Exchange Traded Fund
The world and their pet rabbit was convinced yesterday that today's jobs number was both the most-important-number-in-the-world and didn't matter (because whether it beat or missed it was bullish for stocks). Seconds after the release that appeared to be true as JPY instantly dragged stocks to record highs (and the USD up and bonds and gold down). However, trumped by confirmation that the taper is continuing, Gazprom warnings, Lavrov threats, and finally reports of a Russian invasion, stocks leaked lower to Tuesday's ramp-day closing levels. Thanks to some last-minute JPY and VIX banging, S&P closed green for the 15th of last 16 NFPs. Despite intraday volatility, the USD ended the week unchanged, gold +1%, silver -1.5% and Treasuries +14bps or so (its worst week in 6 months!). Credit markets continue to be non-believers (with the high-yield bond ETF plunging this week). Critically, after last night's default in China, Iron Ore and Copper futures were crushed and we suspect Sunday night's Asia open could see more fireworks.
Stocks saw their lowest range day of the year so far today - and one of the lowest volume days - with today's laggard yesterday's big winner Russell 2000. Financiasls surged today and Energy dropped to worst performer on the year. Treasuries drifted sideways to very modestly lower in yield even as the USD weakened (led by AUD, CAD, and GDP strength). USDJPY and stocks were generally well coupled once again. Gold and silver leaked higher but today's biggest mover was WTI crude which tumbled back to around $101 (-1.4% on the week). High yield credit spreads flatlined with late weakness but HYG (the HY bond ETF) was notably weak all day. A late-day VIX smackdown tried to take the S&P cash into the green (mission accomplished) and new record highs - but it failed. Not exactly the high conviction, break to new highs push so many had hoped for as everyone eyes Friday's NFP (and ignores today's weak ADP and ISM Services - and weak China's Composite PMI).
By now it was only a formality, as the likelihood of the G-8 meeting taking place in Sochi in June, months after the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, was zero at best. So the fact that G-8, pardon, G-7 countries announced the halting of their preparation for a June vacation on the Black Sea should not surprise anyone.
"If you have physical gold or silver, you are in a golden position,” Celente said. Despite the many risks of today, Celente saw light at the end of the tunnel. He said that there are opportunities in “clean food”, breakthrough alternative energy, alternative medicine and in digital education and internet learning.
Concerns about the possibility of the Chinese property bubble bursting affecting economic growth in China and the world is supporting gold.
Global gold prices may have been manipulated on 50% of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013, according to analysis by Fideres, a consultancy. Pension funds, hedge funds, commodity trading advisers, futures traders and ordinary investors are likely to have suffered losses as a result. Many of these groups were "definitely ready" to file lawsuits.
Annual global investment in bars and coins reached 1,654 tonnes, up from 1,289 tonnes in 2012, a rise of 28%. Check out GoldCore's webinar with Gerald Celente, this Thursday, February 20th.
A curious finding emerged in the latest 13F by Soros Fund Management, the family office investment vehicle managing the personal wealth of George Soros. Actually, two curious findings: the first was that the disclosed Assets Under Management as of December 31, 2013 rose to a record $11.8 billion (this excludes netting and margin, and whatever one-time positions Soros may have gotten an SEC exemption to not disclose: for a recent instance of this, see Greenlight Capital's Micron fiasco, and the subsequent lawsuit of Seeking Alpha which led to the breach of David Einhorn's holdings confidentiality). The second one is that the "Soros put", a legacy hedge position that the 83-year old has been rolling over every quarter since 2010, just rose to a record $1.3 billion or the notional equivalent of some 7.09 million SPY-equivalent shares. Since this was an increase of 154% Q/Q this has some people concerned that the author of 'reflexivity' and the founder of "open societies" may be anticipating some major market downside.
On October 15, well into the fourth quarter, David Tepper appeared on CNBC for his semi-annual stock pumpfest, most memorable for his suggestion that a 20x P/E multiple on the S&P was perfectly acceptable. Which would suggest Tepper was very bullish on risk. Which would suggest buying more stocks, not selling. Yet selling is precisely what he did between September 30 and December 31 for the vast majority of his top holdings according to his just released 13F. So what did he sell or liquidate?
Dennis Gartman, already humiliated beyond any hope of reputation salvage in the media, appears to be refocusing his keen talents and acute sense of extrapolating instantaneous market momentum 1 millisecond into the future, to a renewed direct exposure in the capital markets. And while hoping that market junkies have forgotten the epic disaster that was his last foray into ETF-land with ONN and OFF, Gartman today announced that he is now launching his signature shtick as a brand new ETF: gold... in non-dollar terms.
The biggest fear the market currently has is not the ongoing crisis in the Emerging Markets, not the suddenly slowing economy, not even China's credit bubble popping: it is that Bernanke's successor may have suddenly reverted to the "Old Normal" - a regime in which the Fed is not there to provide the training wheels should the S&P suffer a 5%, 10% or 20% (or more) drop. Whether such fears are warranted will be tested as soon as there is indeed a bear market plunge in stocks - the first in nearly three years (incidentally the topic of the Fed's lack of vacalty was covered in a recent Reuters article). So, assuming that indeed the most dramatic change in market dynamics in the past five years has taken place, how does one trade this new world which is so unfamiliar to so many of today's "younger" (and forgotten by many of the older) traders? And, more importantly, how does one look for the signs of a bottom: an Old Normal bottom that is. Courtesy of Convergex' Nicholas Colas, here is a reminder of what to look forward to, for those who are so inclined, to time the next market inflection point.
US (and Japanese) stocks began their dead-cat bounce around the European open tracking USDJPY (once again) and rising in reverse order of yesterday's selloff as Nikkei, Trannies, Nasdaq and so on (in order) recovered around 25-35% of yesterday's losses. For Fibonacci-watchers, S&P futures ticked 38.2% retracement and stalled and VWAP was support all day. Credit markets did not buy it and stocks caught down to them. Silver, having underperformed since the taper, outperformed today back over $19.50 and +1.7% on the week as gold slipped modestly today (but +0.8% on the week). Treasuries sold off modestly leaving yields -2-3bps on the week. AUD stength and JPY weakness supported stocks but the USD flatlined ahead of tomorrow's ECB meeting. MUB, the Muni ETF, was smashed lower on the Puero Rico junking (and that triggered a quick waterfall in stocks) but that was quickli BTFD'd. VIX fell an impressive 2.9 vols to 18.5%.
Nine Event Risks for the week ahead: identified, discussed and assessed.
Despite every talking head having written off the miners, they were the best performer across US equity sub-indices. In the US equity markets Biotech and REITs also performed well. On the other hand, Nasdaq Insurance and NYSE Arca Oil ETF were the worst...along with the NYSE Composite Index (which represents 61% of all global market capitalization).