Fed may hesitate to raise rates given rocky economic and financial conditions making it clear, as Reuters reports, "certainly [a Fed] No-Go is more likely than most people think. These markets are falling apart."
· The tragic events in Paris are set to dictate price action at the beginning of the week in Europe
· The US sees an increase in tier 1 data this week as well as the release of the minutes from last month’s Fed meeting