After yesterday's latest drop in stocks driven by "old economy" companies such as CAT, which sent the Dow Jones back to red for the year and the S&P fractionally unchanged, today has been a glaring example of the "new" vs "old" economy contrast, with futures propped up thanks to strong tech company earnings after the close, chief among which Amazon, which gained $40 billion in after hours trading and has now surpassed Walmart as the largest US retailer. As a result Brent crude is little changed near 2-wk low after disappointing Chinese manufacturing data fueled demand concerns, adding to bearish sentiment in an oversupplied mkt. WTI up ~26c, trimming losses after yday falling to lowest since March 31 to close in bear mkt. Both Brent and WTI are set for 4th consecutive week of declines; this is the longest losing streak for Brent since Jan., for WTI since March.
In almost all cases, including the most recent rise, the intermittent change in psychology that drove interest rates higher in the short run, occurred despite weakening inflation. There was, however, always a strong sentiment that the rise marked the end of the bull market, and a major trend reversal was taking place. This is also the case today. Presently, four misperceptions have pushed Treasury bond yields to levels that represent significant value for long-term investors. While Treasury bond yields have repeatedly shown the ability to rise in response to a multitude of short-run concerns that fade in and out of the bond market on a regular basis, the secular low in Treasury bond yields is not likely to occur until inflation troughs and real yields are well below long-run mean values.
Just in case you still harbored any doubt that absolutely zero lessons were learned from the cataclysmic financial collapse of 2008/09...
China matters after all. As recently as three weeks ago, Bridgewater - the world's largest hedge fund - was among the most effusively bullish on China deflecting fears of the stock market drop on the basis that its "movements are not significant reflective of, or influential on, the Chinese economy." However, that meme that has been spewed by endless talking heads protecting their assets under management, has evolved. In his latest letter to investors, Ray Dalio warns, "our views on China have changed... there are no safe places to invest." As WSJ reports, the move adds to a growing chorus of high-profile investors who are challenging the long-held view that China’s rise will provide a ballast to a whole host of investments, from commodities to bonds to shares in multinational firms, as they realize, "it appears that the repercussions of the stock market’s declines will probably be greater."
"My faith is that governments and central banks will continue to run up debt and debase currencies until a crisis brings the whole experiment to a disastrous conclusion. There is simply no historical precedent to reach any other conclusion. I also have faith that human beings will always prefer a piece of gold to a stack of paper. Separate a paper currency from its perceived value and you just have a stack of paper and ink. However, if they would just print it on softer and absorbent stock and put it on rolls, it might have some intrinsic value if we run out of toilet paper."
All eyes may be on Greece right now, but in reality, the economic malaise is widespread across the continent. It’s clear that Greece is not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. The real problem is that every one of these nations has violated the universal law of prosperity: produce more than you consume. This is the way it works in nature, and for individuals.
This seemingly inexhaustible credit line is now drying up, with severely negative consequences for oil producers with debt that's coming due. The row of dominoes swaying unsteadily in these stiff winds won't take much to topple.
The latest confirmation that the Trump "nightmare" is causing not only sleepless nights but also panic attacks for a GOP that is scrambling to respond to the Donald's juggernaut is not only open attempts at caricature, which however merely feed Trump's ego and push him to troll his accusers even more, but to use the influential Des Moines Register, Iowa's largest newspaper and a critical voice when it comes to endorsing, or panning, presidential candidates in this first caucus state, to call on Donald Trump to drop out of the 2016 presidential race.
What if Syriza were not just a particularly fluffy breed of miniature Europoodle but actual honest-to-goodness revolutionaries, ready to do whatever it takes? How would they act differently? And what would be the result? Given that the price is so high, perhaps it would be better after all if we just sat quietly, allowed the rich get richer as the poor get poorer, watched listlessly as the environment got completely destroyed by capitalist industrialists in blind pursuit of profit, and eventually curled up, kissed our sweet asses good-bye and died? Good luck selling that idea to young radicalized hotheads who have nothing to lose - except maybe you, if you happen to stand in their way as they change the world!
- Gold claws back ground, European assets lose Greek tarnish (Reuters)
- Greece's Euro Exit Back on the Agenda Next Year, Economists Say (BBG)
- Greece submits bill needed to start rescue talks (Reuters)
- Wall Street Lenders Growing Impatient With U.S. Shale Revolution (BBG)
- Overtime Rules Send Bosses Scrambling (WSJ)
- As Markets Swing, Beijing Steadies Yuan (WSJ)
- Tennessee rampage suspect went to Qatar in 2014 (Reuters)
- Kathryn Dominguez to Be Nominated for Fed Governor (WSJ)
What does an economy do when it no longer produces enough goods to pay its own bills? It “consumes”, meaning it cannibalizes (i.e. consumes) all of the accumulated wealth of that society. And when the “consumer economy” has cannibalized all that wealth? It turns to debt.
If the US economy is truly firing on all four cylinders, then how are events such as the repeat bankruptcy of America's first national supermarket chain, supposed to happen?
"At least 50% of real estate agents have closed down."
"The market is only those who can afford to pay cash."
"Giddy up! The Four Horsemen of Tech", July 17, 2015 - "Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook -- helped push the Nasdaq to an all-time high Friday morning."
"Cramer's Four Horsemen Of Tech" - September 25, 2007 "Apple, Research in Motion, Google and Amazon.com are up 31% as a group since he recommended them back on June 6. Despite the market being down today, each of these four stocks hit new highs."
"The Four Horsemen Of The New Economy" - October 2, 2000 "More than any other collection of companies, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, EMC, and Cisco Systems represent the building blocks of Net business."