Futures are modestly higher in early trading having tracked the USDJPY once again almost tick for tick, with the carry trade of choice rising to 123 shortly after Mario Draghi's latest speech pushed the dollar strong initially only to see most gains promptly evaporate against both the Yen and the Euro. European shares are likewise little changed, after gaining earlier, while Asian stocks rise; oil also advanced in early trading only to drop to its lowest overnight level moments ago, a few dimes over $40, with aluminum and copper both posting modest increases.
After 2 months of notably unusual negative prints, November's Philly Fed rose from -4.5 to +1.9 (the best MoM rise since June). Sadly, the survey's headline gains were driven by a big surge in 'hope' as the outlook surged from 36.7 to 43.4, as under the covers of the current business environment was a collapse in prices paid, further deterioration in new orders and shipments, and a plunge in average workweek.
While it is still unclear just why the FOMC Minutes which are said to have made a December liftoff "more likely" unleashed a dramatic market rally, one which sent both stocks and TSYs higher, the sentiment continued overnight, with both Asian stocks surging on the US momentum, as well as Europe, where the DAX gapped solidly above the 200 DMA as most European shares advanced, led by resources, travel stocks. U.S. futures continue their ramp higher, and at last check were another 8 points, or 0.4%, in the green. But if the Fed Minutes were enough to unleash the latest leg in this rally, than the ECB's own minutes due also today, should send futures back over 2100 without much difficult, regardless of their actual content.
Stocks Jump On Hope For More Central Bank Intervention After Japan's Quintuple Recession, Syrian StrikesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/16/2015 07:03 -0500
As so often happens in these upside down days, was the best thing that could happen to the market, because another economic slowdown means the BOJ, even without sellers of JGBs, will have no choice but to expand its "stimulus" program (the same one that led Japan to its current predicament of course) and buy up if not government bonds, then corporate bonds, more ETFs (of which it already own 50%) and ultimately stocks. Because there is nothing better for the richest asset owners than total economic collapse.
The Fed has worked overtime since the 2008 crisis to produce a stability, a sense of normalcy in the economy and markets. It is a stable equilibrium now but almost any minor shock could change that dynamic for the worse and quickly. Widening credit spreads, Treasuries and gold outperforming stocks indicate that some parts of the market are already preparing for the storm. Stocks are about the only asset yet to batten down the hatches. If this is the calm before the storm, stock investors are about to get swept overboard.
In the absence of any key economic developments in the Asian trading session, Asian stocks traded mostly under the influence of the late, pre-opex US ramp momentum courtesy of another day of ugly economic data in the US (bad econ news is good news for liquidity addicts), closing solidly in the green across the board, led by China (+1.6%) and Japan (+1.1%) thanks in no small part to the latest tumble in the Yen carry trade, which mirrored a bout of USD overnight weakness. And since a major part of the risk on move yesterday was due to Ewald Nowotny's comments welcoming more QE, news from Eurostat that Eurozone CPI in September dropped -0.1% confirming Europe's deflation continues, should only be greeted with even more buying as it suggests further easing by the ECB is inevitable.
Philly Fed general business activity somehow managed to rise very modestly in October from -6.0 to -4.5 but missed expectations. This the second monthly decline in a row - not seen since 2013. We say "somehow" as the underlying components were a total and utter disaster. New Orders collapsed from +9.4 to -10.6, Unfilled orders crashed to -11.7, Employment plunged from 10.2 to -1.7, and workweek evaporated from +7.0 to -7.3. Even "hope" collapsed with future expectations dropping from 44.0 to 36.7 with CapEx expectations cliff diving.
Aside from Chinese monetary data, it was a relatively quiet session in which traders were focusing on every move in the suddenly tumbling USD, and parsing every phrase by central bankers around the globe, as well as the previously noted piece by Fed mouthpiece Jon Hilsenrath which effectively ended the debate whether there will be rate hikes in 2015. Adding to the overnight froth were ECB speakers first Ewald Nowotny and then Spain's Restoy, who said that euro-area core inflation "clearly" below goal, remarks which were immediately assumed to signal increasing pressure to boost stimulus, and which promptly translated into even more weakness in EUR and equity strength, pushing US futures up about 15 points from yesterday's close.
While the US bond market, if not equities, is enjoying the day off on a day in which there is no economic data just more Fed speakers including the Fed's Evans who on Friday uttered what may be the dumbest thing a central planner has ever said, the week's macro docket starts in earnest on Tuesday when China releases much anticipated September trade data. Here are the key events for the rest of the week.
Goldman forecasts nonfarm payroll growth of 215k in September, above consensus expectations of 200k by about 0.3 standard deviations of a typical surprise. Noting that August payrolls were likely distorted downward by seasonal bias last month and may be revised up, Goldman expects the unemployment rate to remain flat at 5.1% (and earnings growth to slow). Howver, judging by the collapse in September's regional Fed surveys, today's "most important" payrolls data ever could be a massive miss.
Following August's collapse (from 13 to 0), September's Richmond Fed followed on the heels of Philly, Empire, and Dallas Fed surveys and collapsed to -5 - its lowest since January 2013. Under the covers it is a total disaster, the average workweek crashed from 3 to -12 - the lowest level since April 2009 (as did the order backlog). New Orders and Capacity Utilization also plunged to its lowest since Jan 2013 as clearly the inventory accumulation is starting to feedback into prodiction cuts. Combined, the regional surveys suggest a notable plunge in overall ISM in September... flashing bright red recession warnings.
Q: What is your own view of the appropriate liftoff date?
A: Our own answer to that question has long been 2016. In fact, our own view is similar to that of Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who recently shifted his call from early 2016 to mid-2016.... At this point, our “GSFCI Taylor rule” suggests that the FOMC should be trying to ease rather than tighten financial conditions. Our own view in terms of optimal policy is quite strongly in favor of waiting well into 2016.
Every dictator knows that a continuous state of emergency is the best means to justify tyrannical policies. The trick is to keep the fictitious emergency from breeding so much paranoia that routine activities come to a halt. Many have discovered that its best to make the threat external, intangible and ultimately, unverifiable. In Orwell's 1984 the preferred mantra was "We've always been at war with Eurasia," even though everyone knew it wasn't true. In its rate decision this week the Federal Reserve, adopted a similar approach and conjured up an external threat to maintain a policy that is becoming increasingly absurd.
What was one "one and done", just became "none and done" as the Fed will no longer hike in 2015 and will certainly think twice before hiking ahead of the presidential election in 2016. By then the inventory liquidation-driven recession will be upon the US and the Fed will be looking at either NIRP or QE4. Worse, the Fed just admitted it is as, if not more concerned, with the market than with the economy. Worst, suddenly the market no longer wants a... dovish Fed?
On the heels of Empire Fed's big plunge, Philly Fed just collapsed. Despite employment and new orders picking up, the headline Philly Fed data crashed from 8.3 to -6.0 (missing expectations of +5.9 by the most in 4 years). This is the lowest print since March 2013 and is blamed on markets "evidence suggests that the responses regarding general activity that were received earlier in the month may have been negatively affected by the volatility in the stock market and international news reports." Must. Keep. Stocks. High.