Market Conditions

Morgan Stanley Jumps After Beating Estimates On 96% Surge In Fixed Income Revenue

Following yesterday's surprising Goldman miss, traders were closely watching the results of its closest comp, Morgan Stanley this morning to determine if the Goldman FICC revenue disappointment was systemic or a one-off event. They were pleasantly surprised when MS beat on both the top and bottom line, as net income jumped 70% driven by a 96% surge in fixed income sales and trading revenue.

Financial Market Insurance Is Not Like Hurricane Insurance

"..the hurricane is not more or less likely to hit because more hurricane insurance has been written. In the financial markets this is not true. The more people write financial insurance, the more likely it is that a disaster will happen, because the people who know you have sold the insurance can make it happen. So you have to monitor what other people are doing.”

Financial Insecurity

"...markets do not compound average returns over time. Most importantly, just as with “pension funds,” the issue of using above average rates of return into the future suggests one can “save less” today because the “growth” will make up for the difference. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way."

Key Events In The Holiday-Shortened Week

In this holiday-shortened week (markets closed for Good Friday), focus turns to several inflation prints in G10 in the week ahead, with US and UK inflation data likely to get the most attention. In addition, there are a few scheduled speaking engagements by Fed officials, including a speech by Fed Chair Yellen on Monday.

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.

What Happens When The Fed Warns The Market Is Overvalued

While investors hang on every dovish word bluffed from a venerable Fed speaker's mouth, the cognitive dissonance when something negative is uttered is stunning. Since Greenspan's "irrational exuberance" moment, asset-gatherers and commission-takers have advised ignoring Fedspeak on stocks... historically, that was a mistake for investors.

Knoxville, TN Could Be Ground Zero For The Obamacare Explosion

"I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near collapse ... and that all of our efforts are really focused on making sure we have as many writers in the areas as possible, knowing that might be one.  I’m doing everything I can to prevent a situation where that turns to zero."

China Surge, Rising Oil Push Global Stocks Higher; S&P Futures Flat As Fed Minutes Loom

European stocks rebounded after a downbeat start, aided by a return to the post-Euro open momentum ignition in the USDJPY while Asian stocks rose after China shares surged 1.5%, the most since August. For now S&P futures are fractionally in the red, although we expect them to turn progressively higher as US traders get to their desks to frontrun the now traditional "post open" ramp.

LIBOR Pains

LIBOR is a benchmark reference rate (which explains why some banks were so eager to manipulate it). The pricing of all kinds of floating-rate debt is tied to it (corporate loans, mortgages, student loans, credit card debt, and assorted derivatives, such as currency and interest rate swaps, etc.). That has now become a problem.

And Now Fake Consumer Confidence Too: Gallup Says Confidence In The Economy "Tumbled"

"Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy tumbled along with the Dow Jones industrial average last week. Though still in positive territory, Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index (ECI) dropped six points to a score of +5 for the week ending March 26. This is the lowest weekly average since the presidential election in November." - Gallup

Consumer Confidence Soars To Highest Since The Peak Of The Dot-Com Bubble

Conference Board Consumer Confidence smashed expectations in March - bursting to 125.6 (114 exp) - the highest since December 2000. Both the present situation and expectations soared, jobs plentiful jumped to its highest since Sept 2001.It is clear that confidence is inspired by stock market values, not real earnings growth.