There has been little in term of tier 1 data releases to drive the price action so far in the overnight session which means participants focused on the upcoming US related risk events including the Fed, Q2 GDP and July Payrolls. This, combined with WSJ article by Fed’s Fisher who opined that the FOMC should consider tapering the reinvestment of maturing securities and begin shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet (note that Fisher’s opinion piece is written based on a speech he gave on July 16th) meant that USTs came under pressure overnight in Asia and in Europe this morning. There has been little notable equity futures action (for now: the USDJPY algo team gave it a good ramp attempt just before Europe open, and will repeat just around the US open despite Standard Chartered major cut to its USDJPY forecast from 110 to 106 overnight), although we expect that to change since today is the day when Tuesday frontrunning takes place with full force. We expect equities to completely ignore the ongoing deterioration in Ukraine and the imminent release of EU's own sanctions against Russia, as well as what is now shaping up as an Argentina default on July 30.
The middle east is burning again: first it was the fascinating ascent of the brutal Al-Qaeda spinoff ISIS, creating its own Caliphate in northern Iraq and in the process taking over a third of Syrian territory as well as all of its oil infrastructure. Then, the latest iteration of the Israel vs Gaza conflict has now claimed over 1000 lives and is dragging virtually all neighboring countries into it as well. And the cherry on top is that the Libyan "liberation" by the US has just gone full circle, as the country is is now witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since Gadhafi’s ouster. End result: nearly two years after the deadly attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, moments ago the US once again shuttered its embassy in Libya, this time in Tripoli, evacuating more than 150 Americans to Tunisia. This is happening just 24 hours after the US Secretary of State was literally next door in Egypt, assuring the region that peace and stability are just around the corner.
… Their Views Would Change Overnight
It was a little over a year ago when the "Mystery Sponsor Of Weapons And Money To Syrian Mercenary "Rebels" Was Revealed" as none other than the uber-wealthy Qatar (also known as the tiny but filthy rich state in the Persian Gulf that hosts the US Fifth fleet, better known as infinite leverage vis-a-vis the United States), which effectively had been pulling the US interventionist strings in hopes of taking out the Assad government and installing a puppet regime, one which would be helpful in facilitating the passage of a natgas pipeline beneath the country, which would then proceed into Turkey and all the way into Europe, as a means of bypassing Europe's reliance on Russia (which as recent events have shown has all the leverage when it comes to Europe). It failed. As a result it had to redirect its puppetmastery skills elsewhere. That "elsewhere" appears to be none other than Hamas,
Despite an impressive ramp by USDJPY in the last two hours of trading (thank you Nomura and BOJ) whose purpose was to get the DE Shaw and all other correlation algos to push spoos higher, today's trifecta of the ugly guidance by Visa (which dominated the DJIA), very ugly earnings by Amazon (which dominated the Nasdaq) and the CME ES margin hike just proved too much, and while Friday may have been the new Tuesday following 11 "green" DJIA Fridays in a row, today's 123 point drop stopped the trend before lucky 12 out of 12.
Over the past few days, John Kerry flew to Egypt, where among other things, he proposed a weekling Gaza Truce. Alas, that was one taxpayer funded trip for the Secretary of State flushed down the drain:
- ISRAEL CABINET UNANIMOUSLY OPPOSED KERRY PLAN: CHANNEL 1
- ISRAEL'S SECURITY CABINET HAS REJECTED GAZA CEASEFIRE PROPOSAL, SEEKS MODIFICATIONS -GOVT SOURCE
Or, largely just as was expected (because even Bloomberg is now reporting how the entire middle east is mocking John Kerry).
There are major clashes occurring currently in The West Bank tonight as claims of 10s of thousands and Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers. An Israeli army spokeswoman told the AFP news agency, "there are thousands of rioters there. They are rolling burning tyres and throwing Molotov cocktails and fireworks at soldiers and border police... The soldiers are responding with riot disposal means." Sadly, as the photos below reveal taken moments ago show, things appear set to get very much worse.
America The Divided: Everyone Knows We Have Problems But There Is Very Little Agreement On SolutionsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/24/2014 21:21 -0400
A house divided against itself will surely fall. America is more divided today than it has been in decades, and the deep divisions that are tearing us apart continue to get even worse. In fact, a newly released Rasmussen Reports national survey discovered that 67 percent of voters believe that America is even more divided now than it was four years ago. What most Americans can agree on is that we are facing tremendous problems as a nation. Unfortunately, there is very little agreement on what the solutions to our problems are.
Yesterday, Navi Pillay, the UN rights chief told an emergency session of the council on Wednesday that Israel's military actions in Gaza could amount to war crimes. Shortly thereafter, the 47-member council voted (and adopted) a draft resolution titled "Ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory" to conduct an investigation whether Israel is indeed engaging in war crimes. Note: this was a vote just to conduct an investigation, nothing more - nothing less, no military intervention, no aid, nothing:just an attempt to get some information aside from the constant propaganda barrage. 29 states voted in favour of the investigation and 17 abstained, including many EU states. 1 voted against. Guess which one.
How Iran's Supreme Leader Really Feels: "Annihilation Of The Murderous, Usurping Regime Of Israel Is The Only Cure"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/24/2014 14:07 -0400
If there was any doubt whether following the recent, and quite surprising, detente between the US and Iran, which from a state that was shunned by the US for decades has transformed into a country that has been actively courted by the US in recent months, that Iran would change its tune toward that other bossom US ally in the middle east, Israel, it can be put to reset following the latest pronouncement by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who on Wednesday called for a referendum canvassing the Arabs and Jews that live in Israel in order to end the "Zionist state.""While waiting for an end to this cold-blooded murderous regime, mighty armed resistance is the only way to deal with it.... Israel's annihilation is the only real cure, but that doesn't mean destroying Jews in this region,"
- EU to weigh extensive sanctions on Russia (FT)
- U.S. lifts flight ban to Israel (Reuters)
- Russia says will cooperate with MH17 probe led by Netherlands (Reuters)
- Norway faces ‘concrete and credible’ terrorist threat (FT)
- Don’t Tell Anybody About This Story on HFT Power Jump Trading (BBG)
- But... but... PMI: Unilever Sales Growth Misses Estimates on Asian Slowdown (BBG)
- World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Reviews $8 Billion Russian Stake (BBG)
- Qualcomm latest US tech company to reverse in China (FT)
- Hamptons Home Sales Rise as Buyers Find More Inventory (BBG)
Update: According to AP, the missing Algerian plane went down in central Mali, citing a U.N. representative, contradicting earlier reports that it crashed in Niger.
Not a day seems to pass in the past week without some airplane catastrophe: first over Ukriane, next over the South China Sea, now in western Africa over Mali where moments ago Air Algerie reported said that it had lost contact with one of its passenger aircraft carrying 116 people on board, nearly an hour after takeoff from Burkina Faso bound for Algiers. And what is most stunning is that just like in the MH17 case, the flight lost radio transmission shortly after it was ordered to change its course due to "poor weather." According to an Air Algerie source "the plane was not far from the Algerian frontier when the crew was asked to make a detour because of poor visibility and to prevent the risk of collision with another aircraft on the Algiers-Bamako route. Contact was lost after the change of course."
Ever since going public, it appears that Markit's giddyness about life has spilled over into its manufacturing surveys: after a surge in recent Markit mfg exuberance in recent months in the US, it was first China's turn overnight to hit an 18 month high, slamming expectations and fixing the bitter taste in the mouth left by another month of atrocious Japan trade data (where even Goldman has thrown in the towel on Abenomics now) following which the euphoria spilled over to Europe just as the triple-dip recession warnings had started to grow ever louder and most economists have been making a strong case for ECB QE. Instead, German July mfg PMI printed at 52.9, above the 52.0 in June and above the 51.9 expected while the Composite blasted higher to 55.9, from 54.0, and above the 53.8 expected thanks to the strongest Service PMI in 37 months! End result: a blended Eurozone manufacturing PMI rising from 51.8 to 51.9, despite expectations of a modest decline while the Composite rose from 52.8 to 54.0, on expectations of an unchanged print. Curiously the soft survey data took place as Retail Sales declined both in Italy (-0.7%, Exp. +0.2%), and the UK (-0.1%, Exp. 0.3%), which incidentally was blamed on "hot weather." Perhaps Markit, now that it has IPOed successfully, can step off the gas or at least lobby to have surveys become part of GDP.
It had to happen! The blame game on that horrendous airline incident has reached the expected loud monotone of pointing fault, lock, stock and barrel at Russia... and, more specifically, to that villain ex-KGB Slav, Vladimir Putin. The US media barrage of grotesque and obscene propaganda against America’s former foe and competitor has found a leader of this warring marching band in Barack Obama. If the UN is incapable to change or influence the hegemonic geopolitical behavior of the United States... where else can the world look to find resolution to conflicts such as we have in Gaza and Ukraine today? Enter the BRICS group of nations...
U.S. Senate Democrats included $225 million for Israel's Iron Dome rocket interception system in an emergency funding bill on Tuesday, which, as Bloomberg reports, in addition to the $351 million that’s already under discussion for Iron Dome in fiscal 2015 would bring the potential new funding to $576 million, compared with the $176 million currently requested by the Pentagon. "Iron Dome has saved countless Israeli lives," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a letter dated yesterday and while the Iron Dome system is built by Haifa-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, an agreement with Israel calls for more than half the funds the Pentagon provides for Iron Dome to be spent in the U.S..