While far less attention is being paid to hedge fund 13F filings, which show a stale representation of equity long stakes among the hedge fund community as of 45 days prior, than in years gone by as a result of increasingly poor performance by the 2 and 20 crowd, they still remain closely watched source of investment ideas but mostly to find out what the new cluster ideas and hedge fund hotel stocks are at any given moment. Here are the highlights from the latest round of 13F filings.
The biggest concern for China, and the world, is that now that China's credit impulse is gone, it means that the it is only a matter of time before the impetus behind Chinese, and global growth, evaporates as per the timeline persented in the following Goldman chart, which explained the surge in Q1 economic activity, and which now anticipates a steep slowdown in the second and subsequent quarters unless China manages to stoke its unsustainable credit growth once again.
For the past 50 or so years, the quickest way for a sharp young sociopath to get rich has been to join an investment bank or hedge fund. The former were riding a “regulatory capture” gravy train that became ever-more-lucrative as new government agencies morphed into subsidiaries of Wall Street. Said another way, when financial assets are being artificially inflated by excessive liquidity, it’s easy to make money by shuffling this ever-appreciating inventory back and forth, and to look very smart while doing so. But those days are ending with a bang...
Moments ago, the 2016 edition of the Sohn Investment Conference started, a feeding frenzy for traders and hedge fund managers such as Gundlach, Einhorn and Chanos who descend on this popular annual "round table" to pitch their best and worst ideas. As always, the moment a company's name is mentioned in a bullish or bearish context, its stock is sure to surge or slump, as the headline-hungry algos immediate pounce in the current reactionary market environment. But is following the advice of these hedge fund gurus such a good idea?
Overnight Australia finally admitted it has succumbed to the global economic weakness plaguing the rest of the world when in a "surprise" move, Australia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in a year to a record low and left the door open for further easing to counter a wave of disinflation that’s swept over the developed world. The move sent the local currency tumbling and local stocks climbing. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens and his board lowered the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 percent Tuesday, a move predicted by just 12 of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The announcement has, not surprisingly unleashed havoc across FX markets and broadly pushed global mood into its latest "risk off" phase.
As of today, we now have three consecutive quarters of tightening lending standards. In fact, based on the latest survey, net lending standards tightened even more than during Q4 as shown in the chart below, and are now the tightest on net since the financial crisis. Needless to say, if a recession and a default cycle has always followed two quarters of tighter lending conditions, three quarters does not make it better.
"It Has Been A While Since We’ve Had A Profitable Quarter To Report" - Einhorn's First Quarter LetterSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/02/2016 18:18 -0400
"It has been a while since we’ve had a profitable quarter to report. Though we would like to make it a habit, trying to manage for quarterly results is really not our philosophy. We think one of our advantages is the ability to be more patient than others, especially as investment horizons appear to be getting shorter.... the Fed’s “data dependency” doesn’t appear to relate to employment, which continues to improve, or core inflation, which is now running above its 2% target. We believe the increasingly adventurous monetary policy is bullish for gold."
Today, we find the latest, and perhaps most innovative attempt to circumvent capital controls yet when a group of Chinese investors has offered to buy AC Milan football club, one of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's most cherished assets. The offer values the club at around 700 million euros including debt, one of the sources said.
In the final day of the week, it has again been a story of currencies and commodities setting stock prices, however instead of yesterday's Yen surge which slammed the USDJPY as low as 107.67 and led to a global tumble in equities, and crude slide, today has been a mirror imoage after a modest FX short squeeze, which sent the Yen pair as high as 109.1, before easing back to the 108.80 range. This, coupled with a 3.5% bounce in WTI, which is back up to $38.54 and up 4.9% on the week as speculation has returned that Russia and OPEC members can reach a production freeze deal on April 17, led to a global stock rebound which will see the S&P open back in the green for 2016.
For Japan, the post "Shanghai Summit" world is turning ugly, fast, because as a result of the sliding dollar, a key demand of China which has been delighted by the recent dovish words and actions of Janet Yellen, both Japan's and Europe's stock markets have been sacrificed at the whims of their suddenly soaring currencies. Which is why when Japanese stocks tumbled the most in 7 weeks, sinking 3.5%, to a one month low of 16,164 (after the Yen continued strengthening and the Tankan confidence index plunged to a 3 year low) it was anything but an April fool's joke to both local traders.
US HY recorded another impressive +$2.01bn (+1.0%) net inflow last week, their 5th consecutive time in the green. Over the last 4 weeks, US HY has gained a net $11.52bn from retail flows, the largest ever in a 4 week span for the asset class. Given the 40% increase in WTI prices since February 11th, improving economic data, and dovish support from the ECB, it is not surprising to us that retail has piled into risk assets and by extension US HY lately
Here are the two most actionable reasons why gold just broke out and soared to $1,260, and is fast approaching levels not seek since January 2015.
- Futures rise as oil gains hold steady (Reuters)
- China promises economic stability as G20, parliament loom (Reuters)
- Obama scolds Senate Republicans for Supreme Court threat (Reuters)
- China Deploys Missiles on Disputed South China Sea Island (WSJ)
- China Ramps Up Rhetoric, Plans New Steps to Juice Up Economy (BBG)
- China Loses Control of the Economic Story Line (WSJ)
Yesterday was the last day for hedge funds to submit their Q4 13-F filings, and the biggest reactions this morning can be found in the stock of Kinder Morgan which rises 9% pre-mkt after Berkshire reported a new stake. Autodesk also gained 2% post-mkt yday after Lone Pine took a new position. Several funds boosted or reported new stakes in JD.com while Jana Partners reported a new stake in Valeant. Both Icahn and Einhorn trimmed their AAPL holdings.
Having opened his position in AAPL in Q3 2013, Carl Icahn's projections, prognostications, and positioning have all lent credence (for CNBC watchers) to buying into the "no brainer" stock. However, it appears the plunge in the stock of the last few months has taken the shine of Icahn's glee as, according to his fund's latest 13F, he dumped 7 million shares (or aound 14% of his position) in Q4 2015. In addition, Greenlight's David Einhorn dumped 44% of his holding in Tim Cook's releveraging firm.