First sign of disorderly market: widening bid-offer spreads
Second sign: gapping
In extreme cases, dealers stop answering their phones
The probability of The Donald becoming the Republican Presidential nominee has surged up to a record high 85% this week (as the odds of a brokered convention collapse) as a more mild-mannered and "can't we all get along" Trump begins to creep out of the shadows. As the inevitable event looms - no matter what the establishment tries - increasing numbers of #NeverTrump-ers are slowly but surely moving over to what they pictured before as the dark side. The latest, as The Hill reports, is none other than Marco Rubio who said "[Trump's] performance has improved significantly," urging GOP "let’s not ignore the will of the people or they’re going to be angry." Additionally, Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-Tenn.) on Saturday endorsed Donald Trump for president, giving the GOP front-runner his 12th lawmaker endorsement.
“The market does what it should do, just not always when.” – Jesse Livermore
"The riskiest things are now stocks and other investments perceived to be safe. One of the most popular categories in US investing are low volatility stock funds. But there is no such thing! If you think that a stock like Johnson & Johnson can’t go down, you’re wrong.. If you are waiting for the confirmation of a recession before taking actions to protect your investment portfolio, it will likely be far too late.”
We have been warning about China's speculative commodity trading bubble - spewing false signals around the world about the strength of the real economy - and now, as we suggested previously, Chinese authorities have decided to burst yet another bubble they created.Reuters reports that China's Securities regulator has ordered three major commodity exchanges to "control intraday speculation in commodity markets," ordering them to "curb trading for investors with no commodity industry background." Volume has crashed... and just as it did in the equity markets, price will follow.
Coming months will give us a far better clue as to how far the trend is entrenched. All we know right now is that the general investing public, and mainstream media, remain out of the picture.
It's official: as of today the bull market that has been mocked as fake, doomed and history’s most-hated just earned a new title: the second-longest ever. And it only took $14 trillion in central bank liquidity, a global, coordinated central bank "put", central banks purchases of Treasuries, MBS, ETFs and corporate bonds, and nearly 700 rate cuts in the past 7 years to achieve it.
"The result of all of this was one of the most catastrophic periods of hedge fund performance that we can remember since the inception of this fund... There is no doubt that we are in the first innings of a washout in hedge funds and certain strategies."
"Our view that the VIX may remain low in the near term is at odds with the VIX ETP market, as investors seem to be pouring money into levered long VIX ETPs." - Goldman Sachs
Trading volumes in Chinese exchanges spiked exponentially, with SHFE rebar and DCE iron ore futures becoming the No.1 and No.3 most-traded contracts in the world, surpassing volumes of ICE Brent and NYMEX WTI contracts, which have been the most widely-traded and liquid contracts for three decades.
For those who thought that the world's biggest company losing over $40 billion in market cap in an instant on disappointing Apple earnings, would have been sufficient to put a dent in US equity futures, we have some disappointing news: with just over 7 hours until the FOMC reveals its April statement, futures are practically unchanged, even though the Nasdaq appears set for an early bruising in the aftermath of what is becoming a disturbing quarter for tech companies. Instead of tech leading, however, the upside has once again come from the energy complex where moments ago WTI rose above $45 a barrel for the first time since November after yesterday's unexpected 1.07 million barrel API inventory drawdown.
The recent failure of North Korea’s missile tests reaffirms the deficiencies of its ballistic and nuclear programs. Perversely, it also increases the risk of an imminent greater destabilizing behavior.
With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.
"What these central banks and governments are doing is incredibly irresponsible and stupid, printing these currency units up by the trillions... so there’s going to be a panic into gold. ...They’ve created a super-bubble in bonds, a bubble in stocks, and meanwhile commodities have collapsed and are below production costs in many cases. ...The economy is going to be very, very bad... It’s the next stage of what I call the Greater Depression."