Another day, another POMO pump followed by a collapse to close at the the lows as the S&P 500 has its first 5-day negative closing run in 2013. Only the NASDAQ remains above Un-Taper levels with the Dow back below 'Summers' levels and the S&P heading that way. Treasury yields slid further (-4 to 5bps) to 7-week lows (down 10 of the last 11 days) as the 7Y broke back below 2.00%. Gold and Silver rallied (after the ubiquitous opening smackdown idiocy) with both positive on the week now. The USD sold off as JPY strengthened to the week's highs and EUR pushed back to unchanged on the week. WTI was slammed lower (in a seeming mirror of the PMs) ending back at $102.28 (-2.4% on the week) nearly 11 week lows. For the second day in a row VIX closed lower as stocks sold off (unwinding hedges and reducing underlying exposure perhaps?)
"As an anecdotal aside it was interesting that Apple yesterday reported above consensus iPhone sales on the first weekend of the new launches. When I upgraded in a phone shop on Friday there was no queue, a load left in stock and a number of extra staff put on who were standing around doing nothing. They said they all arrived early to handle the queues, only to find that their first customer didn't arrive until 30mins after opening. So my experience seemed to be different from the rest of the world as Apple climbed +4.97% yesterday after the impressive sales numbers and also guidance at the top of the range from the company on revenues and gross margins." - Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid
Despite the best efforts to squeeze shorts from the European close (end of POMO), the afternoon session punctuated by Fed's Fisher notable comments pushed stocks back lower with the S&P joining the Dow in the all-FOMC-gains-gone club. Financials and Materials (-1.5% from FOMC) are the worst performers since Bernanke did not say "Taper" and while stocks have given it all back, bonds remain at their highs (in price) and lows (in yield) from that un-announcement. Treasury yields dropped 2-3bps more today (still down 15-20bps depending on maturity) as growth hopes fade. JPY strength was trumped by EUR weakness today which pushed the USD higher from overnight opening lows (from China PMI and Merkel) but by the close the USD was unch. Gold and silver were holding positive until Fisher's comments and they slid to -0.5% or so. WTI dropped 1.2% to $103.50. The S&P had its 3rd down day in a row for the first time in 5 weeks (as momo names join the financials among the leaders lagging).
It was fun while it lasted but it seems a recognition that the Fed will have to Taper at some point sooner rather than later (for these four reasons) combined with the Washington anxiety hotting up seems to have sparked a "sell the news" event on the back of good news (China PMI, EU PMI, Merkel, AAPL). Perhaps, just perhaps, the final short overhang was wrung out inlast week's epic spike courtesy of a Fed that didn't like how consensus was in line with them. Notably, bonds are rallying in a very old-normal rotation to weak growth/safety manner and are near post-FOMC low yields. Gold remains well above its pre-FOMC lows and the USD remains well below pre-FOMC levels. In other words, US stocks have given back the most of all assets impacted by the un-Taper.
"There is nothing safe anymore, because the money-printing distorts all asset prices," is the uncomfortable response Marc Faber gives to Thai TV during this interview when asked for investment ideas. Faber explains how we got here "massive money-printing and ZIRP creates a huge pool of liquidity that does not flow evenly," as it washes from Nasdaq stocks to real estate to emerging markets and so on. Each time, "the bubble inflates and then is deflated as the capital (liquidity) floods out." The Fed, based on the doubling of interest rates since they began QE3 "has lost control of the bond market," Faber warns; adding that while he expects some "cosmetic tapering," the Fed members and other neo-Keynesian clowns will react to a "weakening US and global economy," and we will be a $150 billion QE by the end of next year, as the world is held hostage to US monetary policy.
Trannies didn't move much today but the Dow tumbled notably - its biggest drop in over 3 weeks - and erased all of the post-FOMC gains. The S&P and NASDAQ also fell but remain up from the FOMC. Only Healthcare, Discretionary, and Builders remain positive post-Fed as Financials and the rest have given all their gains back - on the heaviest volume day in over 2 years. While arguing whether today's equity weakness was Bullard/George chatter reigniting Taper fears, bonds acted in their old normal way - and rallied modestly as stocks dumped ( with yields down 2-3bps). Gold and Silver were slammed lower on the day (ending unch and -2% on the week). The USD lost 1.35% on the week with JPY unch and EUR +1.7%. AAPL tumbled into the close on the rebalancing.
It is undeniable that America is thoroughly addicted to fiat stimulus. Every aspect of our economy, from stocks, to bonds, to banks, and by indirect extension main street, is now utterly dependent on the continued 24/7 currency creation bonanza. The stock market no longer rallies to the tune of increased retail sales, growing export markets or improved employment expectations. In fact, “good” economic news today is met with panic and market sell-offs! Why? Because investors and banks still playing equities understand full well that any sign of fiscal improvement might mean the end of the private Federal Reserve’s QE pajama party. They know that without the Fed’s opiate-laced lifeline, the economy dies a fast and painful death. All mainstream economic news currently revolves around the Fed, as pundits clamor to divine whether the latest signals mean the free money will flow, trickle, or dry up. At the edge of the Federal Reserve’s 100th anniversary, it is vital that we see the current developments for what they really are – history changing, in a fashion so violent they are apt to scar America forever.
The day when the Fed will begin the unwind of its latest QE program (for the fourth time) has finally arrived (as has the day when an impeachment committee will vote whether to ban Berlusconi from public office, but understandably that is getting far less press). In a few short hours the answer to all those questions of whether and how much of the taper was priced in, will be revealed. But while the Taper discussions will dominate the airwaves, as they have for the past five months, there actually were some news in the world that had nothing to do with the US Politburo in charge of capital markets and the US economy, located in the Marriner Eccles building. Here is a brief summary.
Plowed $2 trillion of their Japanese deposit base into investments overseas then wondered why the economy at home languished
From just after the opening of futures late last night - when US equities knee-jerked up dramatically - stocks went only one way - lower. While of course its all unicorns and butterflies with a triple-digit gain for the Dow, the major indices all traded lower all day long on dismal volume as no one seemed interested in buying the Yellen-rip. AAPL collapsed -3.25%, closing back below its 200DMA, and dragged NASDAQ into the red for the day. Treasuries were all rallying handsomely and there was much rejoicing that the housing recovry will be back in full swing... and then it all fell apart and by the close the 10Y was unch, 30Y +4bps, and 5Y -6bps as the curve flattened notably (as bonds sold off with stocks). The USD surged off knee-jerk overnight lows (though ended -0.3% still) but that momentum during the day-session drove commodities all lower relatively uniformly (Oil, gold, and silver down 1.5 to 2%). What was most odd was that everything changed trend when OPRA broke...
Anyone else get a sense of deja vu? Following CBOE's fail this morning, now BATS and NASDAQ have declared self-help against the CBOE...
- *CBOE HAS NO FURTHER COMMENTS REGARDING ITS COMPUTER SYSTEMS
- *CBOE INVESTING CURRENT DIFFICULTIES, SPOKESPERSON SAYS
As of 10:02AM CT, *CBOE’S C2 AND CBSX HAS HALTED TRADING
- U.S., Russia to push for new Syria peace talks (Reuters)
- Elite Syrian Unit Scatters Chemical Arms Stockpile (WSJ)
- Obama to nominate Summers as Fed chief: Nikkei (Reuters)
- Boehner Wants Joint Talks on Debt, Budget (WSJ)
- House Republicans go for broke in fiscal battles (Reuters)
- Pimco, BlackRock Together Received More Than a Quarter of Verizon's $49 Billion Bond Deal (WSJ)
- Insane financial system lives post-Lehman (Gillian Tett)
- JPM to add $2.5 billion to its litigation reserves in the second half of the year (WSJ)
- Goldman’s Zurich offices visited over working-hours complaint (FT)
- Syrian Rebels Hurt by Delay (WSJ), U.S. seeks quick proof Syria ready to abandon chemical weapons (Reuters)
- Lavrov Brings Acerbic Pragmatism to Syria Meet With Kerry (BBG)
- Five years after Lehman, risk moves into the shadows (Reuters)
- U.S. shares raw intelligence data with Israel, leaked document shows (LA Times)
- Japan to raise sales tax, launch $50 bln stimulus (AFP) - so 1) lower debt by sales tax, then 2) raise debt through stimulus.
- Blackstone’s Hilton Files for $1.25 Billion U.S. Initial Offer (BBG)
- Second Life Bankers Thrive in Dubai as Boutiques Boost Fees (BBG)
- Brussels probes multinationals’ tax deals (FT)
- Wall Street's Top Cop: SEC Tries to Rebuild Its Reputation (WSJ) ... and fails
- Tablet sales set to overtake PCs (FT)
- The end of angst? Prosperous Germans in no mood for change (Reuters)
Stanley Druckenmiller's World View: "Catastrophic" Entitlement Spending, "Bizarre" & "Illusory" Asset Markets, & Beware The TaperSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/11/2013 20:50 -0500
During an extended interview with Bloomberg TV, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller provided a seemingly fact-based (and non-status-quo sustaining, commission-taking, media-whoring) perspective on a very wide variety of topics. The brief clips below touch the surface, with the detailed annotated transcript below providing details, as Druckenmiller opines on the looming catastrophe in entitlement spending "when you hear about the National debt being $16tn; if you actually took what we promised to seniors and future taxes, present value to both of them, that number is $200tn," why the Fed exit will be a big deal for markets, "it is my belief that QE has subsidized all asset prices and when you remove that, the market will go down," and his changing views on Obama "I was drinking the hope and change Kool-aid... in hindsight, he probably needed more experience for this job." Looking back to the financial crisis, he warns, "...a necessary condition to have a financial crisis, in my opinion, is too loose monetary policy that encourages people to take undue risk and go on the risk curve and do silly things. We should have shut this down in 1998, 1999. The NASDAQ bubble, we should have raised rates, we didn’t. Then we got the implosion."