After The Fed jawboned the world into the largest aggregate net short position in Treasuries in Q4 since 2010, its rapid realization that all is not well in the real world - and subsequent talking (and walking) back of rate-hike expectations - has sparked the biggest short-squeeze in 6 years and sent Treasuries up by the most since 2012. With odds collapsing for any more rate-hikes in 2016, as Yellen admits their forecasts are worthless, it seems - just as in 2010 - the bonds shorts have a way to go.
" I would only add that even if one were Bullish at this point, which is perfectly reasonable (not my call, but reasonable), that with almost 94% of stocks above their 50 day ma while volatility, currencies and inflation expectations have surged into levels which coincided with prior inflection points across the risk spectrum, a consolidative pause and pullback remains on the table. 2077-2086 stop."
"We are still going to err bearishly of stocks and certainly we shall not err bullishly of them. We are, in our retirement account here at TGL long of gold in EUR and Yen related terms."
At the end of the day, it was all about the dollar and the reason for this morning's stock surge around the globe, as we noted last night, is absurdly delightful: Yellen signaled "weakening world growth" and "less confidence in the renormalization process." In other words, the "bad news is good news" mantra is back front and center.
The "smart money" have been net sellers of US stocks for the ninth consecutive week.
Investors are positioning for a market reversal based on leveraged positions in volatility funds.
Oil bulls never jumped on board the latest rally.
The CS Fear Barometer remains elevated
Not many months ago bullish Wall Street strategists and pundits were celebrating the backdrop. It appeared to many that global central bankers had mastered the perpetual “money” machine. Markets could only go higher. Yet one would have to be delusional not to recognize the darkening clouds overtaking the world and U.S. Look no further than global terrorist attacks, geopolitical tension and the sour U.S. political discourse as confirmation that All is Not Well.
With stock markets roller-coasting by the most on record, February pending home sales rose 3.5% MoM (seasonally-adjusted) dramatically beating expectations. In fact, sales spiked 29.5% MoM (non-seasonally-adjusted) - the best February spike ever. Price gains have slowed notably, which is being cheered by NAR's Larry Yun, but notably the majority of the sales surge in Feb was driven by an 11.4% spike in The Midwest (biggest since Dec 2008).
As TVIX, the double-levered long VIX ETF unleashed in Nov 2010, decays to record low prices, an unusual (and almost unprecedented) event has occurred. Just as we saw in Gold ETFs, and Oil ETFs, TVIX Shares Outstanding have exploded by a stunning 225% in the last 4 weeks with the largest inflows (bearish bets) on record in the last week. The entire VIX complex is perturbed as the huge bearish TVIX flows contrast with the complacency of the steepest term structure since Nov 2014 (post Bullard-Bounce) and net speculative positioning at its shortest VIX (most bullish) in 2016.
Since the beginning of what is now considered “the zenith of unabashed central bank interventionism” few were willing to speculate, let alone admit, that without the Federal Reserve continuously pumping money in one form or another, while simultaneously keeping interest rates at the zero bound – the markets had no fundamental reason whatsoever to be at these current levels. Currently up seems to only happen in response after some jawboning or implied immediate implementation, where the theme is more mea culpa in nature. Rather, than fortitude or conviction of policy.
With April wrapping up the seasonally strong period of the year, the seasonal adjustment boost to economic data coming to an end, and earnings growth remaining elusive – the summer months could prove to be problematic.
With all of Europe and the U.S. closed for holiday, what little market action there was overnight came out of Asia, where China once again was engaged in its last hour "National Team" market manipulation, which saved the SHCOMP from a red close after the now traditional last hour buying spree pushed the Shanghai Composite from red on the session an hour before close to near the highs of the day.
Geopolitical risk is frequently underestimated and it would be unwise to discount the risk of a September 11 style attack in the coming months ...
“The McKenzie study also noted that on average “analysts’ forecasts have been almost 100% too high” which leads investors to make much more aggressive bets on the financial markets. “
It is always hard to buck the crowd, to be a bear when the market is up this much, this fast. Stocks are rallying and being underweight gets harder to maintain every day. The bulls are out there yapping about how this was just another correction, another dip to buy and that we better get back in, yada, yada, yada. What makes being bearish so hard is the noise of the perpetually bullish street, the lure of easy money in a market you know is overvalued but keeps going higher. Like JM Keynes "I change my mind when the facts change." Despite the rally, the facts – at least for now – still favor the bears.
Dear Donald and Hillary: In around ten months, one of you will wake up as Mr. or Mrs. President. After the fabulous fun of post-inaugural balls, you will walk into the Oval Office on Saturday, January 22 and launch into your first 90 days in office. To make your job just a little more manageable, what we would like to do is take you around the world and review some of the economic realities faced by our global partners. For many of them, those realities are not pretty. And you want this job why?