New York Stock Exchange

"It Feels Like 1997" Warns Art Cashin, "Watch High Yield"

"It's not necessarily out of control yet. But if they do not provide some stability pretty soon it will begin to affect not only the markets over there, but - as we saw today and somewhat last week - it affects markets all around the world. Financial Markets are correlated. We learned that back in 2008 When the fall of Lehman spread all around the globe."

August 24 - A True Market Washout?

It doesn’t happen too often, but occasionally we witness a true stock market “washout”. That is, a selloff marked by extremely one-sided (to the downside) trading action. Such days are exhibited by market participants that just want out at any price. The result is a day in which all market statistics are overwhelming skewed negatively. Such was the case yesterday, August 24. However, considering the selloff began with the major averages near their 52-week highs, a resumption in downside pressure would not be a surprise following whatever type of bounce materializes over the next few days or weeks.

Weekend Reading: Is This The Big One?

"The combined levels of bullish optimism, lack of concern about a possible market correction (don't worry the Fed has the markets back), and rising levels of leverage in markets provide the 'ingredients' for a more severe market correction. However, it is important to understand that these ingredients by themselves are inert. It is because they are inert that they are quickly dismissed under the guise that 'this time is different.' Like a thermite reaction, when these relatively inert ingredients are ignited by a catalyst, they will burn extremely hot. Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly what that catalyst will be or when it will occur. The problem for individuals is that they are trapped by the combustion an unable to extract themselves in time."

ETF Trading Volume Eclipses US GDP

"In the past 12 months investors traded $18.2 trillion worth of ETF shares. For perspective, that means the amount of dollars exchanging hands through ETFs is now more than the U.S. gross domestic product, which stands at $17.4 trillion," Bloomberg reports. Or, put differently, the financial apocalypse draws near. 

Blame The Fed For The Commodities Slump

Why the big slowdown? Why is the world falling apart? Because you can’t fake an economic recovery... Instead of “stimulating” a recovery, the feds have “simulated” one.

Nervous Nasdaq - Too Many Highs & Lows

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.

Frontrunning: July 24

  • Gunman kills two, wounds seven in Louisiana theater before killing himself (Reuters)
  • Health insurer Anthem to buy Cigna in $54.2 billion deal (Reuters)
  • Murder, Poisoning, Raids: It’s Election Season in Russia (BBG)
  • Lagarde Push for Greece Debt Relief Challenges Merkel (Bloomberg)
  • Fund Boss’s Gamble on Health Law Pays Off Big (WSJ)
  • Wall Street Cranks Up Its Outlook for Amazon After It Delivers Monster Earnings Report (BBG)
  • China's Richest Man Marks Push Into Hollywood With Jake Gyllenhaal Movie (BBG)
  • West Africa's alarming growth industry - meth (Reuters)

Central Banks And Our Dysfunctional Gold Markets

Many investors still view gold as a safe-haven investment, but there remains much confusion regarding the extent to which the gold market is vulnerable to manipulation through short-term rigged market trades, and long-arm central bank interventions. First, much of the gold that is being sold as shares, in certificates, or for physical hoarding in dubious "vaults" just isn't there. Second, paper gold can be printed into infinity just like regular currency. Third, new electronic gold pricing — replacing, as of this past February, the traditional five-bank phone-call of the London Gold Fix in place since 1919 — has not necessarily proved a more trustworthy model. Fourth, there looms the specter of the central bank, particularly in the form of volume trading discounts that commodity exchanges offer them.Today, there is no “official” price for gold, nor any “gold-exchange standard” competing with a semi-underground free gold market. There is, however, a material legacy of “real versus pseudo” gold that remains a terrible menace. Buyer beware of the pivotal difference between the two.

Economic Confidence Hovers Near 8-Month Lows, Majority See Things Getting Worse

With Small Business Optimism cratering to 15 month lows and CFO's skepticism at 2 year lows, it is no surprise that 'average joe' is also feeling a little less confident (despite the exuberance in equity markets). Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index registered at -11 this week, which marked an eight-month low for the index. While current conditions are weak, more worryingly, the economic outlook has tumbled to its lowest since October with 56% of Americans saying "the economy is getting worse."

Frontrunning: July 15

  • Tsipras Braves Parliament on Aid as Greek Outlook Worsens (BBG)
  • European markets rise before Yellen speech, Greek vote (Reuters)
  • China’s Growth Beats Economists’ Forecast as Stimulus Kicks In (BBG)
  • China stocks drop again, positive data shrugged off (Reuters)
  • Yellen intensifies Republican outreach amid Fed probe, Senate bill (Reuters)
  • Iran deal holds both promise and peril for Hillary Clinton (Reuters)
  • Iranians Party Into the Night as Khamenei Backs Accord (BBG)

Similarities Between China's Stock Market Crash And 1929 Are Eerie

For students of history, the China stock market crash looks eerily familiar. It’s playing out much like the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929. One of the factors fueling the soaring stock market of the 1920s was an influx of new, financially unsophisticated investors who saw the rising numbers and saw an opportunity for quick and easy profits. And that’s exactly what’s happened in China over the past year or so.

Why The NYSE Debacle Mattered

On Thursday this past week there were a few attempts at crisis management that should go into textbooks (as well as history books) everywhere in years to come as: Crisis Management 101.a – Lessons in Ineptitude. The responses as to settle the angst in an ever-more-skeptical, as well as frightened investing class was not only inane as demonstrated by the responses (or better yet; lack there of) given at the NYSE by way of “answering” as to why it halted its operation for nearly 4 hours. Was only outdone by what many view as the near insane when one views the steps taken in China to “calm” their markets. Is that how one instills confidence? It instills something – however the term isn’t anything resembling “confidence.”

3 Things: Correction, Interest Rates & Oil Prices

While yesterday's suspension of trading on the New York Stock Exchange drew attention to the plunge in equity prices, the reality is that stocks have been in a correction since the all-time highs posted back in May. Of course, until yesterday's headlines, you may not have realized that the correction was in process as it has been "as slow as a turtle running in peanut butter."