The selling is because the dominant Common Knowledge regarding energy sector stocks is that they move up and down with the price of oil. Common Knowledge is not what everyone knows; that’s the consensus. Common Knowledge is what everyone knows that everyone knows, and it’s the driving force behind the Game of Sentiment. Everyone knows that everyone knows energy stocks are tied to oil prices, we just took another sharp leg down in oil prices, and so energy stocks must be sold. The fact that energy stocks are down “proves” the relationship (a wonderful example of Soros’s concept of reflexivity), which adds to the selling. The reality (not that it matters) is that energy stocks are barely correlated with the price of oil, and their correlation with each other is barely driven by oil prices. What’s really driving this across-the-board decline is the fact that “long energy” has become a very crowded trade.
After 4 months of missed expectations, US Construction Spending rose 1.1% in October, beating the 0.6% expectations, and the highest MoM since May 2014. Great news... the recovery is back, right? Scratch barely below the surface of this algo-loving headline though and the unsustainable reality peaks out. US Government construction spending spiked 19.3% in October, the most since 2006... seems like we need to dig some holes and fill them in again...
"These idiots cannot grasp that this is reversing the US economy into isolationism and is paving the road for China to take the lead. It is time to turn off the lights."
Since 2006,MRAPs, helicopters, machine guns, and night-vision-goggle have been increasingly evident across America as the good ol' yankee copper morphs into a full-metal-jacket-looking killer (even as the FBI admits the threats to police have not escalated as much as the media would like). So it isjust 'lucky' that Ferguson has reignited a narrative that enables President Obama "to discuss federal programs and funding that provide equipment to the state and local enforcement agencies," in a series of meetings today at The White House. We suspect funding will increase (for your own protection) and a new SWATification Tzar will be unveiled.
"As was true at the 2000 and 2007 extremes, Wall Street is quite measurably out of its mind. There’s clear evidence that valuations have little short-term impact provided that risk-aversion is in retreat (which can be read out of market internals and credit spreads, which are now going the wrong way). There’s no evidence, however, that the historical relationship between valuations and longer-term returns has weakened at all. Yet somehow the awful completion of this cycle will be just as surprising as it was the last two times around – not to mention every other time in history that reliable valuation measures were similarly extreme. Honestly, you’ve all gone mad."
As of Q3, when adding the consensus number for Q4 EPS, we find that while non-GAAP EPS is set to rise by a healthy 6.6%, real rarnings, as in GAAP EPS, will actually decline by 1.3% in 2014, meaning that for yet another year, the only upside in stocks has been due to - thank you Fed - multiples expansion.
The scripted quality of the Ferguson events seemed as formally predictable as an 1856 minstrel show, and the parallel is worth reflecting on because the nation appears determined to explode again in some kind of a civil war — bearing in mind Karl Marx’s advisory that “history repeats, first as tragedy, then farce.” As is the case with many show-biz extravaganza’s of our time the script had many authors. A week after the grand jury decision and the riot that followed, the Michael Brown incident is already disappearing down the national memory hole. Why? Mainly because anyway you cut it Michael Brown was a poor candidate for martyrdom.
A recently published FBI report accidentally proves that while the police claim cops face growing threats from rowdy populations – like in Ferguson – the opposite is true. The governemnt places a higher priority on their own than on the lives of those they claim to “serve,” “protect,” and “work for.” It cares more about exonerating the police of their crimes than providing justice to those they abuse. There is no justice when the criminal is the cop.
The big selloff in 2015 will come from housing and housing-related investments as the marginal cost of capital rises through regulation and through “margin calls” on banks as their profit-to-GDP ratios grow too high for the economy to function properly. The dividend society is here and the true manifestation of Japanisation is not a future event but a thing we are living in right now…
The oil industry is no longer what it once was, it’s not even a normal industry anymore. Oil companies sell assets and borrow heavily, then buy back their own stock and pay out big dividends. What kind of business model is that? Well, not the kind that can survive a 40% cut in revenue for long. Cheap oil a boon for the economy? You might want to give that some thought.
There’s probably no other place more enthralled with its own state of being today than Silicon Valley. Now probably more than ever the tech capital just might be believing their own hype more now, than in the “glory days” of the 90’s.
The precipitous decline in the price of oil is perhaps one of the most bearish macro developments this year. We believe we are entering a “new oil normal,” where oil prices stay lower for longer. While we highlighted the risk of a near-term decline in the oil price in our July newsletter, we failed to adjust our portfolio sufficiently to reflect such a scenario. This month we identify the major implications of our revised energy thesis. The reason oil prices started sliding in June can be explained by record growth in US production, sputtering demand from Europe and China, and an unwind of the Middle East geopolitical risk premium. The world oil market, which consumes 92 million barrels a day, currently has one million barrels more than it needs.... Large energy companies are sitting on a great deal of cash which cushions the blow from a weak pricing environment in the short-term. It is still important to keep in mind, however, that most big oil projects have been planned around the notion that oil would stay above $100, which no longer seems likely.
Here are a couple of reasons why Keynesian economists are truly a menace in today’s bubble ridden and debt-impaled world. It seems that both Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff and Princeton’s Paul Krugman are on the global advice circuit, peddling what amounts to sheer snake oil to desperate politicians and policy-makers who have already buried themselves - so far to no avail - in unprecedented waves of fiscal and monetary “stimulus”.
What was truly notable in Weidmann's statement is his open jab at the stupidity of Keynesian economics itself. To wit from Bloomberg: ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann says at event in Berlin that consumer prices in euro area “are strongly influenced by the energy prices, which are at the moment experiencing a positive supply shock.” The punchline: "There’s a stimulant effect coming from the energy prices - it’s like a mini stimulus package." But wait a minute, isn't deflation under Keynesian voodoonomics, the biggest bogeyman imaginable? It turns out deflation is only bad when it impacts... the S&P 500.
As we prepare for the annual food fest, and post-Thanksgiving tryptophan-induced food coma; we thought this weekend's reading list should be a bit of a smorgasbord of interesting topics to stimulate your brain cells between naps and football.