Whether it is the lack of any favorable news out of China (in fact, quite the contrary), which the BTFDers on Friday were praying for, or the worsening of the global Ebola pandemic with not only a second confirmed case hitting Texas but panicky reports of Ebola infections from Boston all the way to Los Angeles, or simply the lack of any words of encouragement from the Fed, the Friday rout has continued into the early Sunday night trading, and as of moments ago, the December E-mini future dropped to 1880.5 taking out the August lows, and sliding to levels last seen in May.
"Present conditions create an urgency to examine all risk exposures. Once overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes are joined by deterioration in market internals and trend-uniformity, one finds a narrow set comprising less than 5% of history that contains little but abrupt air-pockets, free-falls, and crashes."
One would think that after last week's market rout, the worst in years, that Goldman clients would have just one question: why just a month after you, chief Goldman strategist David Kostin said to "Buy Stocks Because Hedge Funds Suck; Also Chase Momentum And Beta", are stocks crashing? No really: this is literally what Kostin said in the first days of September: "investors should buy stocks which should benefit from a combination of beta, momentum, and popularity as funds attempt to remedy their weak YTD performance heading into late 2014." Turns out frontrunning the world's most overpaid money losers wasn't such a great strategy after all. In any event, that is not what Goldman's clients are asking. Instead as David Kostin informs us in his weekly letter to Jim Hanson's beloved creations, "every client inquiry focused on the same four topics: global growth, FX, oil, and small-caps."
Investors - at least the carbon-based variety not the vacuum tube-driven algos, assuming there are any left - are in a state of complete shock!
The S&P swung 44 points from low-to-high today as panic-buying lifted stocks vertically on the back of an utter VIXtermination (from over 18 to under 15). Nasdaq surged over 2.5% from its lows before FOMC Minutes - the biggest swing since May 2012 (and biggest daily gains in a year). 10Y Yields closed at 2.33% (2.3249% lows) - the lowest since June 2013. The TSY curve steepened dramatically post-FOMC with 5Y now -18bps on the week and 30Y -7bps. The Dollar fell for the 3rd day in a row (-1.6%) - its biggest such drop in 15 months. Initial weakness in commodities was wiped away post-FOMC leaving Silver +3.3% on the week (Gold +2.3%). Oil saw no bounce closing at April 2013 lows (WTI below $87.50). The S&P and Dow managed to get to green on the week in the last few minutes (only the S&P held it into close). So in summary: FOMC Minutes sent Stocks Up, Bonds Up, and Gold & Silver Up; VIX down, USD down, and Oil down.
Stocks close not "off the lows"
Global Equities In "Sea Of Red" After German Industrial Data Horror, Hints Japan May Give Up On Weak YenSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/07/2014 06:44 -0400
While the economic data, especially out of Europe, just keeps getting worse by the day, with the latest confirmation that Europe is now officially in a triple-dip recession coming out of Germany and the previously observed collapse in Industrial Production which tumbled the most since February 2009, it was once again the Dollar and especially the New Normal favorite currency, the Yen, that was in everyone's sights overnight, when it first jumped to 109.20 only to slide shortly after midnight eastern, when Abe repeated once again that a plunging Yen is hurting small companies and consumers - and to think it only took him 2 years to read what we said would happen in late 2012 - but also the BOJ minutes which did not reveal any addition easing, which apparently disappointed algos and triggered USDJPY slel programs, pushing the USDJPY 80 pips lower to 108.40.
Despite a low-volume melt-up in stocks off yesterday's European close lows, US equities closed lower on the week with small caps once again the laggards. Even as stocks closed red, the costs of protection in credit and equity markets tumbled as the last 2 days volumeless liftathon in stocks took place against the background of very modest Treasury selling - this has the stench of high-yield bond exposure being significantly reduced (and synthetic hedges being lifted) - something we saw Wednesday into the close. The USDollar rose the most in 15 months today (up for the 12th week in a row - longest streak since Bretton Woods) led by Cable and EUR weakness. Jobs data losses in bonds today were largely reversed with TSY yields ending the week down 7-9bps. Commodities were ugly with silver and oil (under $90) joined at the hip and gold closing below $1200 for first time this year. The Russell 2000 closed lower for the 5th week in a row, the worst streak since Aug 2011.
Have the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average seen their highs for the year? At this point in 2014, it’s probably a coin toss. There are several factors in favor of a further rally, to be sure. Corporate profits are still robust, revenue expectations are modest, and long term interest rates remain equity-friendly. On the flip side of the U.S. equity market coin: long term valuations are toppy, plenty of other markets (commodities, bonds) seem to signal an impending global recession, and a host of geopolitical concerns now seem to be hitting a full boil. Also, let’s not forget that the Russell 2000 peaked in, oh, March (1209) and July (1208) and is down 8.8% from that last high. By that measure, equities are already rolling over. It is true that markets climb a wall of worry. Until it falls on them.
In is only fitting that a week that has been characterized by deteriorating macroeconomic data, and abysmal European data, would conclude with yet another macro disappointment in the form of Markit's sentiment surveys, for non-manufacturing/service (and composite) PMIs in Europe which missed almost entirely across the board, with Spain down from 58.1 to 55.8 (exp. 57.0), Italy down from 49.8 to 48.8 (exp. 49.8), France down from 49.4 to 48.4 (exp. 49.4), and in fact only Russia (!) and Germany rising, with the latter growing from 55.4 to 55.7, above the 55.4 expected, which however hardly compensates for the contractionary manufacturing PMI reported earlier this week. As a result, the Composite Eurozone PMI down from 52.3 to 52.0, missing expectations, as only Germany saw a service PMI increase. And yet, despite or rather thanks to this ongoing economic weakness, futures have ignored all the negative and at last check were higher by 9 points, or just over 0.4%, as the algos appear to have reconsidered Draghi's quite explicit words, and seem to be convinced that his lack of willingness to commit is merely "pent up" commitment for a future ECB meeting. That or, more likely just another short squeeze especially with the "all important" non-farm payrolls number due out in just over 2 hours, which for the past 24 hours has been hyped up as sure to bounce strongly from the very disappointing, sub-200K August print.
An ugly and very heavy volume flush into the European close was followed by the kind of miraculous v-shaped low volume recovery traders have become used to in US equity markets. Having broken below several key technical levels, high beta Russell and Trannies soared (fortgetful it seems that Europe will once again open for business in about 8 hours) to close comfortably in the green on the day. VIX was rammed lower (under 16) to support the exuberance along with EURJPY and AUDJPY. The USDollar faded to close unchanged on the week. Gold flatlined while silver slipped. Oil collapsed early on only to v-shape recover to close modestly higher on the day. Treasury yields bounced 3-5bps higher (after yesterday's huge plunge) but remain 7-10bps down on the week. By the close, The Russell 2000 had its best day in 6 weeks and the S&P's buying-panic scramble to perfectly unchanged - miraculously avoiding the 4-day losing streak not seen since Sept 2013.
From a 40%-plus year-over-year in late Dec 2013, the Russell 2000 small-caps index has just passed a crucial milestone to trade negative year-over-year. This is the first time since mid-2012 that small-caps have been under-water year-over-year and what saved them then was the promise of QE4EVA...
While we already documented the crash in Japanese stocks earlier, the biggest market development overnight is the plunge in crude, with both Brent and WTI plunging, the latter sliding under $90 for the first time in 17 months, extending yesterday's selloff after Saudi Aramco cut Arab Light OSP in Asia to 2008 levels. Brent drops to lowest since June 2012. This also confirms that the global slowdown whose can is kicked every so often in a new bout of money printing, is arriving fast. That, and the imminent crackdown on today's Hong Kong protest will likely be the biggest stories of the day, even as the spread of Ebola to the US is sure to keep everhone on edge.
Well that escalated quickly. It appears "bad-news-is-bad-news" once again as ADP was the only saving grace and was just not bad enough to be good (or good enough to comfort escape-velocity-believers). For the 3rd day in a row, stocks saw an opening dump, European close pump, afternoon slump - this time led lower by Trannies (dragged lower by Ebola-scared airlines) down 2.5% (worst in 8 months). The Dow is rapidly approaching unch for the year. Treasury yields collapsed today (2Y -4bps, 30Y -9bps) with 7Y -13bps on the week. 10Y Yield closed at 2.43% with its biggest day move in 13 months. Gold rose modestly as silver and WTI crude plunged once again post-EU close. The USDdollar flatlined amid the carnage in bonds, stocks, and commodities. Lots of potential catalysts for today's weakness but desk chatter about Goldman questioning US growth was notable (as they closed out their growth basket). The Russell 2000 'closed' in 10% correction.