University Of Michigan
The United States government deliberately hid “the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history,” according to experts and an in-depth investigation by NBC4 Southern California. Whistleblowers have also come forward to expose the little-known catastrophe, which occurred north of Los Angeles in 1959 and leaked over 300 times the allowable amount of radiation into surrounding neighborhoods. That contamination is now linked to up to a 60% increase in cancer in the area, but the government still refuses to acknowledge its colossal mistake.
It was all about China once again, where following a report of a historic layoff in which China's second biggest coal producer Longmay Group fired an unprecedented 100,000 or 40% of its workforce, overnight we got the latest industrial profits figure which plunging -8.8% Y/Y was the biggest drop since at least 2011, and which the National Bureau of Statistics attributed to "exchange rate losses, weak stock markets, falling industrial goods prices as well as a bigger rise in costs than increases in revenue." In not so many words: a "hard-landing."
The market, which clearly ignored the glaring contradictions in Yellen's speech which said that overseas events should not affect the Fed's policy path just a week after the Fed statement admitted it is "monitoring developments abroad", and also ignored Yellen explicit hint that NIRP is coming (only the size is unclear), and focused on the one thing it wanted to hear: a call to buy the all-critical USDJPY carry pair - because more dollar strength apparently is what the revenue and earnings recessioning S&P500 needs - which after trading around 120 in the past few days, had a 100 pip breakout overnight, hitting 121 just around 5am, in the process pushing US equity futures some 25 points higher at last check.
A federal shutdown due to a funding lapse looks no less likely than it did two weeks ago, and Goldman Sachs believes the probability is nearly 50%. The Senate is expected to begin voting later this week on a funding extension, but the House looks unlikely to act until shortly before the September 30 deadline. The following attempts to answer the main questions surrounding the shutdown, debt limit deadlines, and ramifications...
The last time September Retail Sales growth was this weak was 2009, limping aimlessly out of the 'Great Recession'. With a mere 0.9% year-over-year growth, Johnson-Redbook data seems to confirm what Reuters reports is looming - the weakest U.S. holiday sales season for retailers since the recession. Consultancy firm AlixPartners expects sales to grow 2.8-3.4% during the November-December shopping period compared with 4.4% in 2014, based on analyzing consumer spending trends so far this year, noting (myth-busting for permabulls) dollars saved at the pump are being directed to personal savings or on non-retail activities.
In the week following the Fed's admission it is not only market-driven but now has a 4th mandate, which is to respond to China's hard landing on a day-to-day basis, US macro events mecrifully slow down to give everyone a chance to digest what the Fed just did. Here are the highlights.
One survey recently recorded the highest level of expectations for a market rally in its history. If indeed a cyclical top in stocks has been formed, or is in the process of forming, this data series will likely require either a greater crash or, more likely, much more time to fully correct its bullish excess. We would not be surprised if such a scenario unfolded. If that’s the case, you’ll really see what a hated market looks like.
While any moves in the US stock market ahead of Thursday are largely irrelevant, as only Yellen's statement in 4 days will unleash epic algo buying or short covering (yes, according to JPM the Fed statement is bullish no matter what), it is what happened in China that is concerning, because while we had expected Chinese stocks to go nowhere in particular now that index future trading volumes have plunged by 99% or perhaps rise on hopes of even more easing after the latest terrible economic data, the Shanghai Composite dropped 2.7%, but it was the retail darling Shenzhen Composite which tumbled 6.7% - its worst selloff since August 25, while China's Nasdaq, the ChiNext crashed -7.5%.
Perhaps after intervening every single day in the past week (remember that FT piece saying the PBOC would no longer directly buy stocks... good times) in either the stock or the FX (both on and offshore) market, China needed a day off; perhaps even the algos got tired of constantly spoofing the E-mini and inciting momentum ignition, but for whatever reason the overnight session has been oddly uneventful, with no ES halts so far, few USDJPY surges (then again those come just before the US open), and even less violent CNY or CNH moves, leading to virtually unchanged markets in Japan (small red) and China (small green). And while the initial tone in Europe has been modestly "risk off", it is nothing in comparison to the massive gyrations that have become a stape in the past few weeks.
Chinese Stocks Surge Then Tumble At The Close, Stun Market News Algos; Futures Levitate On Back Of USDJPYSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/07/2015 07:50 -0400
Chinese stocks opened with a bang, and as we previously noted soared higher at the open after China's long 4-day holiday weekend, which however subsequently slowly (but very surely) fizzled, eating away at the hope that the 3-day drop in the Shanghai Composite would finally come to an end following comments from PBOC governor Zhou that the recent rout in Chinese stocks is almost over, and result in a relief rally in Europe and the US. Alas, all that was promptly swept away at the end of trading in China when the Shanghai Composite tumbled at close of trading to confirm just how unpleasant a "death cross" is coupled with loss of central bank control, and to push the Shanghai Composite down 2.5% for the day and 3.4% for the year.
Yesterday, the FT triumphantly proclaimed: "Beijing abandons large-scale share purchases", and that instead of manipulating stocks directly as China did last week on Thursday and Friday, China would instead focus on punishing sellers, shorters, and various other entities. We snickered, especially after the Shanghai Composite opened down 2% and dropped as low as 4% overnight. Just a few hours later we found out that our cynical skepticism was again spot on: the moment the afternoon trading session opened, the "National Team's" favorite plunge protection trade, the SSE 50 index of biggest companies, went super-bid and ramped from a low of 2071 to close 140 points higher, ending trading with a last minute government-facilitated surge, and pushing the Composite just 0.8% lower after trading down as much as -4.0%.
Overnight's start attraction was as usual China's stock market, where trading was generally less dramatic than Thursday's furious last hour engineered ramp, as stocks rose modestly off the open only to see a bout of buying throughout the entire afternoon session, closing 4.8% higher, and bringing the gain over the last two days to over 10%. This happens as China dumped a boatload of US paper to push the CNY higher the most since March, strengthening from 6.4053 to 6.3986, even as Chinese industrial profits tumbled 2.9% from last year: this in a country that still represents its GDP is rising by 7%. Expect much more Yuan devaluation in the coming weeks.
We warned on Friday, after last week's China rout, that the market is getting ahead of itself with its expectation of a RRR-cut by China as large as 100 bps. "The risk is that there isn't one." We were spot on, because not only was there no RRR cut, but Chinese stocks plunged, with the composite tumbling as much a 9% at one point, the most since 1996 when it dropped 9.4% in a single session. The session, as profile overnight was brutal, with about 2000 stocks trading by the -10% limit down, and other markets not doing any better: CSI 300 -8.8%, ChiNext -8.1%, Shenzhen Composite -7.7%. This was the biggest Chinese rout since 2007.
It was a relatively quiet weekend out of China, where FX warfare has taken a back seat to evaluating the full damage from the Tianjin explosion which as we reported on Saturday has prompted the evacuation of a 3 km radius around the blast zone, and instead it was Japan that featured prominently in Sunday's headlines after its Q2 GDP tumbled by 1.6% (a number which would have been far worse had Japan used a correct deflator), and is now halfway to its fifth recession in the past 6 year, underscoring Abenomics complete success in desrtoying Japan's economy just to get a few rich people richer. Of course, economic disintegration is great news for stocks, and courtesy of the latest Yen collapse driven by the bad GDP data which has raised the likelihood of even more Japanese QE, the Nikkei closed 100 points, or 0.5% higher.
After a week of relentless FX volatility, spilling over out of China and into all other countries, and asset products, it was as if the market decided to take a time-out overnight, assisted by the PBOC which after three days of record devaluations finally revalued the Yuan stronger fractionally by 0.05% to 6.3975. And then, as a parting gift perhaps, just as the market was about to close again, the Chinese central bank intervened sending the Onshore Yuan, spiking to a level of 6.3912 as of this writing, notably stronger than the official fixing for the second day in a row. In fact the biggest news out of China overnight is that contrary to expectations, the PBOC once again "added" to its gold holdings, boosting its official gold by 610,000 ounces, or 19 tons, to 1,677 tones.