Investor Sentiment

Fitch Downgrades Italy To BBB From BBB+

"Italy's persistent track record of fiscal slippage, back-loading of consolidation, weak economic growth, and resulting failure to bring down the very high level of general government debt has left it more exposed to potential adverse shocks. This is compounded by an increase in political risk, and ongoing weakness in the banking sector which has required planned public intervention in three banks since December."

Frontrunning: April 12

  • Futures flat as geopolitical risks weigh; earnings eyed (Reuters)
  • Brent oil rises for 8th day on possible extension to supply cut (Reuters)
  • U.S. accuses Russia of Syria gas attack 'cover up' (Reuters)
  • Xi Tells Trump China Wants Peaceful North Korea Solution (WSJ)
  • Tillerson, Lavrov Hold Talks in Moscow Amid Rising Tensions Over Syria (WSJ)

Futures Flat Ahead Of Yellen As Geopolitical Risks Loom; Fear Barometer Spikes

S&P futures point to a slightly lower open, while Asian and European stocks are likewise modestly in the red. Trading volumes are muted for most markets on Monday with investors spooked by rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and the Korean peninsula. It is also a holiday-shortened week in much of the West.

Rand Tumbles After S&P Downgrades South Africa To Junk: Full Text

While CDS markets had largely priced in a downgrade (with levels approaching those of Brazl), FX markets seemed surprised when moments ago S&P downgraded South Africa to junk, cutting it from BBB- to BB+, in the aftermath of last week's sacking of finance minister Gordhan by president Zuma.

Maybe The Recovery Wasn't Real After All

For a while there it looked like the US and its main trading partners had finally achieved escape velocity. Growth was up, inflation was poking through the Fed’s 2% target, and most measures of consumer sentiment were bordering on euphoric. Then it all started to evaporate...

Futures Decline, Europe Slumps After German Industrial Orders Collapse

After a turbulent overnight session on Monday morning, this morning traders settle at their desks to find a relatively calmer environment, with US equity futures down 0.2% to 2,371.75, while European stocks fell for a third consecutive day, and Asian markets which closed mixed (China up, Nikkei down, MXAP up 0.2%).

A Look Back At 1999!

"If this market rally seems eerily familiar, it’s because it is. In fact, the backdrop of the rally reminds me much of what was happening in 1999...If you were around then, you will remember."

BofA Throws In The Cautionary Towel: Raises S&P Price Target From 2,300 To 2,450

Overnight, Bank of America's Savita Subramanyan became the first sellside strategist in recent weeks to throw in the cautionary towel, and raised the bank's year-end S&P price target from 2,300 to 2,450 to "reflect an increasing likelihood that we are entering the typical later stages of a bull market, during which fundamentals typically take a back seat to sentiment and technicals."

Number Of Distressed US Retailers Highest Since The Great Recession

"Moody's-rated US retailers rated Caa or Ca today make up just over 13% of our total rated retail portfolio, which is the highest level since the Great Recession.  As they struggle to survive, distressed retailers can take more desperate measures, including highly promotional pricing that can border on irrational.  This leaves stronger firms with the choice of either competing in a race to the bottom, or giving up sales in order to preserve margin."