In August, hedge funds blamed risk-parity funds for their dramatic underperformance. In September, the underperformance continued however this time, with risk-parity funds supposedly buying stocks, one can't blame them. To be sure, some such as Ackman whose 20 million shares of Valeant are hurting badly, will blame the Martin Shkrelis of the world for the biggest biotech tumble in years, but others may have to bite the bullet and admit it is their own lack of ability to come up with alpha in a centrally-planned "market" that is the reason.
Since the 2008 crash there has been much talk about how the fundamentals have not been dealt with and the fact that the can has only been kicked down the road. Political mavericks and commentators such as Ron Paul have frequently pointed out that nothing has really changed and that we are heading for even bigger disasters ahead if we continue to play ostrich... The truth is that we never left the economic downturn – we are currently in a period of manipulation that’s sole purpose is to mask the fact that there has not been a boom (or recovery if you like) to trigger the next bust.
Fed credibility questioned and Yellen sick - Palladium surges 8% - Russia and central banks buy gold - Smart money rebalancing and selling overvalued assets to buy depressed assets especially silver
The only other time the S&P 500 Hedgers’ net long position exceeded 60,000 contracts was... September 25-October 9, 2007. We may or may not have to remind you that October 9, 2007 marked the all-time high in the S&P 500 to that point – and for 6 years to follow. Obviously, this was decidedly NOT a well-timed long extreme.
"I do believe that markets ultimately prevail. I do believe that supply and demand will ultimately prevail. I’m confident that we will see that occur... The fact there are some very substantial new players coming into the sector and taking positions in gold and silver... I think that’s showing that things will change and I think things are in the works as we speak."
Presenting Exhibit A: Goldman's latest YTD performance breakdown by strategy basket. It reveals is that far from suffering even the most modest correction, the "Hedge Fund Hotel" strategy (aka the most concentrated holdings), is massively outperforming not only the broader market, but has returned double the second most profitable strategy - investing in companies with high revenue growth. In a world in which the Fed just saw its credibility crushed, expect this to change shortly.
If anyone has not noticed, the market has changed from rewarding buying the dips to rewarding selling the blips. Selling the blips is how smart money leaves markets. Smart money is also big money. There is too much of it to fit through the exit door at the same time. That is why market crashes rarely occur in a day (August of 1987 was an exception) or even short periods like a month. Even the Great Depression took multiple years for the stock market to reach its ultimate bottom.
Why are the global elite buying extremely remote compounds that come with their own private airstrips in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the planet? And why did they start dumping stocks like crazy earlier this year? Do they know something that the rest of us don’t?
Last week’s volatility to the downside was entirely predictable, as the first leg down during this ongoing market crash reached the correction stage of 11%. The technical bounce was a given, as the 30 year old HFT MBAs on Wall Street have been trained like rats to BTFD. In their lemming like minds, it has worked for the last six years of this Federal Reserve created “bull market”, so why wouldn’t it work now. Last week was their first lesson in why it doesn’t work during bear markets, and we’ve entered a bear market. John Hussman seems amused at the shallowness of the arguments by Wall Street shills and CNBC cheerleaders about the future of the stock market in his weekly letter. After this modest pullback from all-time highs, the S&P 500 is still overvalued by 92%...
Llast week, during which the S&P 500 was up 0.9% as the market rebounded off of Tuesday’s lows, BofAML clients were net buyers of $5.6bn of US stocks—the biggest inflow in our data history (since ’08) following five weeks of selling. The last time flows were close to these levels was during the (less extreme) volatility in early January of this year, as well as following the Tech/Biotech sell-off in early 2014 (see chart below). Net buying last week was broad based—while no client group saw record flows relative to its own history, hedge funds, institutional clients and private clients were all big net buyers which led to record inflows when combined.
If anyone was curious why the Fear and Greed index is at 13 (up from 5) despite the biggest 2-day surge in the Dow Jones ever, the answer is very simple: nobody believes the "broken market "any more, as confirmed by the biggest weekly equity outflow on record.
Following the biggest (and only) market correction in years, the biggest weekly surge in the VIX ever, the second wholesale market flash crash in history coupled with the first ever limit down trade in the Nasdaq and the E-Mini, not to mention the biggest intraday bearish reversal since Lehman, it would appear that the "smart money" actually was aptly named.
While the "hedge fund" hotel strategy works on the way up, when everyone makes roughly the same profits, it is on the way down when these hedge fund hotels become "Hotel California" - hedge funds can check out, and sometimes they can even leave... with massive losses. According to a Bloomberg analysis, many of these hedge fund hotel stocks, or companies where hedge funds hold a combined stake of at least 25%, suffered declines of as much as 42 percent in the recent stock market rout.
As asset bubbles are in the way of the Fed’s policy, a decline in stock prices removes the equity market bubble and enables the Fed to print more money and start the process up again. On the other hand, the stock market decline could indicate that the players in the market have comprehended that the stock market is an artificially inflated bubble that has no real basis. Once the psychology is destroyed, flight sets in.
Paging Carl Icahn... AAPL shares just broke below $100 in the pre-open, the lowest since late October.