A few points the "stocks are cheap" crowd should consider.
The last few weeks have been the strongest and most consistent rallies in US equity market history. US equity markets have traded above their 5-day moving average for 27 days - the longest such streak since March 1928 (h/t MKM's John Krinsky) and all amid GDP downgrades, missed PMIs, and downward earnings outlook revisions. Given the holiday week, it is hardly surprising volume was weak today. Stocks were very mixed today with Russell 2000 and Nasdaq leading the way (along with Trannies) as Dow and S&P showed very small gains - to record highs though. Bonds were also bid with a strong 2Y auction extending the drops in yields (0-2bps) led by 7Y. The USDollar fell 0.4% - led by EUR strength - as JPY, CAD, and AUD all weakened. Despite USD weakness, oil (big drop intraday), copper, and gold also dropped on the day with silver ending +0.25%. VIX dropped to 12.66 - its lowest close in over 2 months.
As you can see by this view of the NQ, this massively bullish news has not, as of yet, represented any kind of sea-change in the markets. Before the day was even out (again, in some, not all markets), the entire move up was reversed.
Despite the knee-trembling awesomeness of a double-whammy promise of liquidity, US equity markets ended the week on a decidedly down note. The realization that Draghi's all talk (no impact on US stocks) and PBOC's move is not a liquidity surge and has limited impact on the economy left stocks tumbling once the opening OPEX levels had printed. The USD rose notably on the day after EUR plunged under 1.24 on Draghi (USD +0.9% on the week). Despite USD strength, gold rose 1% (as did Silver) on the week, rising for the 3rd week in a row for the first time in 4 months (and the 3rd Friday surge in a row). Oil rose 1% on the week, breaking an 8-week losing streak but Copper prices fell around 0.3% on the week, having given back the kneejerk gains post-PBOC today. Treasury yields dropped after kneejerking higher on PBOC. 30Y at 3.01% had its 2nd lowest weekly close since May 2013. VIX melted down into the close to 13.01. Late-day buying panic lifts stocks off their lows leaving Dow & S&P at all-time recordest highs of all-time ever in history (as small caps closed red).
From its lowest 5-day range in history and near-longest streak of closes above its short-term average, the S&P 500 broke to new record highs today (as did the Dow) above 2,050, leaving every other asset class in the dust (besides USDJPY of course). The incessant push for the stops above 117.00 dragged the S&P higher on no catalyst whatsoever. Treasury yields traded 2-3bps lower on the day (and HY credit spreads widened) in the face of equity exuberance. The USD faded on the day back to unchanged on the week on the back of EUR strength (post-Germany). Gold rallied to $1195 (+0.5% on the week) and silver rose modestly but the USD weakness did nothing for the rest of the commodity complex. Copper was whacked (after China housing data) but the big story is WTI Crude plunged again (-2% on the week) closing just shy of 4-year lows. Russell 2000 and Trannies close in the red for the week. In summary: Stocks Up, Gold Up, Bonds Up... USD Down, Oil Down, Copper Down ahead of Fed Minutes tomorrow (credit and stocks protected).
Overnight weakness from Japan (NKY -3%) and USDJPY slowly leaked away as Europe was bid - bouncing higher on Draghi's SovQE "whatever it takes" comments (and multiple broken markets), but once he stopped speaking stocks faded to the lows of the day at the European Close. Once it was just the American algos playing, the S&P and Dow ripped back to green. However, Small Caps, Nasdaq and Trannies were not playing along, nor was VIX or HY Credit. The USD surged 0.45% (on EUR weakness) which stalled the bounce in commodities. Gold flatlined through the US session (-0.25%) with Silver -1% (bouncing this afternoon). Oil prices slipped 0.5% again (but above Friday's lows) at $75.50. Treasury yields rose 1-2bps on the day (but 5-6bps off the overnight lows as Europe opened) but flatlined during US session. Most notably, it seems many feel like Carl Icahn that a major correction is coming and hedging via VIX and HY credit was significant.
The Dow and S&P have shrugged off any belief that yet another Japanese recession will impact the invincible American economy... but Small Caps, Nasdaq, and Trannies are a little more concerned. However, if everything is so awesome in the US, then why are credit and equity market professionals buying protection hand over fist?
Stocks were somewhat of a sideshow to the moves in Bonds, commodities, and FX today. Trannies (Airlines) and Nasdaq (AAPL) led on the week with Small Caps the laggard and Dow/S&P not much better. A 6-7bps plunge in yields from around 10am ET today left Treasury yields only 0-2bps higher on the week. The USD dumped at around the same time, cracking back to unchanged on the week as USDJPY failed at 117. While oil prices lifted modestly today, WTI Crude fell 3.2% this week - 7th week in a row - longest losing streak since 1986 (the last time US oil production was above 9 mm bbl/d). Silver screamed over 7% off its intraday lows today (+4.1% on the day - the best day in 5 months) and gold surged 2.4% on the day (4.1% off the lows) for its 2nd best day in 5 months. VIX (higher on the week), HY credit, and TSYs all diverged notably on the week from equity 'strength' but today's moves were seemingly driven by Swiss Gold Initiative rumors. It's a Friday so 330ET saw the standard ramp to grab the S&P green and record close (+0.02%)
WTI Crude plunged another 3.75% to as low as $74.06 today - the lowest since Sept 2010 and dropping at the fastest rate of collapse since Lehman. Airlines popped and Energy stocks dropped 2.7% (now worst sector of the year) but Small Caps were the worst performing major index of the day (turning first around 1030ET and dropping most in over 3 weeks). The S&P tested back into the red for the week but was VWAP-rescued twice. AAPL once again bid saved the Nasdaq. Treasury yields slid lower all day (down 2-3bps across the complex) but remain up 4-5bps on the week. The USD weakened very marginally (still up 0.25% on the week) led by EUR strength. Gold and silver were flat but copper tumbled back below $300 - its lowest close in a month (near lowest close since Jul 2010). HY Credit diverged bearishly this afternoon as stocks ramped to VWAP. VIX rose for the 3rd day in a row, back over 14. Dow record close, Russell biggest drop in 3 weeks.
Two words tell you all you need to know about today's equity trading... no volume (lowest since Aug27th). The main theme of today - away from stock markets - was to unwind some or all of Friday's moves on the dismal Italy/Greece data: Treasury yields jerked almost 10bps off their lows with 30Y almost retracing the entire Friday rally; The USD rallied, recovering some of its losses from Friday (led by CAD and JPY weakness - which were both stronger Friday); gold and silver were slammed today - almost retracing Friday's gains; and oil prices gave up all their intraday gains to close notably lower. USDJPY and bonds decoupled from stocks which appeared led by a VIX-smashing day, sending the fear index below 12.5. The Dow and S&P closed at all-time highs.
Buckle Up...The Nasdaq is broken so it's VXX-selling, XIV-buying, stock surging time...
while the algos would have been delighted to let October 15 slide into the collective memory made obsolete by a constantly rising market (because investors are only truly angry when the market plunges not when it surges) just as the regulators made a mockery of their fiduciary responsibilities in the aftermath of May 6, and now markets are more fragile than ever as HFTs comprise the vast majority of all trades, some appear to be complaining and even, gasp, asking questions how it is possible that the $12 trillion US Treasury market traded like an illiquid Pink Sheets pennystock, or worse, the Nikkei.Here is the WSJ with some of the complaints: “It starts moving faster and faster, and you can’t point to anything."Actually, yes you can.
Stocks end the week on a weaker note roundtripping off premature exuberance into the European close after jobs data that missed expectations (or did they). Of course the kneejerk response took the S&P and Dow to record highs before the weakness set in. Thanks to a late day panic-buying rip though, Nasdaq and Russell 2000 close the week unch - no need to call Mr. Bullard. Treasury yields collapsed today, ending the week down around 3-4bps. The USD sold off today to close the week up 0.6% with JPY and AUD the weakest against the greenback on the week. Gold (and silver) rallied to close the week almost unchanged. Interestingly, despite VIX's best efforts (almost breaking under 13), stocks rolled over this afternoon (then ripped). Oil prices pushed modestly higher early on and ended the day around $78.50. The ubiquitous Friday late-day buying panic ripped everything higher - on absolutely no news - "proving" that the jobs data was great (expect, why were safe haven bond and bullion so heavily bid?)
Well it's the day after Midterms so stocks had to rally, right? It appears no one told Nasdaq stocks to toe-the-line. The Dow led the day (led by Visa again, 40 of 85pts); Trannies appeared to enjoy higher oil prices today and while the hunt for a catalyst remains absent, 1315ET marked a schizophrenic divergence in stock-buying exuberance that Nasdaq never recovered from. A very choppy day in stocks - macro data, Saudi headlines, McConnell and Obama. Gold (worst day in 4 months to Apr 2010) and silver (worst day in 13 months to Feb 2010) were crushed overnight (amid zero liquidity). Oil prices surged on Saudi ISIS fears (best day in 2 months) breaking above $79. Treasury yields rose modestly (but rallied into the close). The USDollar rallied in the EU session then flatlined in the US session. HY credit was not buying the equity exuberance as HGY closed red.