Saudi Arabia - which was busy playing headline hockey with Russia this morning over a rumored 5% production cut proposal - is running out of money. Yes, we know, that sounds absurd. But believe it or not, the country whose monarch recently rented the entire Four Seasons hotel for a 48 hour stay in Washington DC, is in fact going broke. And at a fairly rapid clip.
"With January looking like a loser, there is a 70% chance that February will decline also. The high degree of risk of further declines in February would likely result in a confirmation of the bear market. This is not a market to be trifled with. Caution is advised."
"We believe that the current environment is not a normal cyclical downturn but a fundamental shift in the operating environment for these commodities. As a consequence, a wholesale recalibration of ratings in the mining industry is deemed necessary. " - Moody's
Following the post-regulatory-change spike in existing and new home sales, pending home sales disappointed with a mere 0.1% rise MoM (missing expectations of a 0.9% rise). The weakness of the forward-looking indicator of home closings was blamed - as usual - on low inventories but also on "sizable losses in the stock market." The 3.1% YoY sales increase is close to the weakest since November 2014.
After the Fed's statement, one thing was clear: the career economists at the Marriner Eccles building are very confused, admitting to hiking rates for the first time in nine years "even as economic growth slowed late last year". But more confused are the Wall Street economists who follow the Fed and are expected to interpret what the Fed says, means and hints, especially when said Fed has no clue what is going on, like right now. So while their opinions are utterly worthless, for the record, here is what the economisseds see in today's 558 words of sheer Fed confusion.
Treading a fine line between losing all credibility and exposing their total devotion to the stock market, it appears The Fed is maintaining its delusion that everything will be fine as they unwind the largest and most experimental monetary policy of all time, and yet for the first time we get proof that the Fed admits it made an error by hiking into a slowing economy: "labor market conditions improved further even as economic growth slowed late last year.
It may not be as sexy as gold and silver, but sometimes even doctor copper needs a little squeeze and corner love as well, and according to Bloomberg, that is precisely what someone is trying to do. One company whose identity is unknown, is "hoarding as much as half the copper available in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange."
On Thursday, we got the latest bad news out of Deutsche as Cryan reported what he called “sobering” results for 2015. In short, the bank is staring down a net loss of €6.7 billion for the year, the first annual loss since 2008. "We see further downside risk on litigation – we model another €3.6bn in 2016 - which is likely to necessitate a capital raise."
The first week of July 2013 was the last time the Russell 2000 traded at these levels. That is 30 months of buy-and-hold for no return. Despite the constant clammer from "Small Cap fund managers" that they are the plaxce to be for protection against a soaring USD (since they are dominantly domestically focused), it seems the fact that small caps are much more sensitive to credit market conditions is the real reason and that market is carnaging.