• Sprott Money
    11/20/2014 - 11:12
    In previous commentaries, readers have seen scoffs of derision with respect to (arguably) the two, most-important propaganda myths of the 21st century: the New Normal, and the New World Order. The...

NFIB

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Frontrunning: November 11





  • No Sign of Thaw in Obama’s Brief Encounters With Putin (BBG)
  • Japan Lawmakers Prepare for Snap Elections as Abe Mulls Tax (BBG)
  • Global stocks rise, Brent crude hits four-year low (Reuters)
  • U.S., China to Drop Tariffs on Range of Tech Products (WSJ)
  • ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ Rule Would Raise Bar for Bank Capital (WSJ) ... and mean even bigger taxpayer bailouts
  • Pot in New York: $100 Ticket. No Charges. No Record. No Nothing (BBG)
  • Microsoft unveils first Lumia smartphone without Nokia name (Reuters)
  • Davos-Man Ackermann Lured to Cyprus Bank by Billionaires (BBG)
  • Alibaba, Apple Talks on Payments Tie-Up Focused on China (WSJ)
 
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Small Business Optimism Slides, Hiring & Capex Plans Collapse





Just when the talking-heads thought it was safe to proclaim small business is back, the data turns around and smashes them in the face. The headline NFIB Small Business Optimism index slipped to its lowest since June (the 4th month below the 7-year-high peak in May). More problematic was the sub-indices which saw plans-to-hire drop to six-month lows and wage-related series stalling out, capex spending plans plunge to 2-year lows, along with current job openings.

 
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Frontrunning: October 14





  • No Happy Ending for Investors in Central Bank Fairy Tale (BBG)
  • Ebola Response Strains Hospitals (WSJ)
  • Obama, foreign military chiefs, to thrash out Islamic State plans (Reuters)
  • Draghi’s ‘Whatever It Takes’ Plan on Trial at EU Court (BBG)
  • Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Face Up to $870 Billion Capital Gap (BBG)
  • Iran’s Message to World: You Need Us to Fight Islamists (BBG)
  • Facing new oil glut, Saudis avoid 1980s mistakes to halt price slide (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Grannies Outprice Banks on Hryvnia Black Market (BBG)
  • HK police use sledgehammers, chainsaws to clear protest barriers, open road (Reuters)
  • Gazprom Quarterly Net Rises 13%, Misses Estimate on Ukraine Debt (BBG)
 
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Futures Euphoria Deflated By Latest Batch Of Ugly European News: Germany Can't Exclude "Technical Recession"





So far the overnight session has been a mirror image of Monday's, when futures languished at the lows only to ramp higher as soon as Europe started BTFD. Today, on the other hand, we had a rather amusing surge in the AUDJPY as several central banks were getting "liquidity rebates" from the CME to push the global carry-fueled risk complex higher, only to see their efforts crash and burn as Europe's key economic events hit. First, it was the Eurozone Industrial Production, which confirmed that the triple dip is well and here, when it printed -1.8%, below the expected -1.6%, and far below last month's 1.0%. This comes in the month when German IP plunged most since 2009, confirming that this time it's different, and it is Germany that is leading Europe's collapse into the Keynesian abyss not the periphery. And speaking of Germany, at the same time Europe's former growth dynamo released an October ZEW survey of -3.6%, the 10th consecutive decline and well below the 0.0% expected: first negative print since late 2012!

 
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Key Events In The Coming Week





Today US activity will be very light given the Columbus Day holiday. As DB summarizes, we have a relatively quiet day for data watchers today but the calendar will pick up tomorrow and beyond with a big focus on inflation numbers amongst other things. Indeed tomorrow will see the release of Germany’s ZEW survey alongside CPI prints from the UK, France and Spain. Wednesday’s data highlights will include the US retail sales for September, the Fed’s Beige Book, CPI readings from China and Germany, US PPI, and the NY Fed Empire State survey. Draghi will speak twice on Wednesday which could also be a source for headlines. On Thursday, we will get Industrial Production stats and the Philly Fed Survey from the US on top of the usual weekly jobless claims. European CPI will also be released on Wednesday. We have the first reading of October’s UofM Consumer Sentiment on Friday along with US building permits/housing starts. Yellen’s speech at the Boston Fed Conference on Friday (entitled “Inequality of Economic Opportunity”) will also be closely followed.

 
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Frontrunning: September 9





  • Showtime for Apple: Big phones, smart watches and high expectations (Reuters)
  • Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney Signals Spring Rate Rise (WSJ)
  • Quebec Shows Scots Question Returns Even If Answer Is No (BBG)
  • Hush money with a 9 year vesting period: Ex-SAC Fund Manager Martoma Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison (BBG)
  • Dreams on hold, Brazil's 'new middle class' turns on Rousseff (Reuters)
  • Fed to Hit Biggest U.S. Banks With Tougher Capital Surcharge (WSJ)
  • Egypt court sentences Brotherhood leader, cleric to 20 years in jail (Reuters)
 
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US Equity Futures Levitate As Yen Fireworks Continue; All Attention Still On Scotland





While overnight US equity futures have done nothing notable, what everyone's attention has been fixed on, in addition to the GBP and the read-through to all things UK-ish ahead of the Scotland independence referendum, is the sudden flare up in USDJPY trading and volatility, which exploded by some 100 pips in the past 24 hours hitting fresh post-2008 highs, on what appears to be a major capital reallocation move (it surely is not driven by any news) and/or forced squeeze. What is more perplexing is the change in correlations signals, because while until recently the USDJPY was synonymous with the E-Mini, and thus the S&P, as of late the USDJPY pair has moved tick for tick with the 10Year yield: almost as if the NY Fed's favorite HFT trading shop was instructed to change its vast array of signal inputs away from the S&P and to force a gentle levitation in the 10Y.

 
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Enough Bad News Overnight To Send Futures Higher On Turbo Tuesday





If the global equity "markets" were in need of a sharp "horrible news is great news" boost overnight, it came courtesy of Germany's ZEW investor confidence survey, which printed at a stunning 8.6, a plunge from the 27.1 in July and far below the 17.0 expected - the lowest print since December 2012 -largely suggesting that a European triple-dip is all but assured. And if that wasn't enough, strong language from John Kerry, assured to fan the flames of geopolitical instability, came hours ago when the US SecState said even more Russian sanctions may be coming. And just to make sure the NY Fed trading desk has to come up with a new narrative is the latest development in the Russian "humanitarian convoy" saga, which as we reported last night, has departed Russia but which Ukraine is now refusing to allow into its country. All in all, it's is setting up to be another super bullish day in the rigged markets for which all that matters is... Tuesday.

 
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Futures Flat Following Turbulent Asian Session, FOMC Minutes Loom





While the situation between Israel and Gaza continues to escalate, pulling the markets' attention away from the recent developments in Iraq (as for the Ukraine civil war, forget it), the big news overnight came out of Chine which reported another contraction in consumer prices, which both declined to 2.3% and missed expectations of a 2.4% print (down from 2.5%). Producer Prices had another negative print, the 28th in a row, and have remained negative since 2012. This led to the Hang Seng Index falling at the fastest rate since late June to erase all YTD gains. However, as has now become the norm, macro news hardly impacted US equity futures, which are driven exclusively by the Yen carry trade, which unlike yesterday's pounding, has traded rangebound between 101.6-101.7 keeping US equity futures just barely in the green. We expect the momentum ignition algo to kick in at some point, for absolute no fundamental reason beside the NY Fed trading desk issuing a green light, sending the USDJPY surging, taking the Spoos with them, and helping stocks forget all about the weak Asian session.

 
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NFIB Small Business Optimism Fades; Outlook For Economy Plunges





For a brief month of "we've been down so long, everything looks up", the NFIB Small Business survey suggested the 'recovery' was real and so serial extrapolators (throwing out the 'and small business is the engine of job growth' meme) jumped on it as 'proof' that stocks are cheap and bonds should be sold... then comes June data today (and it's a disaster). 6 of the NFIB's 10 indicators decreased, with about half of the decline in the overall index due to less confidence in future business conditions, the report said, with only 2 indicators improving. CapEx dropped, Sales expectations dropped, 'good time to expand' dropped, actual sales dropped with only hiring plans rising (which seems odd in the face of all the negativity in the rest of the survey) - we will see.

 
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Frontrunning: July 8





  • Headline of the day: Complacency Breeds $2 Trillion of Junk as Sewage Funded (BBG)
  • Israel intensifies Gaza offensive after surge in rocket fire (Reuters)
  • Profits plunge at Vatican bank (FT)
  • Investors Are Buying Troubled Golf Courses and Giving Them Makeovers (NYT)
  • Pimco Dissidents Challenge Bill Gross in ‘Happy Kingdom (BBG)
  • That's a new one: Marks and Spencer blames new website for sales drop  (Reuters)
  • Iran's Supreme Leader calls for more enrichment capacity (Reuters)
  • Boeing Faces Long-Term Credit Risk if Ex-Im Bank Closed, S&P Says (WSJ) not to mention the collapse risk to US durable goods orders
  • U.K. Manufacturing Unexpectedly Slumps Most in 16 Months (BBG)
  • Some Still Lack Coverage Under Health Law (WSJ)
 
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Economic "Hope" Vs. Indicators Of Economic Reality





There is much hope that after a dismal Q1 GDP report of -1% annualized growth in the domestic economy, that Q2 will see a sharp rebound of between 3-4% according to the bulk of economists. The Federal Reserve is predicting that the U.S. economy will grow as strongly as 2.8% in real terms for the entirety of 2014. The achievement of the Fed's rather lofty goal would require a real 4% annualized growth in each of the next three quarters. The problem with this assumption is that the last time that the U.S. economy grew at 4% or more, over three consecutive quarters, was in 1983.

 
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Sharp USDJPY Overnight Sell Off Pushes US Equity Futures Into The Red





Yesterday's market action was perfectly predictable, and as we forecast, it followed the move of the USDJPY almost to a tick, which with the help of a last minute VIX smash (just when will the CFTC finally look at the "banging the close" in the VIX by the NY Fed?) pushed the DJIA to a new record high, courtesy of the overnight USDJPY selling which in turn allowed all day buying of the key carry pair. Fast forward to today when once again we have a replica of the set up: a big overnight dump in USDJPY has sent the dollar-yen to just over 102.000. And since Nomura has a green light by the BOJ to lift every USDJPY offer south of 102.000 we expect the USDJPY to once again rebound and push what right now is a weak equity futures session (-8) well above current levels. Unless, of course, central banks finally are starting to shift their policy, realizing that they may have lost control to the upside since algos no longer care about warnings that "volatility is too low", knowing full well the same Fed will come and bail them out on even the tiniest downtick. Which begs the question: is a big Fed-mandated shakeout coming? Could the coming FOMC announcement be just the right time and place for the Fed to surprise the market out of its "complacency" and whip out an unexpected hawk out of its sleeve?

 
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Frontrunning: June 10





  • Ukraine, Russia Fail to Reach Deal in Natural-Gas Talks (WSJ)
  • Boko Haram Kidnaps More Girls in Nigeria (WSJ)
  • Déjà vu: echoes of pre-crisis world mount (FT)
  • Money market rates hit new low as ECB moves gain traction (Reuters)
  • 'Dark Pools' Face New SEC Probe (WSJ)
  • Buffett Ready to Double $15 Billion Solar, Wind Bet (BBG)
  • White House-Congress rift over Bergdahl deal deepens (Reuters)
  • Taxpayers Face Big Medicare Tab for Unusual Doctor Billings (WSJ)
  • Lean Retirement Faces U.S. Generation X as Wealth Trails (BBG)
  • Employers’ skills gap claim does not show up in US wage data (FT)
  • He is holding out for the Zuckerberg overbid: Donald Sterling says LA Clippers not for sale (WSJ)
 
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Is The Economic Recovery Only Statistical?





Has there been an economic recovery? The statistical data clearly shows that this has been the case. However, the 100 million Americans that currently depend on some sort of social assistance to "make ends meet" are likely to disagree with that view.

 
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