We've now seen three consecutive quarters of net tightening of C&I lending standards in the US (Figure 1, left) and previously whenever this has happened it has ultimately led to a full blown default cycle – albeit with only three cycles of data to examine. The series does tend to exhibit sweeping cyclical tendencies with momentum and is not prone to random fluctuations. So it's a worry that we've entered the net tighten stage and have stayed there for three quarters now.
"There is little doubt in our minds that $/JPY will keep falling in the near term, until Governor Kuroda is forced to respond with overwhelming force. We therefore hold to our structural view that $/JPY ultimately will go a lot higher. But in the short term, it will fall.... Until Governor Kuroda is willing to grab the bulls by the horns and confront market fears over the BoJ’s balance sheet, the path of least resistance for $/JPY is down"
There has been a bevy of negative news in the past 48 hours which perhaps explains why futures are fractionally in the green as of this moment.
This week's preceding 2 and 5 Year auctions, both tailing, were nothing to write home about, or as we characterized them "mediocre." We also said that a big part of the reason may have been the overhang from yesterday's Fed decision. But now that the Fed is out of the picture for 2 months, the real shape of the primary TSY market could show itself and sure enough it did with blistering demand for today's $28 billion in 7 Year paper.
The biggest argument for a BOJ disappointment is that with the G7 meeting in Japan in on month on 26–27 May 2016, it’s unlikely that Japanese policymakers will want to draw attention yet again to the idea that they are in the business of manipulating the JPY lower. After all the most recent G20 meeting once again confirmed that absent "disorderly moves" in the Yen, the US would frown on any attempt to dramatically manipulate its currency lower.
It's not just Halliburton ("What we are experiencing today is far beyond headwinds; it is unsustainable") and Intel (12,000 layoffs amid re-evaluation of programs) that are facing up to a new normal very different from expectations. As Avondale Asset Management notes, having poured over 100s of earnings transcripts, while most CEOs don’t see signs of an imminent downturn, the environment still feels a little fragile. It seems that almost everyone is on high alert for a macro curve-ball...
The “bullish case” is currently built primarily on “hope.” Hope the economy will improve in the second half of the year; Hope that earnings will improve in the second half of the year; Hope that oil prices will trade higher even as supply remains elevated; Hope the Fed will not raise interest rates this year; Hope that global Central Banks will “keep on keepin’ on.” Hope that the US Dollar doesn’t rise; Hope that interest rates remain low; Hope that high-yield credit markets remain stable.
Mind the terminal growth assumption. The warning signs are everywhere that what lies on the other side is not a world of 24.3X valuations.
Why Stocks Rebounded Overnight: Goldman Expects BOJ To Double Its Equity Purchases As Soon As Next WeekSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/20/2016 09:54 -0400
"We think the BOJ is most likely to ease mainly via the qualitative measure, with increasing ETF purchasing the central pillar, with a view to improving business confidence. We think the market is already factoring in an increase in annual purchasing from ¥3.3 tn to ¥5-6 tn, and we thus think the BOJ may look to slightly more than double its current figure to around ¥7 tn." - Goldman
In the first 14 weeks of the New Year, gold rose 16%. The first quarter qualified as its best beginning year performance in 30 years (CNBC, E. Rosenbaum, 4/14/16). The reversal was prompted by stumbling stock markets and a series of sharply dovish turns from central banks around the world. Perhaps the main reason people buy gold is as a hedge against inflation. But uncertainty and fear contributed undoubtedly to gold’s stellar first quarter rise. But will it continue?
Are interest rates low because of the action of central banks or because of unresolved debt deflation?
The market is standing at the proverbial “crossroads” of bull and bear. From a “fundamental” perspective there is not much good news. The past week we saw numerous companies beating extremely beaten down estimates. However, while JPM and C got a boost to their stock price, the actual earnings, revenue and profits trends were clearly negative. But that is the new normal. We live in an environment where Central Banking has taken control of financial markets by leaving investors “no option” for a return on cash. Therefore, the “hope” remains that asset prices can remain detached from underlying fundamentals long enough for them to catch up.
"You Get Nothing" is the message for German bond coupon-clippers as for the first time in history, the average yield across the entire bond complex tumbles to zero.