Mean Reversion

Goldman: The Last Two Times P/E Multiples Expanded This Much, The Result Was A Historic Crash

"The current P/E expansion cycle is now one of the largest in history. Since September 2011, S&P 500 forward P/E has grown by 75% (from 10x to 18x). This expansion has only been surpassed twice since 1976, when the multiple rose by 111% from 1984-1987 (ending with the 22% Black Monday collapse) and by 115% from 1994-1999 (ending with the Tech Bubble pop)." - Goldman Sachs

Investors Plow Record Cash Into Emerging Markets, As Europe Suffers Record Outflows

Whether it is due to the recent speculation that Japan may usher in helicopter money, or ongoing concerns about what Brexit may do to the future of European asset returns, there has been a dramatic shift in fund allocation and as Bank of America reports, investors are rushing to vote with their wallets. They have done so in the latest week by continuing to plow money into EM stocks, allocating a record amount of cash to Emerging Markets, while yanking a similarly record amount of cash from Europe.

Mattress Money & Need-For-Yield: "We Saw This In 2007"

“Cash On The Sidelines.” is the age old excuse why the current “bull market” rally is set to continue into the indefinite future. The ongoing belief is that at any moment investors are suddenly going to empty bank accounts and pour it into the markets. However, the reality is if they haven’t done it by now after 3-consecutive rounds of Q.E. in the U.S., a 200% advance in the markets, and now global Q.E., exactly what will that catalyst be? However, Clifford Asness summed up the problem with this myth the best and is worth repeating...

"This Is The Capitulation Phase" - Why Treasury Yields Are About To Really Plunge

For the rates market, the significance of this acceptance phase by pensions cannot be understated, in our opinion. A $3 trillion industry running a $500 billion funding gap and a significant duration gap waking up to reality is likely to have major implications for the market. In the extreme case, entire pensions could be offloaded from corporate balance sheets to insurance companies (increasingly like the UK, Exhibit 1)–generating significant demand for long-end duration during such transactions.

JPM Head Quant Explains How The Algos Traded The Brexit Crash, And Why He Sees "Elevated Risk"

"As gamma exposure turned significantly short on Monday 6/27, it also contributed to a larger squeeze up on Tuesday and Wednesday (please note, these were even more prominent on 8/26 and 8/27 than this week)... We maintain the view that we have not yet seen the highs of VIX due to Brexit and  related risks. The points discussed above suggest equity markets face elevated risk in the days and weeks ahead."

Fed Finds "The End Of The Road"

The big risk for the Fed has always been the market would “call their bluff”  be unwilling to buy into the “forward guidance.”  It is currently too soon to know for certain but reactions following yesterday’s announcement are not promising.

"We Are Becoming Convinced That The System Won't Stabilize" - Citi Explains How Central Banks Broke The Market

"Central bank distortions have exacerbated these movements, making investor interest more one-sided and leading one market after another to exhibit more bubble-like tendencies, rising exponentially and then falling back abruptly. As such, managers are struggling to justify their fees, while the sellside wonders whether it is really worth the continuing commitment to market-making in the face of increased capital requirements and legal and back-office overheads."

UBS Warns "Beware The Bull Trap" As Breadth Breaks Down

"Together with a divergence forming in the VIX index, and with the seasonality getting toppish we continue to see the risk of a significant and longer lasting tactical correction leg in the US and global equities into summer."

A "Generational" Peak In Corporate Profit Margins

Falling profit margins and rising valuations (as earnings fall) make for a pretty bearish one-two punch for the stock market. Investors will surely become less eager to pay higher valuations for companies growing more slowly. That equation usually works in reverse. And there’s no reason we can see to expect these challenges to corporate profit margins to let up any time soon. The S&P 500 now trades at its highest price-to-earnings ratio since the bull market began even as the index remains well off its recent price highs. And profit margins still could have a long way to fall before even reaching their average level since 1950.

Q1 Slams Hedgies 'Most Popular Trade' - Momo Crashes Most Since 2009

In mid-February, we warned of the looming carnage for equity market-neutral funds, and sure enough, as Bloomberg reports, one of the most popular (and successful) hedge fund trades - playing the difference between high- and low-momentum stocks - crashed by the most since 2009 in Q1. After 6 years of almost unstoppable gains, equity market-neutral funds suffered their biggest losses since 2012 - comparable to the 2007 quant crisis devastation - as weak momo stocks massively outpeformed crushing the hedgies' models.

The Stock Market Is A Monetary Policy Junkie - Quantifying The Fed's Unprecedented Impact On The S&P

The bulls will presumably argue that this Fed impact is now part of the accepted wisdom, and that P/Es should remain higher than history in order to reflect the Greenspan/Bernanke/Yellen Put. The bears will suggest that if ever there were a time for the scales to fall from investors’ eyes over the Wizard-of-Oz-like nature of the Fed, then this is it. We are inclined to the latter view. Betting on the Fed’s ability to generate continued market levitation seems like a dangerous game to us, but as Newton long ago opined, “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”