Historically, the occasions of large numbers of New Highs AND New Lows at the same time did not bode well for the stock market. As we noted previously, “there are a number of stocks below the surface that are breaking down – yet enough that are still performing well to mask that weakness and prevent market participants from getting too bearish.” That dynamic that keeps participants from worrying too much about the deteriorating internals – and keeps them in the market – is just the thing that can set them up for significant losses. This is another example of the growing emergence of data points that echo the previous 2 cyclical tops.
"Look at the data, and you’ll realize that our present concerns are not hyperbole or exaggeration. We simply have not observed the market conditions we observe today except in a handful of instances in market history, and they have typically ended quite badly..."
It all looked so awesome in the pre-open... thanks to the overnight PPT. But as soon as US equity markets opened, the selling began as Biotechs were hammered lower sending Small Caps plunging and Nasdaq into the red...
For the first half an hour after China opened, things looked bleak: after opening down 5%, the Shanghai Composite staged a quick relief rally, then tumbled again. And then, just around 10pm Eastern, we saw a coordinated central bank intervention stepping in to give the flailing PBOC a helping hand, driven by the BOJ but also involving NY Fed members, that sent the USDJPY soaring which in turn dragged ES and most risk assets up with it. And while Shanghai did end up closing down -1.7%, with Shenzhen 2.2% lower at the close, the final outcome was far better than what could have been, with the result being that S&P futures have gone back to doing their thing, and have wiped out all of yesterday's losses in the levitating, zero volume, overnight session which has long become a favorite setting for central banks buying E-Minis.
This was not supposed to happen.
When we first exposed the shockingly dire lack of breadth in US equity markets, it was shrugged off by the mainstream media as yet another 'worry' in the wall to climb. It seems, however, that facts inevitably force their way to the surface and so both Bloomberg (more than 100% of this year’s increase in the S&P 500 Index is attributable to two sectors, health-care and retail. That’s the tightest clustering for an advancing year since at least 2000) and The Wall Street Journal (Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, Gilead and Walt Disney Co. account for more than all of the $199 billion in market-capitalization gains in the S&P 500) have been forced to expose the ugly truth about US equities... it is not a stock market - it's a market of 6 tail-chasing momentum stocks.
"It wan't raining when Noah built the ark."
China will be a net buyer, and a net importer of physical gold for years to come. In and of itself that won’t necessarily cause a sharp rally in gold prices anytime soon, but gold acquisition from the Chinese state and her citizens, as well as emerging market central banks the world over will continue to provide support for the physical gold market. Those that have sold gold in the past few days (and there have been plenty in the ETF and futures markets) as a result of the “disappointing” number out of China may have just caused the capitulation event that typically marks the bottom of any bear market.
Well that escalated quickly...
While Amazon is up 17%, the Nasdaq party is being spoiled by the 17% collapse in Biogen following its aggressive guidance cut. As we noted previously, Biogen is the 4th most profitable biotech company and this 'scare' is weighing heavy on Janet Yellen's favorite short industry as the entire Biotech index is sliding.
Despite the glad-handing over Amazon's results, the rest of the world appears less than impressed with the state of the status quo. Bond yields continue to plummet with 30Y yields at 2.95% - its lowest since the start of June. Gold saw a double-flash-crash overnight but is bouncing back for now - back above the key $1080 level. The Dow and S&P have given up gains and are back in the red and even Nasdaq is fading fast as Biogen and Amazon battle it out to affect the index...
After yesterday's latest drop in stocks driven by "old economy" companies such as CAT, which sent the Dow Jones back to red for the year and the S&P fractionally unchanged, today has been a glaring example of the "new" vs "old" economy contrast, with futures propped up thanks to strong tech company earnings after the close, chief among which Amazon, which gained $40 billion in after hours trading and has now surpassed Walmart as the largest US retailer. As a result Brent crude is little changed near 2-wk low after disappointing Chinese manufacturing data fueled demand concerns, adding to bearish sentiment in an oversupplied mkt. WTI up ~26c, trimming losses after yday falling to lowest since March 31 to close in bear mkt. Both Brent and WTI are set for 4th consecutive week of declines; this is the longest losing streak for Brent since Jan., for WTI since March.
The real reason why retail investors weren't impacted by the NYSE's halt is a hard truth... to retail investors, the NYSE is always dark
Where Do Retail Investor Orders Go? The simple answer: to the highest contracted bidder. Stock "wholesalers" or internalizers like Citadel or Knight pay retail brokers lots of cash to execute retail trades, essentially creating a "third market". Why? Because in a high frequency trading world, where stock prices have never been more fuzzy to the end user, but crystal clear to those that spend enormous sums on colocation and PhD employees, it's never been easier to print money (not unlike Bernie Madoff's scheme in the 90's). But that is the subject of a much, much longer story. Someone should write a book.