The market's slumberous levitation of the past month, in which yesterday's -0.3% drop was the second largest in 4 weeks and in which the market had gone for 15 consecutive days without a 1% S&P 500 move (in March 2015 the sasme streak ended at day 16) may be about to end, after an overnight session, the polar opposite of yesterday's smooth sailing, which has seen a sudden return of global risk off mood.
While not as quixotic as Morgan Stanley's Adam Parker piece on market-chasing cockroaches, BofA high yield analyst Michael Contopoulos has moved beyond merely bearish and is now outright catastrophic . That may be a little far fetched, but in his latest note - while he doesn't call rally chasers "cockroaches" (yet), he seems at a loss to explain the ongoing junk bond rally. His reasoning: fundamentals just keep getting worse by the day, while price action has completely disconnected from reality, and virtually nobody expects what is about to unfold in the junk bond space.
In the span of 3 pages, a market strategist for a major Wall Street bank first compares rally chasers to cockroaches, and says that he himself is a cockroach, then just a few lines lower contends he is not a cockroach, and finally says he is only human.
In a quiet start to the week following last week's surprisingly strong rebound which followed a stronger than expected jobs report (perhaps to demonstrate that good news is once again good news), Japan stocks continued to sink as the USDJPY dropped to fresh lows, while commodities declined for a fifth day as the supply glut from crude to copper weighed on prices, dragging down commodity currencies. European equities rose, rebounding from a one-month low.
The Narrative Changes: Goldman "Explains" That Higher Oil Prices Are Actually Better For The EconomySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/03/2016 13:40 -0400
"Cheap oil has become “too much of a good thing” for growth", according to Goldman which in an "analysis" concludes "that the net effect of cheap oil on growth has probably been negative so far, with the capex collapse outweighing the consumption boost. Which is a confirmation of everything we have said since late 2014.
"We think that the recent rally in risk assets gained much from dovish actions and messages from central banks, in particular the ECB, Fed and the PBoC. One can only applaud the seriousness and pro-activeness that central banks apply to their mandates. But aren’t investors counting too much on central banks carrying the day if not the cycle? This analyst thinks so, without disparaging their efforts, as central banks are almost out of ammo, and their tools are not well suited to handle the problems of slowing company profits and productivity."
For Japan, the post "Shanghai Summit" world is turning ugly, fast, because as a result of the sliding dollar, a key demand of China which has been delighted by the recent dovish words and actions of Janet Yellen, both Japan's and Europe's stock markets have been sacrificed at the whims of their suddenly soaring currencies. Which is why when Japanese stocks tumbled the most in 7 weeks, sinking 3.5%, to a one month low of 16,164 (after the Yen continued strengthening and the Tankan confidence index plunged to a 3 year low) it was anything but an April fool's joke to both local traders.
At the end of the day, it was all about the dollar and the reason for this morning's stock surge around the globe, as we noted last night, is absurdly delightful: Yellen signaled "weakening world growth" and "less confidence in the renormalization process." In other words, the "bad news is good news" mantra is back front and center.
With Europe back from Easter break, we are seeing a modest continuation of the dollar strength witnessed every day last week, which in turn is pressuring oil and the commodity complex, and leading to some selling in US equity futures (down 0.2% to 2024) ahead of today's main event which is Janet Yellen's speech as the Economic Club of New York at 12:20pm, an event which judging by risk assets so far is expected to be far more hawkish than dovish: after all the S&P 500 is north of 2,000 for now.
The S&P 500 is stalling below 2085 as daily momentum for price action and especially market breadth is waning. Similar to early November, confirmation of a near-term S&P 500 peak could come on a close below rising channel support near 2028 with daily Williams %R moving out of overbought. This would place the focus on the 200 and 100- day MAs near 2017 and 1997, respectively, which are ahead of chart support at 1969- 1947.
"...the subsequent rally we have been on over the last few weeks or so will be retraced and not only violate that “Bullard Bottom” but will do so with conviction and spike down to levels not seen in years. Again let me iterate – and quickly!"
Following two days of rangebound moves, where Monday's modest market rebound was undone by the Tuesday just as modest decline (despite the early surge higher on the latest "bullish for stocks" European terrorism), overnight equity action continued to be more of the same, and as of this moment S&P 500 futures were unchanged, while European stocks were modestly higher. But while equities remain surprisingly uneventful despite loud warnings by both JPM and Goldman now that another bout of volatility and equity downside is coming, in FX there has been a substantial change, one which has seen the US dollar rise for a fourth day, the longest winning streak in a month, driven by the latest round of hawkish Fed jawboning courtesy of the Chicago Fed's Charlie Evens yesterday, which in turn has pushed down prices of oil, gold and copper.
The market reaction from last week’s dovish FOMC statement took many by surprise, including BofAML's HY Strategy team, but as they say the High-Yield Emperor has no clothes, warning that the underlying commentary provided by Chair Yellen shows the vulnerability for high yield issuers to longer-term growth trends. Couple the deteriorating fundamentals for HY issuers with downgrades outpacing upgrades by a ratio of 3.5:1 and a worsening of global growth potential, and they believe the recent rally, though boosted by strong inflows and cash generation, will ultimately fade.
This morning's Brussels suicide attacks have led to risk-off sentiment across European asset classes, with Bunds higher and equities firmly in the red, although if the Paris terrorist attacks of November are any indication, today's tragic events may be just the catalyst the S&P500 needs to surge back to all time highs. FX markets have also been dominated by events in Brussels, with USD and JPY strengthening, while EUR and GBP softening throughout the European morning.