To think it only took the world's most (in)famous whistleblower to get the NSA to disclose that it had heroically managed to prevent terrorist attacks involving the New York Stock Exchange (we supposed they refer to the Manhattan-based TV studio and not the actual exchange where the servers are now housed in Mahwah, NJ) and the NY Subway. Because whereas there was a time in the past when the various US secret services would scurry at the opportunity to disclose their expertise to the general public, now it is a false negative that is supposed to disprove a positive (pervasive spying on the US population is good for you because...). Of course it takes one non-false positive to disprove a false negative, namely the Boston Bombers, who as far as we recall, used cell phones to communicate. But so much for details: now please praise the NSA, and also comply with the Administration's push to rescind the second amendment. Or is Obama no longer pushing for "arms control"?
Because while to ConEd, the bulk of New York south of 34th Street can operate without electricity for days, the stock exchange must.be.online.or.else.the.terrorists.win:
- NYSE TO OPEN FOR NORMAL TRADING OPERATIONS ON WEDNESDAY
- NASDAQ STOCK MARKET, OTHER NASDAQ OMX-OWNED EXCHANGES OPEN WED
Why? Just so hedge funds can square away position for month end. In other news, CNN furious trying to figure out how the NYSE TV stuido in downtown Manhattan (because all the trading actually takes place out of a fortress in Mahwah, NJ), can operate under 3 feet of water.
Just as market regulators were finally getting wise to the fact that they have no clue how how modern market works, what modern market topology is, or how High Frequency Trading impacts the stock market (think Flash Crash), here comes Certichron, the supplier of a time service center at a Savvis market center in Weehakwen, which says it has now mastered sub-nanosecond readouts which are now "compliant with the FINRA Order Audit Trail System and is likely to be compliant with any Consolidated Audit Trail that might be specified by the Securities and Exchange Commission." In other words, here come sub-nanosecond markets.
Our friends at Themis Trading, who continue the good, if seemingly futile fight, for a fair and untiered market, refresh on their late 2010 market structure forecast, only to find that with a 1 out of 10 "success" track record, they have the same predictive hit rate as Byron Wien and Joe LaVorgna. Which, incidentally, is not a good thing: it simply means the US stock market is now more broken and corrupt than ever, a development that is not lost on US investors, who later today we will find have redeemed a near record amount of cash from US equity mutual funds in 2011, and have pulled cash for 34 out of 35 weeks in a row, leaving mutual funds with virtually zero cash buffer, massive leverage and dreading that day when the Santa rally coupled with low volume levitation is no longer sufficient to mask the massive capital hole in the heart of the S&P 500.
While this will hardly come as a surprise to any of our regular readers, occasional visitors may be confused to learn that according to a discovery by the Carolina Journal, North Carolina "Gov. Bev Perdue’s press office has received access to confidential employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics hours if not days before its scheduled release, quite likely in violation of federal law." Once again the rabbit hole, which these days is pretty much everywhere, emerges: "Documents and correspondence obtained by Carolina Journal show that the Division of Employment Security, formerly known as the Employment Security Commission, sent a draft of the press release each month to Perdue’s press office. The governor’s spokesmen typically rewrote the text and added a positive spin, even if the data did not support Perdue’s talking points." And while one may say this is a perfectly innocuous leak of otherwise embargoed data, others may highlight the following facts: "While the operation may sound like a harmless effort to add political spin to the release of jobs data, sharing confidential BLS estimates while they are protected by an embargo violates a federal law barring the early release of employment data. This is no small matter: A conviction for breaching the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 carries a fine of up to $250,000, up to five years in prison, or both." Of course, when it comes to breaking the law, both members of the US banking class, as well as America's politicians, are perfectly immune from any repercussions. But at least the next time the market does its usual pre-NFP acrobats, the only question will be: which particular US politicians i) traded in advance of the embargo lift, and ii) leaked the information to ten of their closest friends, who did the same, who did the same, etc.
If there is one thing America has had a lot of, it is (failed) attempts to make a political statement by "occupying" Wall Street, although how anyone makes a "statement" on a weekend, when all the trading on Wall Street is done out of Chicago and Mahwah (and not on Saturday), and all the actual capital decisions are made out of midtown (and Shanghai) is a little confusing. Today, Operation EmpireStateRebellion, for whom this is neither the first, nor the last attempt to organize an improvized rebellion, has proceeded with its latest such statement, which will come and go and achieve nothing, as unfortunately the welfare and entitlement society of the US is ingrained far too deeply fo anyone to actually willingly give up on their paper 201(k)s and Social Security benefits, no matter how much of an underfunded ponzi they may be. The only time something, anything, can happen in the US is when that monthly retirement fund, annuity report or Schwab statement shows $0.00 in the bottom line for everyone (middle class that is, the others will have long since converted their paper wealth into physical). Not a second before. That said we do wish them all the best. Those willing to watch this weekend's gathering of idealists can do so at the webcast (with commercial interruptions) below.
At 2:15 pm the general public will watch with fascination as Ben Bernanke descends into his throne, in his dollar green Vera Wang wearing a stunning Control Print and Arpels tungsten necklace, following with trepidation each and every shake and quiver of his chin in those ultra rare instances when he speaks the truth. He will be surrounded by a cohort of FOMC preapproved sycophants who, as can be seen on the clip below, are now on page 2 of Monetary Policy for Dummies, which they started reading back on April 27 during the first ever FOMC press conference. As usual, nothing of significance will be asked, and most certainly, answered, but do expect the dollar (and, inversely, ES) to go up, then down, then up, and so forth as random vacuum tubes blow in NYSE's ultramodern Mahwah collocation facility.
Kermit was earlier on CNBC, killing microphones with 20,000Hz+ chirping, delivering a presentation on the merits of using rulers as a market extrapolation tool. And in case anyone is not convinced to whip our their own (ruler) and see just how the S&P is expected to hit 2,853 or some ballpark number by September 14, 2013 (precisely), here is how he got that number: you take the recent surge in the S&P driven by Bernanke's and the HFT's no volume melt up market levitation and apply a straight line to it. Any questions?
Over the years we have not spared our praise for the Nasdaq: the one exchange to first legalize frontrunning aka Flash Trading, to actively promote churning via HFT erection-inducing liquidity rebates in stocks and options, to create novel and ingenious ways to skirt Rule 611, and, most recently, to overtake the NYSE as host for greatest number of fraudulent Chinese reverse-mergers, the Nasdaq has never kept a secret that it cares far more about its clients than the investing public. Yet little did we know that in addition to pervasive manipulation we can also add thorough security breach and compromise to the exchange's list of transgressions. According to the WSJ, "Hackers have repeatedly penetrated the computer network of the company that runs the Nasdaq Stock Market during the past year, and federal investigators are trying to identify the perpetrators and their purpose, according to people familiar with the matter." Now it is sadly ironic that the world's "electronic exchange" (whatever that means in a world devoid of any carbon-based traders) is the one that would succumb to an outside incursion. What, however, is punishable by even the most mentally retarded, transvestite midget porn-obsessed SEC minion, is that US investors have to learn that practically any stock transaction in the recent past may have been frontrun by illegal means (as opposed to just legal ones that are available to any one with a few Mahwah collocated Cisco machines), through a newspaper.
We present Themis Trading's Top Ten Market Structure predictions for 2011. At the way things are going, they may just hit 10 out of 10.
Europe Begins Push To Ban HFT: Calls "Quote Stuffing" Market Abuse, Dark Pools "Tragic Error", And "Explicitly Rules Out" Flash OrdersSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/25/2010 15:07 -0400
The push back against the HFT market-propping travesty is finally starting to gain steam...but for now only in Europe. After all, the Fed realizes all too well that it needs all the resources it can get in its bid (no pun intended) to keep stocks as artificially high as possible, of which the HFT upward biased feedback loop is a critical one (the PD POMO monetization circuit being a second one... and when both fail, there is always the Citadel dark pool direct purchasing channel). Reuters reports thet "Britain and France flagged on Thursday a looming crackdown on ultra-fast share trading that featured in May's brief "flash crash" freefall on Wall Street, alarming regulators and investors globally. French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said a
form of computerized trading known as high-frequency trading (HFT) may
need banning in some cases." Lagarde, who has recently shown a willingness to be seen as not part of the Bernanke mold, told reporters that her "natural tendency would be at least to
regulate, to oversee it very strictly and after a cost-benefit analysis
of these methods, maybe to forbid it." Elsewhere, a European Parliament November 16 report on MiFID "Calls for the practice of ‘layering’ or ‘quote stuffing’ to be explicitly defined as market abuse." This is something Zero Hedge has been demanding for about a year now, and obviously something that the corrupt regulators at the SEC, headed by the galactically incompetent Mary Schapiro continue to pretend does not exist. Lastly, in an attempt to make the life of the NYSE easier, whose primary source of revenue, now that Chinese IPOs have been uncovered to be a pathological, unauditable scam, has collapsed, the target has now shifted to dark pools: "The proliferation of dark pools was a tragic error and I would like us to come back to it" according to Bank of France Governro Christian Noyer. The latest onslaught against dark pools is not at all surprising: after all the NYSE is pushing hard to preserve some semblance of relevance (and EPS) as it is now attempting to create "a global network of as many as 40 "liquidity hubs" in data centers around the world." All in all, this smells like the role of HFT right here in our own back yard is about to get seriously curbed. Add the fact that Prett Bharara is about to open at least one criminal case against a domestic HFT outfit, and the robotic permabid behind the market may soon be very, very scarce.
There was a time when stocks, bonds, gold, dollar, oil, correlations, and pretty much anything that isn't nailed down, going up concurrently would make at least some market participants frown. Not so much any more - with the average "trader" an 18 year old pustular math whiz-kid with the personality of a paper clip and a Ph.D. from a prestigious institution to boot, with no idea of just the level of death and destruction their "sentient", "self-aware" and "learning" programs are about bring to the market, nobody cares about that little thing called logic. Yet going off that, and basing observations on the last rational market indicator, i.e. bonds, it appears stocks continue to be about 70 points rich and have a fair value around 1,020 as implied by 10 Year Yields. As the deranged schizophrenic computer algos were blowing threw vacuum tubes like Ukranian hookers go through crack on any given Hamptons weekend, they totally forgot to bring bond yields higher for validation. Which is why the stocks-bonds (10 Year) convergence is now more pronounced than ever. Sell stocks, Sell bonds (Long Yields) and wait for the big Mahwah collocation facility black out that will eliminate 80% of binary market participants that will allow the spread to close.
In an effort to dredge a moat around market share for Amex & Arca, the NYSE has implemented a new Penny Pilot "Premium Tier" pricing schedule for the options of 15 specific issues. Liquidity providers transacting serious size across these anointed sticker symbols ... AAPL, BAC, C, DIA, EEM, FAZ, GDX, GE, GLD, IWM, QQQQ, SPY, UNG, USO & XLF ... will (yet again) enjoy additional rebates as the NYSE attempts to  stave off competition from other options exchanges and  further buoy an anemic equity market, which continues to plow forward on phantom volume at 3 am on Sunday night (like the accelerator of a Toyota Camry beneath a sleep-driving Ambien junkie approaching a raised drawbridge with both eyes closed shut, one hand on the wheel and the other on his sixth bear claw).
As digital cash flows across 21st century capital markets with the speed of a Mahwah server farm fart, increasingly inter-connected exchanges continue to roll out new derivative product offerings. With so many market participants discussing inflation expectations, deflationary data and central bank exit strategies, the NYSE Liffe U.S. has stepped up to the plate by pitching new interest rate futures contracts and futures options to be launched Q3 / Q4 2010 on the Eurodollar and 2-year, 5-year, 10-year & 30-year US Treasuries.
“Come on, Direct Edge. Come on Nasdaq. Come into this data center,’’ said Stanley Young, the chief executive officer of NYSE Technologies and co-global chief information officer of NYSE Euronext.