Another day, another case of central banks, not one but two this time, dictating "price" action.
The look at the drivers of next week, without using the word manipulation or conspiracy, or referring to how stupid or evil some people may or may not be.
The growing divergence between equity and credit markets this year have seldom been far from our pages (especially how, over many cycles, credit has led and stocks followed at trend turns), and now it appears Barclays also recognizes this fact. As they note, in 2007, as hints of the financial crisis were unveiled, spreads in the high yield market increased sharply. Meanwhile, the equity market climbed to a new record high. Had equity investors heeded the warning being sent from high yield, significant losses may have been avoided... and currently high yield sell signals suggest equity investors should position defensively!
- Top Trade #1: EUR/$ downside via a one-year EUR/$ put spread.
- Top Trade #2: 10-year US Treasuries above 3% but not below 2% in mid-2015, through cap and floor spreads at zero cost.
- Top Trade #3: Long a Dec-2015 Eurostoxx 50 ‘bull’ call spread.
- Top Trade #4: Long US High Yield credit risk via 5-year CDX HY junior mezzanine tranches.
- Top Trade #5: Long an equity basket of EM crude oil importers (Taiwan, Turkey and India).
- Top Trade #6: Short CHF/SEK.
- Top Trade #7: Bearish Copper relative to Nickel, on supply divergence.
- Top Trade #8: Long US Dollar against a basket of ZAR and HUF.
The word "volatile" comes to mind when reflecting on today's cross-asset class action. US equities dumped into and beyond the US open, decoupling entirely from JPY carry, only to reverse perfectly at the European close and recover all the way back to USDJPY right as the FOMC minutes hit. A kneejerk sent stocks higher but that quickly decoupled also and stocks fell. Small Caps underperformed and are back in the negative year-to-date. Treasury yields were volatile, ramping higher into the US open, rallying post, then whipsawing on FOMC minutes to close 3-4bps higher on the day.The USD was flat on the day despite the surge in USDJPY back above 118. Commodities were a mess with a big dump on Swiss Gold polls, rip higher on Russian buying rumors and dropped again on FOMC (oil and copper followed suit). HY Credit was "bidless" and continues to decouple from stocks (along with VIX).
Major equity / Credit divergences should always be taken very seriously. They were among the best forward looking indicators at almost every major turning point for equities over the last 20 years. Today, the divergence is visible again. The fact that all this is happening while bullish sentiment in the US is at record highs is of particular worry. Everyone is expecting higher equities due to lower yields and depressed food and energy prices. But when everyone is thinking alike, no one is really thinking...
Plummeting oil prices are a symptom of terrible mounting instabilities in the world. After years of stagnation, complacency, and official pretense, the linked matrix of systems we depend on for running our techno-industrial society is shaking itself to pieces. American officials either don’t understand what they’re seeing, or don’t want you to know what they see. The tensions between energy, money, and economy have entered a new phase of destructive unwind. The global economy has caught the equivalent of financial Ebola: deflation, which is the recognition that debts can’t be repaid, obligations can’t be met, and contracts won’t be honored. Financial Ebola means that the connective tissues of trade start to dissolve, and pretty soon blood starts dribbling out of national economies.
The markets have been pushing new all-time highs this past week as earnings season begins to wind down. Starting next week, much of the focus will shift back to the economy and holiday retail sales. Expectations are for a robust season but the early arrival of winter could have a more negative effect on the economy than anticipated should current weather patterns persist.
If yesterday's slightly tailing 10 Year auction was a non-event, today's $16 billion 30 Year refunding was one of the uglier long-end auctions in a while, which perhaps is to be expected in a world in which the Fed is, for the time being, no longer monetizing Treasurys and Dealers no longer have the option to turn around and flip the paper back to the Fed on a whim, and with guaranteed profit.
The relentless regurgitation of the only two rumors that have moved markets this week, namely the Japanese sales tax delay and the "surprise" cabinet snap elections, was once again all over the newswires last night in yet another iteration, and as a result the headline scanning algos took the Nikkei another 1.1% higher to nearly 17,400 which means at this rate the Nikkei will surpass the Dow Jones by the end of the week helped by further reports that Japan will reveal more stimulus measures on November 19, although with US equity futures rising another 7 points overnight and now just shy of 2050 which happens to be Goldman's revised year-end target, the US will hardly complain. And speaking of stimulus, the reason European equities are drifting higher following the latest ECB professional forecast release which saw the panel slash their GDP and inflation forecasts for the entire period from 2014 to 2016. In other words bad news most certainly continues to be good news for stocks, which in the US are about to hit another record high (with the bulk of the upside action once again concentrated between 11:00 and 11:30am).
While there was some selling of 10 Year paper following today's earlier 52-Week Bill auction which came in week, today's refunding of $24 billion in 10 Year paper was a snoozer. Closing moments ago at a 2.365% high yield (33% allotted at high), this was a 0.1% bp tail to the 2.364% When Issued. It was almost nearly identical to last month's 2.381% auction, although the small decline in yield means this was the lowest yield for the On The Run security since last June. The internals were also tame, with the Bid To Cover of 2.52 a carbon copy of last month's 2.52, if a little weaker than the TTM average. Finally, 42% of the allotment went to Dealers, or 4% above the 12 month average, while Indirects took down 44.7%, again nearly an identical amount to last month's 44.4$, and Directs, traditionally the domain of Pimco, were left with 13.4% of the auction. It is unclear if the Total Return Fund was the big bidder here now that Gross is long gone.
On one hand, global growth is slowing down. And on the other, the cost of living is rising. That’s a bad combination, but we’ll make it. While you’re waiting for QE4 to see how it all goes down, remember to hold on to your assets… if you have any.
It appears the excitment of US midterm election sparked a "sell-everything-American" strategy today as stocks, bonds, WTI crude, the dollar, Treasuries, and credit all sold off to a lesser or greater amount. Trannies started off liking weak oil prices but faded as WTI could not bounce off multi-year lows but stocks were jolted lower (before v-shape recovering to VWAP) by Mutiny at the ECB (and desk chatter that - as we have warned - QE is not coming). The decouplings continue as high yield presses to 2-week lows and Nikkei futures diverge from USDJPY. The dollar weakened back to unch on the week after Draghi but commodities saw no gains from that as gold, silver, and copper slipped. WTI dropped to as low as $75.85 at 3-year lows. VIX - helped by numeous CBOE 'breaks' today - jerked back below 15 (after trading above 16 briefly).
Lack Of Daily Central Bank Intervention Fails To Push Futures Solidly Higher, Yen Implosion ContinuesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/03/2014 06:47 -0500
While it is unclear whether it is due to the rare event that no central bank stepped in overnight with a massive liquidity injection or because the USDJPY tracking algo hasn't been activated (moments ago Abe's deathwish for the Japanese economy made some more progress with the USDJPY hitting new mult-year highs just shy of 113.6, on its way to 120 and a completely devastated Japanese economy), but European equities have traded in the red from the get-go, with investor sentiment cautious as a result of a disappointing the Chinese manufacturing report. More specifically, Chinese Manufacturing PMI printed a 5-month low (50.8 vs. Exp. 51.2 (Prev. 51.1)), with new orders down to 51.6 from 52.2, new export orders at 49.9 from 50.2 in September. Furthermore, this morning’s batch of Eurozone PMIs have failed to impress with both the Eurozone and German readings falling short of expectations (51.4 vs Exp. 51.8, Last 51.8), with France still residing in contractionary territory (48.5, vs Exp and Last 47.3).