- Oil Seen in New Era as OPEC Won’t Yield to U.S. Shale (BBG)
- Alberta Producers With World’s Cheapest Oil Face Cascading Woes (BBG)
- Bundesbank’s Weidmann Rejects Calls for German Stimulus Plan (WSJ)
- Google Should Be Broken Up, Say Euro MPs (BBC)
- Calm comes to troubled Ferguson; protests dwindle across U.S. (Reuters)
- Russia’s Banks Feel Capital Squeeze in Grip of Sanctions (BBG)
- Italian Unemployment Rate Rises to Record, Above Forecasts (BBG)
Recently we posted the following article commenting on the impact of USD appreciation and dollar circulation among oil exporters, as well as how the collapsing price of oil is set to reverberate across the entire oil-exporting world, where sticky high oil prices were a key reason for social stability. Following today's shocking OPEC announcement and the epic collapse in crude prices, it is time to repost it now that everyone is desperate to become a bear market oil expert, if only on Twitter...
The S&P 500 closed at new record-er-est highs (a record 29th day above the 5DMA) providing just the right amount of confidence-inspiring 'wealth creation' to ensure you spend, spend, spend this weekend all those gas price savings (despite 9 of 9 macro data misses today). Dow and Trannies underperformed today as Nasdaq surged on AAPL strength. The USDollar fell for the 3rd day (first time in a month) and Treasury yields tumbled (down 5-8bps on the week) near 18 month closing lows. VIX traded briefly with an 11 handle and lost its inversion (1st day in 6). Gold prices flatlined for the 3rd day (as EURCHF fell) ahead of the Swiss gold referendum this weekend. Oil tumbled to fresh 4-year lows as OPEC hinted at no cuts and copper slipped to fresh 4 year closing lows. Late-day shenanigans sent stocks ripping higher... in a totally rational manner. Turkey prices are at $1.67/lb and have been remarkably stable over the past few years.
"The time to liquidate a given position is now seven times as long as in 2008, reflecting much smaller trade sizes in fixed income markets. In part the current liquidity illusion is a product of the risk asymmetries implied by the zero lower bound on interest rates, excess reserves in the system, and perceived central bank reaction functions. However, interest rates in advanced economies won’t remain this low forever. Once the process of normalization begins, or perhaps if market perceptions shift, and it is expected to begin, a re-pricing can be expected. The orderliness of that transition is an open question."
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.