The default of Sherwin Alumina, a US subsidiary of Glencore, refocused the market's attention on the one company which in September was among the hardest hit in the post-China devaluation rout, and the immediate result was that while Glencore stock plunged and is once again approaching all time lows, a more ominous development was that GLEN's CDS spiked to as much as 950 basis points, the highest since April 2009 and suggesting far more pain is in store for the commodity trading giant.
Initially both European stocks and US equity futures were grateful that China has picked at least one asset class to prop up overnight, and rose in an extremely illiquid market with European shares gaining for first time in 4 days, as S&P futures rise even as the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index just fell to the lowest level in more than 4 years. However, as of moments ago the Stoxx 600 had faded all its earlier gains and was trading near the flatline, as an algo takes out all stops on the top and bottom once more, and looks set to move on to US futures shortly.
Once China set the Yuan fixing some 0.5% lower, the biggest drop since the August devaluation, all hell broke loose and unleashed a global selling panic after China's stock market was promptly shut down less than 30 minutes into trading, then European shares dropped the most in more than 4 months as Asian equities plunges, as did US stock futures, the dollar weakened against the euro and the yen; crude plunged to fresh 12 year lows. Gold rose.
Fed policymakers seem to be of the view that the almost zero federal funds rate and their massive monetary pumping has cured the economy, which now seems to be approaching a path of stable economic growth and price stability, so it is held. Yet, manipulations by the Fed could not bring the economy onto a path of stability and prosperity but, on the contrary, set in motion the menace of the boom-bust cycle. This raises the likelihood that the elimination of bubbles as a result of a tighter stance while good in the long-term for wealth generators is likely to trigger a severe economic slump in the near to medium term.
2016 Off To A Miserable Start: Asian Stocks Drop; Futures Slide After China PMI Tumbles On Dire CommentarySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/03/2016 22:31 -0400
Earlier in the session, after the surge in oil prices on fears of a spike in belligerence between Saudi Arabia and Iran, bulls were hopeful that after a poor close to 2015, at least the first trading day of 2016 would set a positive mood: after all, if there is one thing war is good for, it is to lift stock markets. And it did... for about 3 hours. Then moments ago, Caixin Media and Markit Economics released the latest December PMI, which was, in a word, a total disaster, one which promptly sent US equity futures sliding, and the Shanghai Composite tumbling some 4%... and CSI-300 Limit down.
While most amateurs will bet on most hands, take speculative positions where the odds of success are stacked against them or try to bluff their way through a losing hand; professionals play with a cold, calculated and unemotional discipline. The professional gambler understands the odds of success of every play and measures his “bets” accordingly. He knows when to be “all in” and when to “fold and walk away.” Do they succeed all the time – of course not. However, by understanding how to limit losses they survive long enough to come out a winner over time.
The prospect that the leaders of our monetary politburo are about to be tarred and feathered by economic reality might be satisfying enough if it led to the repudiation of Keynesian central planning and a thorough housecleaning at the Fed. Unfortunately, it will also mean that tens of millions of retail investors and 401k holders will be taken to the slaughterhouse for the third time this century. And this time the Fed is out of dry powder, meaning retail investors will never recover as they did after 2002 and 2009.
The market is well aware the price of risk is not correct, but they can’t fight it, and everyone is forced to crowd into the same trade by central bank (CB) intervention. By manipulating markets they have also reduced investors’ inherent conviction by rendering fundamentals less relevant, creating a highly unstable (fragile) situation that breaks violently when a sufficient catalyst causes risk to rise – overly crowded positioning meets a market with little conviction. Catalysts From BofAML's global equity derivatives desk's vantage point, it becomes clear that the biggest visible risk to financial markets is a loss of confidence in this omnipotent CB put.
One would think that the Criminals, themselves, would not have the audacity to use the same Script (with just minor plot variations) every eight years. But here we go, again.
Weak earnings performance in marketing operations below the current EBIT guidance of $2.4-$2.7 billion could place negative pressure on the Baa3 ratings in the absence of any mitigating measures. A weakening of the company's liquidity position, delays with the planned divestments in 2016 or a material reduction in its working capital funding capacities by the banks, as well as sustained high leverage with adjusted debt/EBITDA exceeding 4x, will also put negative pressure on the Baa3 ratings."
In the end, the Fed did not surprise, and raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade in a widely telegraphed move while signaling that the pace of subsequent increases will be “gradual” and in line with previous projections. The Federal Open Market Committee unanimously voted to set the new target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent, up from zero to 0.25 percent.
With economic growth currently running at THE LOWEST average growth rate in American history, the time frame between the first rate and next recession will not be long. For investors, there is little “reward” in the current environment for taking on excess exposure to risk assets. The deteriorating junk bond market, declining profitability and weak economic underpinnings suggest that the clock has already begun ticking. The only question is how much time is left.
Jim Cramer - of all people - warned about this in 2007: watch the video inside!
With Nattie down 6% in early trading, the most in 2 months, pressing to new record lows and oil prices continuing their carnage, the energy complex is a mess. OilPrice.com's Nick Cunningham warns, while the glut in oil is expected to continue for the next year or so before balancing in late 2016, the pain for liquefied natural gas (LNG) could be just beginning...
"One of the sad side-effects, is successful strategies, with liquid investments that are built for volatile markets and have no gates, become the piggy-bank for everyone that needs cash."