"Buying Here Is Like Picking Pennies In Front Of A Steamroller" - 10 Reasons To Be Bearish From Credit SuisseSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/26/2016 13:17 -0400
Little margin for error. Multiples are elevated and the economic/earnings cycle is aging – this means the margin for error is small and shrinking and thus chasing the SPX at 2100+ is akin to “picking up pennies in front of a steamroller”.
While the stock market saw big gains the last two days, one options exchange reported a near-record level of relative put buying.
Yesterday's weak dollar headfake has ended and overnight the USD rallied, while Asian stocks dropped to the lowest level in 7 weeks and crude oil fell as speculation returned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as next month. The pound jumped and European stocks gained thanks to a weaker EUR.
"In January, we projected that the Fed rate hike would lead to increased financial stress and falling equity markets; this, we argued, would lead the Fed to turn more dovish, which – in turn – would allow equities to rebound. This has played out. Yet, the Fed relent has been partial – and the latest FOMC minutes point to increasing risks that we will re-enter the “doom loop” from a more hawkish Fed to a stronger dollar, lower oil prices, higher HY credit spreads and lower equity markets."
In what many considered to be a flagrantly criminal abuse of investment bank "restricted lists", yesterday Goldman underwrote a $2 billion equity offering for Tesla (to find its amusing expansion strategy) just hours after Goldman upgraded the stock to a Buy. We have done our best to alert the regulators however we are confident the regulators are paid far better to remain unalerted. So for those curious what Goldman's research analyst who upgraded Tesla, Patrick Archambault, had to say about this "odd, very odd coincidence", here it is straight from the mouth of the horse which obviously remains stabled safely on the other side of the Chinese wall located at 200 West.
In the latest indication of contracting global growth, overnight Hong Kong reported that its Q1 GDP fell off a cliff 0.4% qoq, widly missing estimates of 0.1% growth as retail sales plummeted and the property market continued its collapse. On a y/y basis, the economy grew only 0.8% when compared to the same period last year, less than half the 1.9% y/y growth reflected in Q4.
BofAML's Mike Cantopoulos' distaste for corporate fundamentals, displeasure with the efficacy of QE and easy monetary policy on spurring growth and inflation, and concerns that a further deterioration in credit conditions will create deeper economic troubles not appreciated by many have left credit markets with poor default adjusted valuations and little room to absorb a negative shock. He highlights nine key reasons below why BofAML believes this rally won't last (and in fact may have already seen its end).
"In April, the Sell Side Indicator — our measure of Wall Street’s bullishness on stocks — fell by 1ppt to 51.9, its lowest level in over a year. This was the indicator’s biggest one-month drop in the past two years, as the S&P 500 rallied 15% from the February lows through mid-April.... While sentiment has improved significantly off of the 2012 bottom, today's sentiment levels are still below where they were at the market lows of March 2009."
It is increasingly certain that the future will not be like the past. Previous downturns have been equally devastating but the primary causes eventually reversed themselves; low commodity prices recovered and damaging government policies were rescinded. This recovery will be different for a variety of reasons which will combine to cap growth, opportunity and profits, even if oil and gas prices spike. The following major changes appear permanent...
Japan has proven that decay can be stretched into decades, but it has yet to prove that gravity can be revoked by central bank monetary games.
The stock market and the economy are moving in two completely different directions right now. Even as stock prices soar, big corporations are defaulting on their debts at a level that we have not seen since the last financial crisis. In fact, this wave of debt defaults have become so dramatic that even mainstream media is reporting on it...
"Our “Japanification” theme argues for big, fat, volatile trading ranges being the norm. The rallies (Japan rallied +20% every year during the 1990s (Chart 8) and the fades are always driven by Policy (panic & complacency), Profits (troughs & peaks in PMI’s) & Positioning (fear & greed). As bulls begin to dominate, confidence in the macro improves & the Fed starts to talk-up prospect of rate hikes, we would use Q2 to add to volatility exposure." - BofA
The market is standing at the proverbial “crossroads” of bull and bear. From a “fundamental” perspective there is not much good news. The past week we saw numerous companies beating extremely beaten down estimates. However, while JPM and C got a boost to their stock price, the actual earnings, revenue and profits trends were clearly negative. But that is the new normal. We live in an environment where Central Banking has taken control of financial markets by leaving investors “no option” for a return on cash. Therefore, the “hope” remains that asset prices can remain detached from underlying fundamentals long enough for them to catch up.
So what do you do? Play the short-term chase the market game or the longer-term wealth devastation game. The choice is yours to make, the consequences will be for all to share. “I will tell you my secret: I never buy at the bottom and I always sell too soon.” – Baron Nathan Rothschild
What is clear is that the Federal Reserve has gained control of asset markets by gaining control over investor behavior. “Are you afraid of a market crash? Yes. Are you doing anything about it? No.” Again, it’s back to fundamentals versus expectations. Someone is going to be very wrong.