...while the media gets overly excited about monthly job growth, the reality is that job growth has been little more than just a function of overall population growth. This isn't something the fosters long-term economic expansions that generate higher levels of prosperity... and if you think low interest rates necessitate high stock prices, that wasn't the case in the 1940s when interest rates were low and stock prices were below their long-term average relative to past earnings.
Having bounced midweek on 'hope' of a deal and 'faith' in Draghi's containment, European stock markets are tumbling back to the post-Greferendum lows of Tuesday. Italy and Spain are now down 5.5 to 6% and as the European close nears - and the realization thanks to The IMF that the vote is a simple Yes/No to debt haircuts - stocks are being sold and volatility is picking up. Bond spreads are leaking higher but it is clear that what Draghi really 'contained' was EURUSD which remains only marginally lower on the week.
European risk has never traded at such an extreme level relative to US risk... ever. But when looking for the best bang for your Greferendum-trading buck - are you better off buying higher vol in Europe or lower US vol? Or, as Goldman Sachs explains below, what are the highest payouts on bets for a rebound...
The Greece impasse set to culminate on Sunday continues to have a massive impact on at least one stock market, unfortunately it is the wrong one, located on a continent which is mostly irrelevant to the future of the Greek people (unless that whole AIIB bailout does take place of course). We are, of course, talking about China which as noted earlier, started off horribly, plunging over 7% with over 1000 stocks hitting 10% limit down, then in the afternoon session mysteriously recovering all losses and even trading slightly higher on the day, before the late selling returned once more, and the Shanghai Composite plunged to close down 5.8%: an unimaginable 20% total roundtrip move!
It appears the sovereign peoples of Europe would not go gently into a Federal States of Europe night. Investors need to prepare for the inevitable political solution: referendums across Europe on the constitution of the Federal States of Europe needed to sustain the Euro. Events this weekend will trigger the search for the democratic legitimacy for the single currency and the centralised constitution it requires... or the demise of the unelected 'king Juncker' and 'queen Lagarde' of the Federal States of Europe.
There are two narratives, according to WSJ's Fed whisperer Jon Hilsenrath, that need to be considered when judging the Fed's next steps. First is, the economy stumbled in Q1 but everything will be awesome going forward (so we should hike rates); and a second newer narrative is the turmoil overseas which could be exaggerated by Fed actions. Hilsenrath hints today that despite the miss in jobs data, it remains above 200,000 and "suggests the U.S. economy finished the first half of the year with a solid foundation to weather turbulence from overseas," giving The Fed room to hike.
Despite more liquidity injections (CNY35 billion 7day RevRepo), archaic deals for brokerages to manipulate their balance sheets, and local reporters noting China's propaganda ministry ordering state media to publish only positive opinions about the stock market, not to criticize, Chinese stocks are in red once again. The record streak of margin debt declines continues and although futures were driven up early on, any strength has been sold into as unwinds wreak havoc on the ponzi wealth creation scheme. All major indices are in the red with Shenzhen (home of the 500%-club) the worst, down around 2% (though as CNBC would say "off the lows").
We warned previously that when (not if) the market crashes next, The Fed is going to need a scapegoat (other than British traders living at home with their parents) and judging by The Fed's Lael Brainard's comments today, high-frequency-traders (HFT) are in the crosshairs. Crucially, Brainard warns that HFT "may amplify market shocks," and The Fed is "studying possible changes in liquidity resilience."
With all eyes on Greece it would seem another crisis relating to unpayable debt is brewing in the Caribbean. The governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla, has warned that the island is unable to pay its debts of $72 billion.
As the shortened week continues ahead of tomorrow's payrolls print, and amid chaotic Greek headline-hockey, ADP and Challenger jobs data gives us a glimpse of what volatility lies ahead. After jumping a little last month, but remaining in weak territory, ADP printed 237k for June (beating expectations of +217.5k) in line with estimates for nonfarm payrolls. This is the best print since Dec 2014 but is dominated by small businesses with large companies lagging. Job gains were dominated by Services (+225k) with goods-producing fiorms gaining a mere 12k jobs. This comes after Challenger-Gray showed job cuts increasing 42.7% YoY in June and are at the highest level for June since 2009.
So much going on that by the time an article is prepared, everything has changed and it has to be scarpped. But, in any event, here is an attempt to summarize all that has happened in another turbulent overnight session.
The Greek D-(efault) day has arrived, and with it so has quarter-end window dressing for many underwater hedge funds (recall the S&P is now red for the 2015) which means the rumor mill today will be off the charts. And sure enough, less than an hour ago, futures exploded higher as did the EURUSD, following another "report/rumor" of a last minute detente between Greece and the Troika when Greek Ekahtimerini said that "Tsipras is reconsidering the last-ditch offer made by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, sources have told Kathimerini."
On Friday morning, at around midnight PDT, the price of silver had a mini crash, dropping more than 10 cents in one second. This is our forensic analysis.
Whether, or not, a Greek exit from the Eurozone or a potential debt default is "the thing" that sparks the next major correction in the markets is unknown. Historically, such a widely "known" event is generally already factored into the markets and has much less of an impact when that event eventually comes to fruition. As Art Cashin suggested this morning: "I think China may be more important than Greece. Stick with the drill – stay wary, alert and very, very nimble."