Credit markets had been nervous for the last 48 hours heading into today's Fed minutes and reflective of the FOMC's worries over small-cap forward multiple and covenant-lite loan issuance (both of which we have discussed in great detail as excessive) sparked weakness in the Russell and credit spreads. Yesterday's bounce gave way to selling after the minutes (and on a "good" data day). But a late-day no-JPY-supported melt-up saved the day but stocks are still down after first 5 days of the year - still worst since 2008. Treasury yields leaked higher into the minutes then flattened dramatically with 10s and 30s rallying and 5s and below weakening. 5s30s dropped 7bps on the day - biggest flattening since Taper. 10y did not close above 3%. Gold and silver slipped lower after 2pm then recovered into the close, but WTI crude slid all day - holding losses after the Fed ($92.50). The USD limped lower after the Fed with EURUSD unch on the week before tomorrow's ECB statement.
- Here comes JPM's next multibillion legal reserve: Federal Probe Targets Banks Over Bonds (WSJ)
- Mulally Bows Out of Microsoft CEO Race, Staying at Ford (BBG)
- United States sending more troops and tanks to South Korea (Reuters)
- Eurozone unemployment sticks at record high (FT)
- China-Japan 'Voldemort' attacks up ante in propaganda war (Reuters)
- Alternative Lenders Peddle Pricey Commercial Loans (WSJ)
- John McAfee: glad Intel dropping name from security software (Reuters)
- Jobless Benefits Bill Stays Alive Amid Talks on Offsets (BBG)
- Chicago Colder Than South Pole as Frigid Air Clamps Down (BBG)
- Former Miss Venezuela shot dead in attempted robbery (Reuters)
There is no quicker route to success in the USSA than to go into “public service” regulating a massive industry and then flip back over to engage in M&A in the exact industry you were in charge of regulating.
2013 Was A Year Of Calm In The World Of Finance ... 2014 May Not Be So Calm ... Highlights Of Year - German Gold Repatriation, Record Highs In Yen, Huge Chinese Demand - Lowlights Of Year - Massive Paper Sell Offs in April/June and First Deposit Confiscation and Capital Controls ...
The weakness in stocks accelerated after Europe's close, was briefly stalled by algo wildness and VWAP buys on Bernanke's completely non-news speech this afternoon, then dropped into the close, but was far outweighed by the moves in commodities. WTI Crude has dropped over 6% in the last 4 days - its biggest such drop in almost 8 months. The last 2 days have seen gold rise at its fastest pace in almost 3 months. Treasuries ended the week practically unchanged with a modest selloff on Bernanke leading to a 2-3bps drop in yield sin 2014 so far. The USD kept soaring on the back of EUR weakness (as the liquidity flows came back out) but JPY was in charge of ferrying stocks once again (until the last few minutes). The Bernanke VIX slam failed to ignite any real momentum and stocks slipped into the close - with the NASDAQ ands SPX red (but Dow green). Of course, POMO restarts next week so shorting will be banned...
- Firms to Face new Rules Over Pay, Taxes (WSJ)
- US to test commercial drones at six sites (CNN)
- China’s Local Debt Swells to 17.9 Trillion Yuan in Audit (BBG) - which is about 2 trillion less than where it actually is (Reuters)
- Fears after key China debt level soars 70% (FT) and in reality the debt level is saoring far more
- Pot Shops in Denver Open Door to $578 Million in Sales (BBG)
- China Says It Will Shun Abe After Shrine Visit (WSJ)
- De Blasio Taking Office Citing Wealth Gap as Crime Falls (BBG)
- China Approves $353 Million of Share Sales as IPOs Resume (BBG)
- Obama Seeks Way to Right His Ship (WSJ)
- Netflix Tests Subscription Fees Based on Number of Account Users (BBG)
- Three big macro questions for 2014 (FT)
For the 3rd day in a row, traders in credit and equity markets bid for protection. VIX rose 1 vol to 13.5% (diverging notably from stocks) and High-yield and investment-grade credit protection is back at 1-week wides (again diverging notably from stocks). USD weakened back to pre-FOMC levels (-0.4% on the day) led by EUR liquidity needs by the look of it, was ignored by the commodity markets which saw silver and gold tank (gold < $1200) and WTI crude back under $100. Treasuries rallied modestly (yields -3bps) as stocks wriggled sideways on super-low volumes (with NASDAQ underperforming and Dow outperforming to break the new record-high 16,500 level). Homebuilders outperformed even after the dismal home sales data with Energy worst on the day.
Marc Faber has 3 very contrarian predictions for 2014 that we are sure will have the yammering yay-bobs screaming. While "everyone thinks stocks can continue to rise," Faber sees "the US market as expensive," and will return very little over the next few years. Furthermore, he adds, while "some stocks are not terribly expensive; but just like in the year 2000, [social media] stocks are grossly over-valued," and a short basket in the most egregious will return at least 30% next year. Lastly, Faber exclaims, "given all the money printing that is going on globally... physical gold is a good insurance."
VIX closed at its lowest in a month as stocks pushed on higher to new record-er highs (and Twitter hit $70). The Nasdaq underperformed today (after yesterday's outpeformance) as the Dow, S&P, and Russell all closed around 0.4% higher (and Twitter added 8.2%). Treasury bond yields rose notably all day with the 10Y at its 2nd highest closing yield of the year +5.4bps to 2.98% today (but Twitter is almost a double off its lows in 2 weeks). Commodities drifted higher all day with Gold back over $1200 (and that so-called fat finger in copper leaving it up large still on the day). The USD ended unch with slight weakness in JPY. From the Taper lows, the S&P is up 3.7% (but Twitter is up 30% in that period).
With most stock indices breaking record highs (and even the NASDAQ back to 13+ year highs), we thought a time of reflection and giving (as opposed to receiving Fed liquidity) required a look at the bigger picture. The following 13 charts of the last 13 years cover everything from collapsing SAT scores to record high prices of alcohol and from surging gun background checks to record high food stamp recipients, this is not your great grandma's depression-"recovery"...
HFT Pays: CEO Of Firm That Accounts For 5% Of US Equity Volume Selling His NY Mansion For $114 MillionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/23/2013 19:22 -0400
Everyone knows that the most parasitic form of trading, that would be high frequency trading for those who may not have followed this website since 2009, is very profitable. Well, it is certainly profitable for those who operate the momentum-igniting, quote churning, HFT firms in control of what's left of the "market", if not so much for anyone else. Just how profitable is it? Judging by the house that Vincent Viola, head of Virtu Financial, one of the largest high frequency electronic trading and market making firms, which according to Cifu accounts for more than 5% of US equities volume and over 10% of the of the average daily volume of MSFT, and which tried to expand even more aggressively with a failed bid for Knight Capital last year, has just put on the block.
New 52-week highs reached 2-month highs (and lows at 1-month lows) as stocks ruged to new record-er highs once again today. Aided by AAPL, the NASDAQ outperformed but the ridiculousness was not limited as TWTR continues its exponential rise (up over 59% in the last 2 weeks). Today's range was small in stocks (except for a strange - likely rebalancing related - 6% rise in the Russell at the open) and volume barely above the lowest of the year. Bonds sold off modestly with 7s and 10s worse at +3.5bps following ths morning's un-fat-finger idiocy in Treasury Futures markets. VIX was banged lower (with a late flourish) to 1-month lows. The USD slipped modestly lower on the day but rallied from the US open but correlations to JPY crossesd were not great for stocks once again. Commodities were quiet with Silver up and gold down (back under $1200).
- Apple, China Mobile sign long-awaited deal to sell iPhones (Reuters)
- U.S. growth hopes help shares shrug off China money market jitters (Reuters)
- Rule Change on Health Insurance Rattles Industry (WSJ), Obamacare's signup deadline on Monday has its exceptions (Reuters)
- Tale of Two Polish Mines Shows Biggest EU Producer’s Woes (BBG)
- Probes See U.K. Market Manipulation Reports Rise 43% (BBG)
- Shoppers Grab Sweeter Deals in Last-Minute Holiday Dash (BBG)
- Banks Mostly Avoid Providing Bitcoin Services (WSJ)
- Secret Handshakes Greet Frat Brothers on Wall Street (BBG)
Negative divergences are popping up on key price charts.
Negative divergences are popping up on key price charts.