Price Action

Futures, European Stocks Flat As Oil Suddenly Tumbles; Pound Slides

European stocks were flat after starting off strongly earlier, dragged lower by energy stocks. Asian stocks, U.S. futures little changed as oil tumbled with Brent tumbling as low as $45.85/bbl to the lowest intraday since November 30 and taking out a 38.2% Fib support, after a one-minute spike in volume to a day-high 5,208 lots just after 6am, with WTI mirroring Brent's momentum, and falling as much as 98c to $43.22, lowest since November 14.

BofA: "Has The Fed Become Concerned About The Surge In Stocks?"

"Can it be the case that its hawkishness was prompted by something other than its reading of the economy? Is it possible that the Fed has become concerned about the recent surge in the equity market, especially tech stocks that has been feeding off low interest rates and low volatility?"

The Rise Of Robots & The Risk To Passive

"...things like “Robo-advisors” and “ETF herding” are symptomatic of a lengthy bull market advance where the pain of previous losses has finally been erased... but when the 'robot trading algorithms' begin to reverse, it will not be a slow and methodical process but rather a stampede with little regard to price, valuation or fundamental measures as the exit will become very narrow."

Quiet Start To Quad Witching: Stocks Rebound Around The Globe, BOJ Hits Yen

Today is quad-witching opex Friday, and according to JPM, some $1.3 trillion in S&P future will expire. Traditionally quad days are associated with a rise in volatility and a surge in volumes although in light of recent vol trends and overnight markets, today may be the most boring quad-witching in recent history: global stocks have again rebounded from yesterday's tech-driven losses as European shares rose 0.6%, wiping out the week's losses.

Doug Kass: Not Even The Algo Creators Know What Is Going On

"The machines have no fear of flash crashes or any other kind of crash. Such crashes might even serve their purpose of 'making a profit'... Be forewarned as last Friday's Nasdaq schmeissing may be a walk in the park compared to what may happen in the future...This is not my Grandma Koufax's stock market."

Global Markets Rebound As Tech Rout Ends; Sterling Rises

As the Fed begins its two-day meeting, global stocks have recovered their footing and European shares rise, led by a bounce in tech stocks as last Friday's global selloff that started in the sector shows signs of abating. Asian stocks and U.S. futures gain as investors turn their attention to today's Jeff Sessions testimony as well as tomorrow's barrage of macro data including Yellen, CPI and retail sales.

"It's A Series Of Rolling Mini-Bubbles"

"As ugly as the Nasdaq looked on Friday, it didn’t reflect a systemic collapse in equities, but the shaking out of yet another hedge fund induced mini-bubble. I have seen this scenario play over time and time again. The trades the hedge funds are most enthusiastic about, are the very ones you should avoid the most."

RBC Is "Astounded" By The Magnitude Of This Rotation

This is "classic 'shorts outperforming your longs' stuff," notes RBC's head of cross-asset strategy Charlie McElligott, as he warns Friday's VaR-shock is a worst-case scenario against a backdrop where post-financial-crisis highs in 'net' and 'gross' exposures are currently deployed by the majority of equity hedge funds. However, he does offer a silver-lining for stock dip-buyers (and what to watch for).

"Tech Wreck" Goes Global Dragging Worldwide Markets Lower; Cable, USDJPY Slide

Following Friday's "tech wreck" European equity markets have opened lower, with the Stoxx 600 sliding back under the 50DMA for the first time since December, mirroring Asian markets as Friday’s "FAAMG" volatility in U.S. markets spreads globally. European banks lag as the Spanish regulator stepped in to prevent another bank collapse, this time of LiberBank which we profiled yesterday, by banning short-selling in the regional commercial bank to mitigate Popular-related contagion.