For the first half an hour after China opened, things looked bleak: after opening down 5%, the Shanghai Composite staged a quick relief rally, then tumbled again. And then, just around 10pm Eastern, we saw a coordinated central bank intervention stepping in to give the flailing PBOC a helping hand, driven by the BOJ but also involving NY Fed members, that sent the USDJPY soaring which in turn dragged ES and most risk assets up with it. And while Shanghai did end up closing down -1.7%, with Shenzhen 2.2% lower at the close, the final outcome was far better than what could have been, with the result being that S&P futures have gone back to doing their thing, and have wiped out all of yesterday's losses in the levitating, zero volume, overnight session which has long become a favorite setting for central banks buying E-Minis.
Over the last five-plus years in regard to today’s financial markets, the most revered memes that are recited in unison whether it’s in the form of a silent prayer or, it’s done in a near backwoods revival fashion from the televised financial shows “pulpit” in a “Can I get an …. !!!” stylized homily are: “It’s different this time!” followed with “The Fed’s got you’re back.” However, what they mean today may find those that put all their “faith” into such dogma finding that faith severely tested. For as of today July, 26, 2015 It truly is – different this time. And what else is different is: the Fed. may indeed have one’s back. Only problem this time is – that back may no longer be “yours.”
Last week was a complete dead zone for US macro, however with the peak of Q2 earnings season there was more than enough commotion for everyone. This week US macro starts to pick up again, with Durable Goods on Monday, followed by Case Shiller, Q2 GDP, the Chicago PMI, various consumer confidence indices, and of course, the July FOMC meeting on Wednesday.
It all started in China, where as we noted previously, the Shanghai Composite plunged by 8.5% in closing hour, suffering its biggest one day drop since February 2007 and the second biggest in history. The Hang Seng, while spared the worst of the drubbing, was also down 3.1%. There were numerous theories about the risk off catalyst, including fears the PPT was gradually being withdrawn, a decline in industrial profits, as well as an influx in IPOs which drained liquidity from the market. At the same time, Nikkei 225 (-0.95%) and ASX 200 (-0.16%) traded in negative territory underpinned by softness in commodity prices.
You do not start confiscating deposits at banks until the government itself is bankrupt and cannot foot the bill for a bailout.
Here we now call market deflation by the sobriquet “volatility”, as in “major market indices suffered from volatility today, down almost one-half of one percent”, where a down day is treated as something akin to the common cold, a temporary illness with symptoms that we can shrug off with an aspirin or two. You can’t be in favor of volatility, surely. It’s a bad thing, almost on a par with littering. No, we want good things and good words, like “wealth effect” and “accommodation” and “stability” and “price appreciation”. As President Snow says in reference to The Hunger Games version of a political utility, “may the odds be always in your favor”. Who doesn’t want that?
China will be a net buyer, and a net importer of physical gold for years to come. In and of itself that won’t necessarily cause a sharp rally in gold prices anytime soon, but gold acquisition from the Chinese state and her citizens, as well as emerging market central banks the world over will continue to provide support for the physical gold market. Those that have sold gold in the past few days (and there have been plenty in the ETF and futures markets) as a result of the “disappointing” number out of China may have just caused the capitulation event that typically marks the bottom of any bear market.
After yesterday's latest drop in stocks driven by "old economy" companies such as CAT, which sent the Dow Jones back to red for the year and the S&P fractionally unchanged, today has been a glaring example of the "new" vs "old" economy contrast, with futures propped up thanks to strong tech company earnings after the close, chief among which Amazon, which gained $40 billion in after hours trading and has now surpassed Walmart as the largest US retailer. As a result Brent crude is little changed near 2-wk low after disappointing Chinese manufacturing data fueled demand concerns, adding to bearish sentiment in an oversupplied mkt. WTI up ~26c, trimming losses after yday falling to lowest since March 31 to close in bear mkt. Both Brent and WTI are set for 4th consecutive week of declines; this is the longest losing streak for Brent since Jan., for WTI since March.
If itsy bitsy pie slice – Greece (.33%) – can create this much worldwide economic havoc because of their unpayble level of debt, imagine what will happen when the truth is revealed about France (3.81%), Italy (2.88%), and Spain (1.88%).
Schäuble seems to have foresaw the crisis back in 1994, distinguishing between core members and non-core members. Therefore, his thinking is quite different from that of France. Behind the curtain, the federalization of Europe is the ultimate goal, although politicians always denied that in front of the curtain. The curtain is starting to be drawn, but the equal federalization of Europe was never part of the German mindset.
There has been a lot of chatter in recent days about the plunge in commodity prices - capped off by this week’s slide of the Bloomberg commodity index to levels not seen since 2002. That epochal development is captured in the chart below, but most of the media gumming about the rapidly accelerating “commodity crunch” misses the essential point. To wit, the central banks of the world have shot their wad. The Bloomberg Commodity index is a slow motion screen shot depicting the massive intrusion of worldwide central bankers into the global economic and financial system. Their unprecedented spree of money printing took the aggregate global central bank balance sheet from $3 trillion to $22 trillion over the last 15 years. The consequence was a deep and systematic falsification of financial prices on a planet-wide scale.
A slow week devoid of virtually any macro news - last night the biggest weekly geopolitical event concluded as expected, when Greece voted to pass the bailout bill which "the government does not believe in" just so the ECB's ELA support for Greek depositors can continue - is slowly coming to a close, as is the busiest week of the second quarter earnings season which so far has been largely disappointing despite aggressive consensus estimate cuts, especially for some of the marquee names, and unlike Q1 when a quarterly drop in EPS was avoided in the last minute, this time we won't be so lucky, and the only question is on what side of -3.5% Y/Y change in EPS will the quarter end.
The Centralized Powers have declared a War on Cash... and it is spreading throughout the globe.
All eyes may be on Greece right now, but in reality, the economic malaise is widespread across the continent. It’s clear that Greece is not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. The real problem is that every one of these nations has violated the universal law of prosperity: produce more than you consume. This is the way it works in nature, and for individuals.