According to Jeffrey Miller, "all the conditions for a market crash are in place" but when it happens is anyone's guess and ultimately depends on "how dumb things will get before" central banks finally stop.
"When nervous investors buy VIX ETFs they actually push down the VIX, and confident investors who are short VIX ETFs encourage it to spike. Given that VIX measures often are used to guide the risk that algorithms can take, this seems very contradictory to me. I would use extreme caution when using the VIX as part of any investment process."
When one looks at the actual dynamics within the bookies, an odd divergence emerges: "Although Ladbrokes has received a higher volume of bets to leave the EU, those making a punt on remain were placing higher financially larger" - the average stake on a bet to remain was £450, compared to £75 on a bet to leave."
England’s upcoming vote on June 23rd may be the first of several votes that reveal the deep flaws embedded in the European Union. In particular, Europe’s undercapitalized and overleveraged banks are dangerously exposed to rising political unrest.
The problem, just like last quarter, is that the dramatic drop in guidance has little to do with the company's (once again) sliding stock price, or any of the excuses listed above, and everything to do with the US consumer, who contrary to Wall Street expectations, simply refuses to come out of his shell and spend.
"It would seem to us that the equity outcome in the weighted average view is a lot less positive. There are few S&P 2500 optimists even at 2.5% growth but plenty of S&P 1600 or less pessimists on the negative scenario. Bottom line – one more and pretty much done is unlikely to be as risk positive as recent asset market prices action suggests."
"By some accounts the Fed is stuck in an adverse feedback loop. They want to raise interest rates so they can "reload" their policy ammunition, but the markets won't let them. The chart of the day illustrates this nightmarish merry-go-round: the Fed threatens to hike, markets tank, the Fed delays the hike, the market recovers and the cycle repeats."
The following exercise in truth-seeking is intended to inoculate you from the Big Narrative Lie coming soon to a status quo media megaphone near you, that this resurgence in risk assets is caused by a resurgence in fundamental real-world economic factors. We know you want to believe this is true. It’s unpleasant, 8 years after the crisis, to accept the reality that we are mired in a policy-controlled market.
"The riskiest things are now stocks and other investments perceived to be safe. One of the most popular categories in US investing are low volatility stock funds. But there is no such thing! If you think that a stock like Johnson & Johnson can’t go down, you’re wrong.. If you are waiting for the confirmation of a recession before taking actions to protect your investment portfolio, it will likely be far too late.”
Just days after Fed whisperer Goldman Sachs made its first (of many) revisions to its Fed rate hike schedule, and no longer expects a March rate hike (if still somehow seeing 3 rate hikes in 2016), moments ago Fed mouthpiece Jon Hilsenrath reiterated the Fed's latest favorite catchphrase - that would be "watchfully waiting" for those who haven't paid attention - , and said that today's jobs report leave the Fed in limbo when it comes to the March rate hike decision. More importantly perhaps he adds that "Fed officials were expecting a slowdown." However, when one adds the 105,000 in prior month revisions, was is this big?
China’s stock market is a small, relative matter; the more troubling imbalances lie and remain elsewhere. This change in production profitability is concerning on three fronts: China’s industry persists at only getting worse even though it has already reverted to a state not seen in a decade or more; consumer appearances may seem generally optimistic despite all that but only because industrial activity has yet to fully make adjustments through resources and labor; and financial trends are likely already at the stage of self-reinforcement within and without.
The real enemy of investors is not these fairly routine 10 or 20% downturns. The real enemy is the bear market that is associated with a recession or crisis, the one that knocks your equity block down by 40 or 50%. And actually it isn’t even the depth that is the real enemy. For most investors the enemy is time.
1. who is brave enough to catch a proverbial falling knife? 2. US industrial activity is contracting and the consumer will soon follow 3. the plunge in crude will lead to further cuts in capex and a profit downturn across many industries 4. China’s economy is slowing and the RMB will soon be devalued 5. share prices need to fall further to offer an attractive risk-adjusted return given heightened economic and market risks