While we sarcastically pointed out back in 2013 that with the Fed (and now every other central bank) as the market's Chief Risk Officer, there is no longer a need for anyone to do fundamental analysis, this has not only come true but the outcome is now is far worse. Because it confirms what we have said all along: not only is there no market left aside from what Central Banks decide will happen to "risk assets" on any given day, but the smart money- both hedge and mutual funds - have now completely lost the plot.
The new normal sure is strange: with the S&P flirting with all time highs, not to mention staging another dramatic V-shaped comeback from the post-Brexit crash which saw S&P futures trade limit down a week ago, investors keep on selling. According to Lipper data, U.S.-based stock mutual funds, which are held by retail mom-and-pop investors, posted cash withdrawals of $2.8 billion over the weekly period ended Wednesday; this was the 16th consecutive week of outflows.
BofA's "smart money" clients returned to selling US stocks last week, after a week of net buying. They have been sellers in 19 of the last 20 wks. Net sales soared to $3.8bn last week - the largest since mid-April, with selling led by institutional clients. Net sales of single stocks were broad-based across sectors; ETFs, meanwhile, saw net buying.
Fisher’s most telling comment came during the Q&A session when he was asked how his personal portfolio was positioned. Fisher’s response: “In the fetal position.” Moreover, he also said that “all my very rich friends are hoarding cash.”
A relentless stream of selling by Bank of America's "smart money" clients stretching for over 4 straight months, or 18 consecutive weeks, is finally over. As BofA's Jill Carey Hall reports, last week, during which the S&P 500 was flat from the prior week, BofAML clients were net buyers of US stocks for the first time in 19 weeks, breaking a record-long selling streak that began in mid-January.
Following a brief surge of hedge fund closure announcements in late 2015 and early 2016, there had been a lull in hedge fund shutterings in recent months, as the smart money community had benefited from the dramatic jump in the S&P500 to just shy of all time highs. That changed moments ago when Reuters reported that hedge fund Pine River Capital Management is closing its Pine River Fixed Income fund and returning roughly $1.6 billion in assets to investors just two months after Steve Kuhn, one of the fund's co-managers, left the firm.
In the past month, not a day has passed without some major sellside firm (yes, that also now includes traditional bull Goldman Sachs) releasing its bearish take on deteriorating fundamentals, and urging clients to not only not buy the rally but sell into it (and as both retail and "smart money" flows indicate, this advice ha been heeded). Today it's JPM's turn. In the latest note is out of JPM's Mislav Matejka, the equity strategist presents five reasons why "upside for stocks is limited" due to numerous reasons but mostly because "global activity momentum is failing to pick up."