Flight to Safety

Futures Rebound, Crude "Flash Smashes" Higher As Dollar Strengthens

After the worst week for stocks in years, and following a significantly oversold condition, it will hardly come as a surprise that the mean reversion algos (if only to the upside), as well as the markets themselves (derivative trading on the NYSE Euronext decided to break early this morning just to give some more comfort that excessive selling would not be tolerated)  are doing all they can to ramp equities around the globe, and futures in the US as high as possible on as little as possible volume. And sure enough, having traded with a modestly bullish bias overnight and rising back over 2000, the E-Mini has seen the now traditional low volume spike in the last few minutes, pushing it up over 15 points with the expectation being that the generic algo ramp in USDJPY ahead of the US open should allow futures to begin today's regular session solidly in the green, even if it is unclear if the modest rebound in the dollar and crude will sustain, or - like on every day in the past week - roll over quickly after the open. Also, we hope someone at Liberty 33 tells the 10Y that futures are soaring: at 2.13% the 10Y is pricing in nothing but bad economic news as far as the eye can see.

US Treasury Warns Investors Underestimate "Potential For A Market Reversal", Take "Low Volatility For Granted"

"Investors may have taken low volatility for granted and underestimated the potential for a reversal. While quantitative easing policies are intended to encourage investors to buy risky assets, there is also a risk that the perceived reversal of such policies will lead investors to turn the other way, triggering market instability.... Similarly, investors may have become too sanguine about the availability of market liquidity — the ability to transact in size without having a significant impact on price — during both good times and bad. Accommodative global monetary policy, coupled with the Federal Reserve’s purchases of large amounts of low-risk assets and changes in risk sentiment, helped to compress volatility and risk premiums. "

The Name Is Bond, Long Bond

Bob Farrell's rule #9 says: "When all the experts and forecasts agree, something else is going to happen." Why should you care? Because hardly anyone expects US Treasuries to outperform in 2015… and that’s exactly why they might. In the following analysis, we’ll look at 5 reasons why the long bond might be the best trade of next year.

Pressures On The US Economy Just Increased

"Even if economic conditions continue improving, equity prices are bound to fall sharply at some point, inflicting painful losses on investors. This is what happened in 1987, roughly five years into the last structural bull market. Boom-bust cycles are inevitable because improving economic conditions encourage speculative excesses, which are then blown away as greed gives way to fear."

Frontrunning: October 17

  • Obama open to appointing Ebola 'czar', opposes travel ban (Reuters)
  • Schools Close as Nurse’s Ebola Infection Ignites Concern (BBG)
  • How the World's Top Health Body Allowed Ebola to Spiral Out of Control (BBG)
  • European Stocks Rise Amid Growing Pressure for Stimulus (BBG)
  • Putin Threatens EU Gas Squeeze Raising Stakes for Ukraine (BBG)
  • ECB to Start Asset Purchases Within Days, Says Central Banker Coeuré (WSJ)
  • Investors search for signs of end to stock market correction (Reuters)

When High Volatility Comes With Low Rates

It’s generally considered that higher volatility in bond markets would accompany higher rates. Thus, if rates are falling, volatility will remain subdued. However, as the PIMCO Eurodollars liquidation showed, the market was already short. So the position liquidation is coming in a rally, rather than a sell-off. On top of that, inflation is falling and with oil under pressure should remain low. Meanwhile the Fed hawks evidently lost the argument to the doves in September, and their hand has been strengthened by the dollar rally. So the conditions are set for higher vol to accompany the fall in rates.

Futures Slide, Take Out August Lows, Russell 2000 Almost 1000

Whether it is the lack of any favorable news out of China (in fact, quite the contrary), which the BTFDers on Friday were praying for, or the worsening of the global Ebola pandemic with not only a second confirmed case hitting Texas but panicky reports of Ebola infections from Boston all the way to Los Angeles, or simply the lack of any words of encouragement from the Fed, the Friday rout has continued into the early Sunday night trading, and as of moments ago, the December E-mini future dropped to 1880.5 taking out the August lows, and sliding to levels last seen in May.

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Unusual Activity

Futures and commodities markets reaction to the US Air strikes on Syria. Flight to safety with the yield in the 10 year yield lower to 2.551 in pre-US equity open.

Art Cashin: "Things Could Theoretically Turn Into What I Call A Lehman Moment"

Q. What are traders talking about at the present time here at the New York Stock Exchange?

Cashin: We are concerned about two questions. First, how will the Fed do in keeping money reasonably easy without causing inflation? Second, where do we stand with the current geopolitical challenges? For now, these challenges seem to be short term concerns. But should we begin to see a financial contagion and pressure building on banks in Europe, perhaps out of the Ukraine situation, things could theoretically turn into what I call a «Lehman moment». That is when markets come under pressure but seem to be under control, and then things change suddenly.