Global Stocks Jump On Mega Merger Monday, Buoyed By Earnings, PMIs, Politics

Global stocks jumped around the globe, with Europe's Stoxx 600 and US equity futures rising more than 0.5% on a surge in merger announcements over the weekend including the $85 billion mega takeout of AT&T for Time Warner, the $6.4 billion acquisition of B/E Aerospace by Rockwell Collins, the $2.7 billion deal targeting Genworth by China Oceanwide and the just announced $4 billion purchase of Scotttrade by Ameritrade.

How The "Perverse Economic Effects Created By ETFs" Are Setting Up The Next Crash

1. In a world of manic factor crowding via the exponential growth of cheap passive index and smart beta products, get ready for the class-action lawsuits in a future-state. And:
2. this is BEYOND GOLD as an example of “tail wagging dog” / “echo chamber” / “feedback loop amplification” from the market structure shift experienced within the industry over the past 10+ years.

Canada's Fourth Largest Bank Erases $1 Billion In Excess Capital In Unexpected Accounting Gimmick

Today Bank of Montreal, perhaps the biggest violator of the loan loss reserve recongition, fell the most in two months after restating it restated its regulatory capital ratios for the first three quarters of the year. According to  one analyst calculated, the move was comparable to erasing C$1.3 billion ($1 billion) of excess capital at Canada’s fourth-largest lender.

Crude Declines As OPEC Deal Doubts Emerge; Futures Roll Over

After oil soared over 5% yesterday, its biggest jump since April, overnight skepticism and doubts have emerged about the viability and compliance with the deal, coupled with a boost in production by non-OPEC producers, and as a result WTI has dipped back under $47, down 0.5%, suggesting that the OPEC surge may be short-lived, and modestly pressuring US equity futures.

Frontrunning: September 21

  • Bank of Japan's policy reset muddies markets' risk mood (Reuters)
  • BOJ overhauls policy focus, sets target for government bond yields (Reuters)
  • BOJ Shifts Policy Framework to Targeting Japan’s Yield Curve (BBG)
  • Fed Focus Turns to Dots as Hike Odds Fade: Decision-Day Guide (BBG)
  • Oil jumps after surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories (Reuters)

Days After Going After Trump, NY AG Probes Why Exxon Hasn't Written Down Oil Reserves

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is probing why Exxon Mobil hasn’t written down the value of its assets, two years into a pronounced crash in oil prices. To be sure, it is most likely that Scheiderman is looking for another career-boosting witch hunt, which however is not to say that Exxon is blameless in this particular case.

Oil Plunges As Libya, Nigeria Supply Set To Worsen Glut

Glutter and Glutterer... Oil prices are extending their losses this morning as disappointing US economic growth indicators combined with expectations of a surge in supply from Nigeria and Libya are adding to fears about increasing overhang of oil stocks.

Visualizing The (Massive) Size Of The US National Debt

When numbers get into the billions or trillions, they start to lose context. The U.S. national debt is one of those numbers. It currently sits at $19.5 trillion, which is actually such a large number that it is truly difficult for the average person to comprehend.

Frontrunning: August 25

  • Stock futures lower as countdown to Yellen speech begins (Reuters)
  • Italy quake death toll nears 250 as rescuers search demolished towns (Reuters)
  • Central bankers eye public spending to plug $1 trillion investment gap (Reuters)
  • Chelsea Clinton Plans to Stay on Board of Family Foundation (WSJ)
  • Bond Traders Are Desperate for Direction From Yellen in Jackson Hole (BBG)

"Fab 5" US Tech Firms Now Rule Global Stocks

Since the end of QE3 (Oct 2014), the broadest measure of the US equity market (NYSE Composite) is modestly lower (-1.2%). However, 5 US stocks have soared an impressive 35% since then. In fact, as Bloomberg reports, the five biggest companies in the world by market value were all U.S. tech companies (a feat that wasn't even achieved during the exuberant peaks in the dot-com bubble in 2000).