Hedge Funds' net long position in WTI Crude collapsed 27% (the biggest single 'dump' in over 3 years) ahead of the big plunge last week (and is now down almost 60% in the last month - the most since 2010). Part of a broader deflationary collapse in commodities, as Bloomberg reports, long positions dropped to a two-year low while short holdings climbed 25%, erasing more than $100 billion in market value from the 61 companies in the Bloomberg E&P stock index. With crude supplies still almost 100 million barrels above the five-year average, "there's a lot more room for prices to slide," warned one trader, "it's going to take a long time for this to work itself out."
As goes the world, so goes America (according to 30 years of historical data), and so when world trade volumes drop over 2% (the biggest drop since 2009) in the last six months to the weakest since June 2014, the "US recession imminent" canary in the coalmine is drawing her last breath...
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.
This seemingly inexhaustible credit line is now drying up, with severely negative consequences for oil producers with debt that's coming due. The row of dominoes swaying unsteadily in these stiff winds won't take much to topple.
This charmed circle includes Google, Amazon, Baidu, Facebook, Saleforce.com, Netflix, Pandora, Tesla, LinkedIn, ServiceNow, Splunk, Workday, Ylep, Priceline, QLIK Technologies and Yandex. Taken altogether, their market cap clocked in at $1.3 trillion on Friday. That compares to just $21 billion of LTM net income for the entire index combined. The talking heads, of course, would urge not to be troubled. After all, what’s a 61X trailing PE among today’s leading tech growth companies?
We love reading quotes from Hussman in 2000 and 2007. The air is getting pretty thin up here. A stock market driven by Google, Apple, Netflix and a few other tech darlings with no earnings does not make a market. Time is running out for the bulls. The same morons on CNBC ridiculed and scorned his facts then and they scorn and ridicule him now. Do we trust Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman or John Hussman? Guess.
This is it. It is indeed historic. And diplomacy eventually wins. In terms of the New Great Game in Eurasia, and the ongoing tectonic shifts reorganizing Eurasia, this is huge: Iran — supported by Russia and China — has finally, successfully, called the long, winding 12-year-long Atlanticist bluff on its “nuclear weapons.” And this only happened because the Obama administration needed 1) a lone foreign policy success, and 2) a go at trying to influence at least laterally the onset of the new Eurasia-centered geopolitical order.
When oil priced tumbled last year it was supposed to be a major boon for car sales and, indeed, courtesy of car loans whose rejections rates have never been lower and with LTVs for loans on used cars sold to subprime borrowers now a record high 150%, some such as government-favorite GM benefited greatly, with sales of Chevy Silverado jumping a solid 18.4% June. Others, however, have been struggling: sales of Ford's top-selling and most profitable line, the aluminum-bodied F-150, were down 8.9% last month as Ford's market share of big-pickup trucks dropped to 28% from 33% one year ago. Ford's response: a huge push to incentivize buyers, in the form of discounts that can exceed $10,000!
In a January 2013 report “Report of the Working Group to Study the Issues Related to Gold Imports and Gold Loans by NBFCs”, the Reserve Bank of India estimated that the ratio of paper gold trading to physical gold trading is 92:1. That is a lot of unbacked paper gold instruments. This has almost entirely separated the “gold price”, such as it is (the clearing price for vast volumes of paper gold “representations” with a fractional backing) from the fundamental supply and demand dynamics for actual physical gold bullion.
As Mr L. famously quipped. "Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?"
"I think that if Greece were to leave the Euro things would get very complicated for them... and this would create the same very unhealthy situation as we have in Argentina. Why? If people start storing value in a foreign currency, in this case Greeks using Euros, this will create a huge lack of transparency and affect normal trade flows and transactions. And we know that the parallel economy in Greece is already quite large the way it is. So imagine an exponential version of that. It would be a very difficult period for Greece."
That’s what’s beyond the insufferably rosy corporate speak.
Once upon a time, the NYSE was the world's most important exchange and judging by the commotion over its historical trading halt when it was offline for just under 4 hours, one would think it still is. Unfortunately for the NYSE and its new owners, the ICE, it isn't, and as the following market share chart from Nanex shows, the NYSE whose share of the total NMS is shown in red, may well have stayed closed and few would even notice.
While not predicting that Tehran and six world powers will strike a deal by the new July 10 deadline, a senior Iranian oil official says his country hopes to nearly double its crude exports immediately if and when sanctions are lifted and hopes that OPEC will accommodate this growth by capping production by the cartel’s other members. “We are like a pilot on the runway ready to take off,” Mansour Moazami, Iran’s deputy oil minister for planning and supervision, told The Wall Street Journal inTehran on July 5. “This is how the whole country is right now.”
While this Greek saga unfolds, very few are looking at China
The oil price collapse of 2014-2015 began one year ago this month (Figure 1). The world crossed a boundary in which prices are not only lower now but will probably remain lower for some time. It represents a phase change like when water turns into ice: the composition is the same as before but the physical state and governing laws are different. The market must balance before things get better and prices improve. That can only happen if production falls and demand increases. That will take time. The most likely case is that oil prices will decrease in the second half of 2015 and that financial distress to all oil producers will increase. The hope and expectation that the worst is over will fade as the new reality of prolonged low oil prices is reluctantly accepted.