Davos is about to end, and there is much good news to report: you see, the billionaires in the lovely Swiss town, surrounded by their own private (or public) armies, have fixed record global wealth inequality, which just happens to be the result of actions by... of Davos billionaires. And just to top the surreal idiocy off, here is Mario Draghi, Goldman's best known banker at the ECB, with a special address titled "the Path from Crisis to Stability"... ostensibly on the back of bailout mechanism that don't exist, and facilitating "reforms" that promote more spending and less revenue in a continent that just happens to be insolvent. #Ref!
Think it's bad in the US (which it is), the high-beta momo-chasers are running for the hills from Europe's best-performers. European stocks are down 3.4% this week broadly - the worst week since June 2013 and 2nd worst week since May 2012. Spain and Greece are the worst on the week (-5.8% and 6.7% respectively) with Spain's drop the largest since September 2012. Bonds were not unscathed as Italy's sovereign bond spreads have jumped in the last 2 days by the most in 4 months and are now wider on the year. Europe's VIX has exploded 30% higher in the last 3 days (the biggest jump in 10 months) to its highest since October.
S&P 500 futures just crossed below 1,800 - its lowest since the FOMC's taper announcement on December 18th. The cash S&P 500 (and small cap S&P 600) have crossed below their crucial 50-day-moving average (with no sign of dip-buyers yet). This is the biggest drop through that historically critical technical support level since early October. Perhaps more notably, most of the go-go sectors that were heralded by all the talking head momo queens on mainstream media as leading the next leg of stock gains have seen their post-Taper gains gone. From Builders to Banks and Industrials, taper-gains are now a dim and distant memory.
With emerging market currencies collapsing, US equity hopes fading, bond yields tumbling, and 1.4 million people having fallen off the government transfer receipts bandwagon this week; what better way to distract the US public from that awkward reality that it's all fake...
Bank of America Head Technician: "Our Bullish View Is Invalidated, Going Neutral; Below 1806 Spells Trouble"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/24/2014 11:42 -0400
Yesterday's BofA's MacNeill Curry warned that once above $1270, gold becomes "explosive" as the squeeze trap slams shut, which explains why the shorts are desperately defending the critical resistance redline. Today, the chief technician of Bank of Countrywide Lynch looks at the two other key correlation pairs: the S&P500 (via the Emini ESH4) and the USDJPY, which by virtue of being the key funding pair determines the price of risk in virtually every corner of the globe. He is not too happy with what he sees.
After escalating higher and higher in the last few days as the rest of the market slipped further into the red for 2014, the Dow Transports has collapsed 3.25% at this morning's open - its biggest drop in 9 months. This, along with the plunge in the NASDAQ and Russell has dragged every major US equity index into the red once again for 2014... The S&P 500 cash index is now the most below its 50-day moving average in almost 4 months. VIX has spiked to 15.4% - its highest since pre-Taper as JPY carry unwinds drag US equities lower once again... Credit markets have no retraced all post-Taper gains (and stocks are rapidly catching down).
If, as we are constantly told by the mainstream media, equity market performance is all that matters in the real world, then the following chart from The Economist should provide much food for thought for those praying at the altar of the elites in Davos. Despite hanging on their every word as if handed down by The Oracle herself, 'companies that regularly attend Davos' have dramatically underperformed the broad market... so, in the modern parlance of 'stocks are all that matters' - Davos attendees are less smart than the average business manager (and perhaps less smart given the costs of attendance for this lack of edge).
Spain's unemployment rate hit 26% again this week. Despite Rajoy's please for people to believe things are getting better, that the crisis is over (even as Draghi proclaims it otherwise and Axel Weber warns it is still festering), Spanish local ex-pat newspaper "The Local" has uncovered seven statistics that will help you understand just how serious the situation is. What is perhaps even more surreal is that in a year in which the economy supposedly grew, they depleted their pension reserve fund by 15%...
*SPAIN WITHDREW EU11.6B FROM PENSION RESERVE FUND IN 2013; Spain pension reserve fund ends 2013 With EU53.7 bln
So apart from that, here is how bad it really is in Spain...
On the heels of Shinzo Abe's seeming hyprocrisy in Davos, commenting that "if peace and stability were shaken in Asia, the knock-on effect for the entire world would be enormous," while he raises military budget, antagonizes China, and inflames the militaristic fervor in his own nation with war-crime shrine visits, the Chinese have struck back specifically at Abe's comparison of China and Japan's present tensions to Germany and Britain's in 1914... Foreign Minister Wang Yi - writing from the Chinese Embassy in the US, warned:
- *CHINA'S WANG CALLS ABE'S STATEMENT ON WW1 'ANACHRONISTIC'
- *CHINA HAPPY TO REVIEW WORLD HISTORY WITH ABE: WANG YI
- *CHINA WANTS ABE TO RETHINK OWN COMMENTS, ACTIONS: WANG YI
Earlier this week we reported that at JPMorgan, the many will pay for the crimes of the few, after the bank revealed that compensation for most workers would be flat with 2012, and no raises were planned for the bank's employees as a result of the massive, $20+ billion legal bill the bank has raked up in recent months as one after another market manipulation, fraud and malfeasance by current and former JPM workers has been revealed. One person, however, will be exempt from this blanket punishment: the firm's CEO Jamie Dimon, of course. Because there is always a reason Jamie is richer than you...
Following yesterday's early morning surge when gold jumped $30 from the low $1230, on news that India may relax its gold capital controls, today's sharp spike follow through is more a function of ongoing emerging market currency devaluation and overall risk-offness hitting equities around the globe. And with Bitcoin going nowhere even as both Turkey and Argentina continue to turmoil, it means there is only one good old faithful fiat-alternative - the barbarous relic. Sure enough, at last check, gold was trading north of $1270, back to levels last seen in November, and one sovereign default away from soaring a few hundred fiat equivalents higher. And since all hopes now rest on more BOJ easing (or else watch out below), and more of the same pent up inflation, we may have seen recent lows in gold for quite some time, especially with Gartman once again openly "hating" gold.