... of the 6,657 days since 1965 when the S&P 500 closed up, Friday had the 6,627th worst breadth... the last 12 times this situation occurred, the S&P 500 was lower 3 weeks later each time by an average of 4%. Also of note, for what it is worth, this is the closest to a 52-week high the S&P 500 has ever been on any of the occurrences.
The power, if not necessarily the Truth, resides primarily with the bulls right now or at least it does in certain parts of the market. The NASDAQ broke out last week to new highs but the S&P 500 and even the more speculative Russell 2000 did not. The market’s advance continues to narrow, to concentrate among fewer and fewer names. Bulls will tell you that this is just a pause and the advance will broaden out. And if enough people believe that and there isn’t any convincing reason to sell, they might be right for a while. But at some point the rose colored glasses will come off and someone might wonder aloud why Celgene paid $7 billion for a company with trailing 12 month revenue of $4.5 million. Someone might wonder why Netflix is worth $48 billion and CBS is only worth $27 billion with more than twice the revenue, better margins, a higher ROE and the ability to produce positive cash flow. Until then it’s just a dream within a dream and somebody keeps hitting snooze on the alarm clock.
Having now passed the anniversary of the “rising dollar”, it is interesting to see the related and continued effects on the stock bubble(s). As should be obvious by now, stock buybacks, funded via corporate bonds and loosely categorized C&I loans, are responsible for the post-QE3 nearly uninterrupted rise. Repurchases are forming a separate “liquidity” conduit, indirect leverage if you will, which has already started to fray. Various broader “market” indices have diverged, starting with the Russell 2000 in early 2014 (with the economic slowdown that was supposed to be an anomaly of weather). At the very least it might imply that the central bank paradigm that lasted since the middle of 2012 has greatly eroded or even ended.
What happened in the China stock market is the latest culmination of the slippery slope of governmental and central bank intervention in financial markets.....
While it remains unclear if the Holy Spirit was behind these trades, one thing is for sure: When Charles Erickson's investors opened their recent statements, they said, "Holy $hit!"
Today will almost certainly be the busiest trading day of the year, as the Russell indexes go through their annual rebalancing/reconstitution. But, as ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes, Friday’s close will be the end of a trade that began almost 2 months ago, as traders began handicapping which equities would be included for the first time or swapped between various Russell indices. Since the beginning of May, for example, the stocks that will be added to the Russell 2000 are up 11%, and those being deleted from the same index are down 2% over the same time period. In short, for one day – and this is the day - every U.S. equity market participant, no matter what their investment mandate, needs to think like a trader. Throw in a little Greek drama going into the weekend, and it could be quite a day...
European shares remain higher, close to intraday highs, with the autos and travel & leisure sectors outperforming and basic resources, utilities underperforming. Meeting of finance officials to reach a deal over Greek aid ended in frustration, forcing leaders to call for an emergency summit for Monday. ECB plans to hold an emergency session of its Governing Council on Friday to discuss a deterioration in liquidity at Greek banks, three people familiar said. German airwave auction raises $5.7b to top 2010 sale. Bank of Japan leaves monetary policy unchanged as forecast. Shanghai Composite Index capped its worst weekly decline in seven years.
The S&P 500 dropped briefly below 2,100 testing its 50-day moving-average and the Russell 2000 and S&P MidCap 400 both broke below their 50-day moving-averages. But remember, Greece is irrelevant and any correction is a healthy buying opportunity...
What happens if the Fed actually stop reinvesting TSY holdings after they reach lift-off? Net supply will on the private market will increase accordingly and market volatility will force the FOMC to reassess their fleeting exit strategy...again
As measured by the Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX), volatility expectations for the small cap index have only been this low a couple of times since its inception in 2006. Of course, volatility expectations can always go even lower. Looking historically, though, the rubber band is essentially as stretched to the down side as it has ever been. Therefore, if the RVX continues lower, it would be pushing a new lower bound on its all-time chart.
"We were sellers Monday, May 4th of the Russell and we were buyers of the S&P, for the chart of the former is ominously bearish while the chart of the latter is interestingly bullish. We’ve done equal dollar sums on both sides of the trade and for now we’ll not wish to see the trade more 2% against us. As we wrote the June Russell 2000 was trading 1222 and the June S&P was trading 2099.50. This morning they are 1253.50 and 2119.50 respectively, so we are now behind by 2.6% on the Russell and are ahead by 1.0% on the S&P. For now we shall sit tight but we are swiftly approaching our stop point, which is a 2% loss."
With over $4 trillion invested in Russell index-linked products, this year’s rebalance combined with the “Will they/won’t they” Fed rate increase debate could make for an eventful start to summer.
After a test of the breakout level in March, the index moved to new highs again in April. However, over the last few weeks, the VLG’s triple top breakout has shown initial signs of cracking.
Since yesterday's fake AVP tender offer was nothing but a targeted attempt to force a short squeeze in one of the market's most shorted stocks, the best way to be positioned for future such criminal activity is to go long precisely the most shorted stocks, the names which in any other universe would be the first to crash, burn and file bankruptcy, but in this parallel centrally-planned universe may just be the biggest winners.