Hugh Hendry Capitulates: "Can't Look At Himself In The Mirror" As He Throws In The Towel, Turns BullishSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/22/2013 12:55 -0500
"I cannot look at myself in the mirror; everything I have believed in I have had to reject. This environment only makes sense through the prism of trends."
- Hugh Hendry
The "commodity king" author of the "world renowned" Gartman momentum chasing and perpetual contrarian fade newsletter, if not so much of an ETF under the same name anymore, does it again. From this morning.
Now with the S&P forging a massive reversal to the downside, we not only must abandon being bullish we must become bearish... and very so.... Our bearish friends, having been wrong for so long, are now right; it is time to be bearish of stocks, while the time for having been bullish is now past... We trust we are clear. The game’s changed and when the game changes, we change.... We had heretofore consistently erred bullishly of simple things… of coal; of steel; of railroads; of ships and shipping… but we are not now.
And... wrong again. Or said otherwise, short of subscribers in breaking even terms.
This objective report concisely summarizes important macro events over the past week. It is not geared to push an agenda. Impartiality is necessary to avoid costly psychological traps, which all investors are prone to, such as confirmation, conservatism, and endowment biases.
When the momentum chasing public greatly rotates to the IPO-du-jour, it would appear that bad things happen in the market. The last two times Bloomberg's IPO index doubled the market's performance (in 2007 and again in 2011) it seems it marked a euphoric top. Of course, based on 1998/99's IPO performance there is plenty more room to run since this time is different. Nevertheless, the volume of coverage allotted to this IPO or that IPO (and not just Twitter) is awfully reminiscent of the go-go days of yore (and we all know how that ends) - though you'll never be the bag-holder again right?
The massive outperformance of the smallest and most trashy companies over the past year, month, week, day etc... stalled this afternoon. No news; no macro data; no change in the situation in DC. So what was it? We suspect the answer lies in the all-time record levels of margin that we recently discussed holding up the US equity market. Interactive Brokers, it would appear, have seen the light and over the next week or so will be increasing maintenance margin to 100% - effectively squeezing the leveraged momentum chasing muppets out of the market (or at the very least halving their risk-taking abilities).
Still paying your 2-and-20, despite Stanley Druckenmiller's surprise that you would, for someone to pick stocks for you? Perhaps a glance at the following 3 charts will awaken the animal investing spirits in some (or just a 'fold' from many). This is what happens when there is only one economic market-driving factor (cough Fed cough) and too many coat-tail-clinging hedge fund managers (and newsletter writers) chasing too few real alpha opportunities. The correlation between the S&P 500 and hedge fund returns has never been higher and is approaching 1, excess return (alpha) is near its all-time lows, and, sadly, there is an extremely high correlation between styles and tilts. All your hedge fund alpha are belong to Ben.
Curious how the US retail investor is reacting to the surprising inability to BTFATH? Bank of America explains how: by yanking the most cash from equity funds since November 2011.
"The China Radio International sponsored newspaper World News Journal (Shijie Xinwenbao)(04/28): "According to China's National Foreign Exchanges Administration China's gold reserves have recently increased. Currently, the majority of its gold reserves have been located in the U.S. and European countries. The U.S. and Europe have always suppressed the rising price of gold. They intend to weaken gold's function as an international reserve currency. They don't want to see other countries turning to gold reserves instead of the U.S. dollar or Euro. Therefore, suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar's role as the international reserve currency. China's increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold. Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the RMB."
For all the grief BitCoin (and so often gold and silver) get during times of excess volatility, especially by those Keynesian prophets who urge everyone to adopt the one true FIATH and put all their cash in stocks (and more please: just use margin) we hear precious little about the ridiculous volatility farce that nationalized mortgage lender Fannie Mae has become: from opening above $4, trading up to $5.50, and now plunging to under $3.00, the stock is nothing but concentrated heatmap of every E*trade momentum chasing baby and dart-throwing monkey in the world (ignoring the fact that all "swing traders" merely respond to "price action" whatever that means and are thus all making money, no matter what happens). As for the fact that the swing in the stock price in the past hour wiped out nearly $15 billion in market cap, or nearly half of the total, on absolute no news (which is also substantially larger than the entire BitCoin market) well... we'll just leave it at that.
"Easy come, easy go, when the market is GETCO"
That should be the motto of every momentum trader who decided on Friday to buy the USDJPY just because it was 2pm, and then, when 3:30 pm came around, and the momentum chasing algos woke up, then pat themselves on the back for a "job well done." Because in early trading, before even the Japan open, the USDJPY, following on comments by Japan's econ minister Amari, as noted here earlier, that the days of easy JPY devaluation are over, collapsed by over 120 pips from a closing print of 103.20, and tumbled in a span of second to just under 102, taking out all 102 stops, before the GETCO plunge protection algo team took over and sent the pair back up, however briefly.
By now everyone knows that POMO is the daily physical manifestation of the Fed's love for the "1%", and the trillions in underfunded pension and stock-linked entitlements, taking place (almost) every day in the hours between 10:15am and 11:00 am Eastern, when the NY Fed's trading desk injects between $1 and $6 billion in the stock market. What many may not know is that while POMO was the name of the game since 2009 (just think where the S&P would be if the "market" was only open on Thursday, during the 45 minute duration of POMO, and between 3:30 pm and 4:15 pm), it may have finally met its homophonous match, courtesy of Citigroup. So step aside POMO. Presenting.... FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out.
Tuesday's Case Shiller update index showed something very troubling: as a whole, the US housing market in its broadest sense, has barely budged in the past four years (chart). And yet, what is unmistakable, and what has given many the impression that there is a "recovery" (despite clear recent signals to the contrary) are media attempts to spark a buying frenzy in several of the key markets that were responsible for the prior housing bubble, such as Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona. And how do we know they are succeeding, if only until the Bernanke liquidity bubble pops again? Courtesy of articles such as this: "25 markets where flipping homes is most profitable." Nuff said.
"The late Margaret Thatcher had a strong view about consensus. She called it: “The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects.” The same applies to most market forecasts. With some rare exceptions (like our commodity analysts? recent prescient call for a slump in the gold price), analysts don?t like to stand out from the crowd. It is dangerous and career-challenging. In that vein, we repeat our key forecasts of the S&P Composite to bottom around 450, accompanied by sub-1% US 10y yields and gold above $10,000."