Futures Ramp Higher Ahead Of Key FOMC Announcement As Nikkei Regains 13,000

Tyler Durden's picture

First it was the "most important" payroll print in years, then the "most important" retail sales number, and now we are just days ahead of the "most important" FOMC statement in years as well, as the fate of the centrally-planned markets lies in the hands of Bernanke's decision to taper, or not to taper. The main catalyst for now still appears to be an ongoing wrong interpretation of Hilsenrath's Thursday blog post in which some still see reaffirmation by the Fed that it won't taper, when all the Fed's mouthpiece said is that the short-end would be anchored even as the long-end is allowed to rise. Looking at the well-known no volume levitation futures action, which in the overnight session has wiped out all of Friday's losses and then some simply due to a 2.73% rise in the Nikkei overnight back above 13,000 driven by the USDJPY briefly regaining 95.00, the market has made up its mind (if only for the time being) that whatever decision the Fed takes regarding the monthly level of liquidity injection is a bullish one. At least until it changes its mind next.

Speaking of Hilsenleaks, the WSJ’s "Fed watcher" was back on the newswires on Sunday evening suggesting that the evolution of these forecasts could provide a strong clue as to the Fed’s tapering intentions. The Fed’s latest projections, made in March this year, saw real GDP growth of around 2.6% for 2013 and 3.2% for 2014. In terms of unemployment, the Fed projected a rate of around 7.4% in 2013, improving to around 6.9% in 2014. If and how these forecasts change could send an important signal about the Fed’s near term intentions. Hilsenrath writes that if the Fed maintains confidence in their economic forecasts, it could signal they think they're on track to begin pulling back on QE later this year.

Heading into the North American open, stocks in Europe are seen broadly higher, with telecoms and industrial sectors leading the gains. The Italian benchmark stock index has underperformed, with Saipem shares trading sharply lower, which in turn weighed on its major shareholder ENI after the company cut its EBIT guidance (again) due to significant deterioration in its Algeria business. The session so far has been characterized by distinct light volumes as market participants refrained from making directional bets ahead of the key FOMC meeting. On that note, Fed watcher Hilsenrath wrote that officials at the Fed are unlikely at this meeting to change their USD 85bn per month bond buying program and that what they say about the economy will send important signals about what they expect to do in the future. Looking elsewhere, overnight in Asia the Nikkei 225 index settled with decent gains and crucially above the key 13,000 level as the USD/JPY edged back towards the 95.00 level. However, a firmer spot failed to support the price action in the options market, where the shorter-dated implied vols remained under-pressure. Going forward, market participants will get to digest the release of the latest Empire Manufacturing report, as well as the NAHB report for the month of June.

SocGen looks at the key overnight macro catalysts:

The financial markets have hit some turbulence triggered by uncertainty in the lead-up to the Fed and the ECB releasing their monetary policies.
What will the Fed do? The market's current nervousness, synonymous with possible disturbances given the approach of tapering, could prompt the Fed to postpone any announcements. On the other hand, improving economic indicators appear to confirm the scenario of an exit. The focus should thus be on the FOMC Tuesday and Wednesday, especially since there will be a press conference afterward along with the presentation of the Fed's new forecasts. We doubt that Ben Bernanke would lay all his cards on the table this week.

Meanwhile, Asia is worrisome. Chinese indicators have been lukewarm. In addition, the BoJ's policy is raising more and more questions about its capacity to control the volatility it ignited on JGBs. The government's timid measures announced last week, along with promises of more substantial measures in the autumn, are anything but a bazooka.

Against this backdrop, and as long as uncertainty remains on both fronts, additional profit-taking on previously overbought assets is highly likely. Nevertheless, we continue to believe that this profit-taking phase will end up losing steam.

In all, even if it is chaotic, the uptrend in long-term US rates remains firmly in place: we are not changing our target of a 10-year Treasury yield of 2.75%. As for the forex market, we still think that the USD will strengthen in the second half: the EUR/USD should then be on its way to our year-end target of 1.20 while the USD/JPY should head toward 110.

* * *

Finally, and as usual, Jim Reid does the full overnight event recap:

Strap in, hold on and get ready for what the market has turned into a crucial two-day FOMC meeting and subsequent Bernanke press conference on Wednesday. If that's isn't enough to get you excited then we also have the G8 leaders' summit today and tomorrow and the latest flash PMIs from around the world on Thursday.

Back to Bernanke, it’s worth being aware of what we've heard from the Fed over the last month and what the market has reacted to. In the recent JEC testimony (May 22nd) Bernanke continued to emphasise ongoing labour market weakness. However in the subsequent Q&A he said tapering “could” happen before Labor Day after responding to a question. The market pounced on this comment even if that maybe wasn't Bernanke's intention. However this reaction was in some respects supported by the FOMC minutes from the May 1 meeting, (also released on May 22nd). They were surprisingly hawkish and showed that a "number of participants expressed willingness to adjust the flow of purchases downward as early as the June meeting if the economic information received by the time showed evidence of sufficiently stronger and sustained growth”. So there is definitely some debate within the Fed but the data 6 weeks on from this meeting is still inconclusive. We suspect that this week Bernanke will continue to say tapering will happen at some point, could happen this year but will be data dependant and that we are still a long way off from removing the very easy policy stance the Fed has in place. We still think that the Fed will struggle to taper very much and very early but the debate is now going to be around for a while.

This week’s FOMC will also be interesting from the perspective that the Fed will be providing an update on economic projections for 2013-2015. Indeed, the WSJ’s Jon Hilsenrath was back on the newswires on Sunday evening suggesting that the evolution of these forecasts could provide a strong clue as to the Fed’s tapering intentions. The Fed’s latest projections, made in March this year, saw real GDP growth of around 2.6% for 2013 and 3.2% for 2014. In terms of unemployment, the Fed projected a rate of around 7.4% in 2013, improving to around 6.9% in 2014. If and how these forecasts change could send an important signal about the Fed’s near term intentions. Hilsenrath writes that if the Fed maintains confidence in their economic forecasts, it could signal they think they're on track to begin pulling back on QE later this year.

Turning to overnight markets, Asian stocks are starting the week on the front foot led by an 2.3% and 1.4% gain in the Nikkei and Hang Seng respectively. In Japan, real estate equities (-1.7%) are the only sector in the Nikkei to trade lower. This comes after Reuters reported that the BoJ is considering expanding its REIT asset purchases above its target of JPY140bn, in a sign that the BoJ may be responding to recent market movements (Reuters). However the incremental purchases are said to be relatively small at JPY10bn, which probably explains the disappointing price action in J-REITs this morning. USDJPY is trading 0.5% higher this morning at 94.8. Chinese stocks (Shanghai Composite –0.1%) remain near a six-month low after the Chinese finance ministry failed to sell all of its bonds at an auction on Friday, the first time in nearly two years that it has fallen short of its bond sale target (FT). The failed auction is being blamed on strained liquidity in the interbank funding market. Meanwhile Central Huijin, China's main holding company for state-owned financial institutions, intervened to buy the stocks of two Chinese FIs on Friday in a bid to boost market sentiment.

While the Fed and Bernanke will be taking the limelight this week, we also have a fairly big week of economic data and global/regional summits. First up will be a two-day G8 leaders’ summit commencing today in Northern Ireland. The Fed and the BoJ’s monetary policy are likely at the top the agenda but the meeting will be missing one key figure in the form of Bernanke who is presumably tied up with this  week’s FOMC. President Barack Obama and Angela Merkel meet in Berlin on Wednesday following the G8 meeting.

In the US, this week’s data calendar starts with an update on Monday’s empire manufacturing followed by Tuesday’s CPI, housing starts and building permits, and ending with Thursday’s Philly Fed, existing home sales and flash PMI. On the micro-side, it’s also worth watching Fedex’s Q4 earnings report on Wednesday where the company’s outlook is usually scrutinised by markets for signals on near-term demand.

Across the Atlantic, the European data calendar gets off to a slow-ish start with Euroarea April trade (Mon) and the German ZEW survey (Tues) ahead of Thursdays flash PMIs. Consensus estimates are for a PMI composite Euroarea reading of 48.1, or 0.4pts higher than last month’s 47.7. The market is also calling for a 0.3-0.5pt improvement across the German and French manufacturing and service PMIs. The Eurogroup/ECOFIN meeting starts on Thursday with the expected agenda including latest reviews of the Greek, Irish, Portuguese and Spanish loan programs. Across the Channel, Chancellor Osborne is expected to use his annual Mansion House speech on Wednesday to confirm that the government is looking to privatise Lloyds and RBS banks. The BoE’s latest meeting minutes are released on the same day.

We have a quieter week ahead in Japan with May trade data together and the BoJ’s quarterly flow of funds report due on Wednesday. BoJ Governor Kuroda speaks on Friday at the annual meeting of the National Association of Shinkin Banks. In China, HSBC’s flash manufacturing PMI (prev: 49.2) is out on Thursday, following an official update on nationwide property prices on Tuesday.

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Harlequin001's picture

But surely it's already common knowledge by now... to some anyway...

GetZeeGold's picture



Just act surprised.


Gear up Amigos.....should be an interesting week.

Headbanger's picture

Yeah, but common sense isn't so common.

Sudden Debt's picture

common sense.... common... like "almost everbody has it"....



GetZeeGold's picture



Kinda hard to do when no one cares about jobs and the economy.......but they have a spastic fit about polar bear farts and junior high kids wearing NRA shirts to school. They break out the SWAT team for that crap.

USisCorrupt's picture

Yes the world is once again fixed, I believe this is now number 8271 times to be exact.


Don't worry be happy!

cnmcdee's picture

I believe your completely right about it - everything that is made public is leaked first a day prior.. so if you want to know the results of the FOMC meeting a day prior? Just look at the price action in the corresponding  markets as the institutionals position themselves in ahead of the talk..  So the DOW is up - it should be up 100 points more by the end of the day

philipat's picture

Improving economic indicators??

TideFighter's picture

"Improving economic indicators??"

We are shipping steel to Syria soon, that's one. 

Zero Point's picture

Apparently someone broke some windows there.

TideFighter's picture

This effort to keep DJIA slightly above 15,000 is getting boring. Go all in, Big Pussy Ben. Like WWF and NBA, this shit is fake, you know the outcome, it's just entertainment at this point.

kito's picture

Dow 16,000 soon enough......

fonzannoon's picture

The fed has to be seriously concerned about crude at $98 and Wti at $107. Every time they rise the deflation that is so pervasive just become so much more apparent.

So yes let's all continue to hang off of every word of this man.

Dr. Engali's picture

The Bernank always have the upcoming war to blame the rising price of crude on. If it wasn't for that convenience your statement would ring true. The empire of lies has become very good at finding things to blame their failures on. If it's not the sequester it's those darn rabble rousing Arabs.

kito's picture

Well doc I'm in the camp that thinks McCains itch to scratch Syria is good for $10 bucks added to crude prices.....

fonzannoon's picture

Putin stole kraft's super bowl ring. if there has ever been a better reason for war I don't know one. even though Kraft back tracked on the statement that is not imortant. My informal poll at buffalonwild wings was 145% of the people there were screaming to go to war. It's times like these when patriot and jet's fans come together that makes me get all teary eyed with pride.

kito's picture

Didn't kraft steal the play calls from opposing teams??...

Dr. Engali's picture

Hell I think we should go to war just because they dare questioning the empire about spying on the whole world. How dare they question our God given right to know their business. Nuke them all that'll teach em ! By the way, I thought you only ate at Applebee's.

fonzannoon's picture

I changed it up. Applebee's just happens to be located next to Buffalo wild wings. The one across from TGI Friday's and adjacent to Dave and Busters.

They need a system that can just beam your chair from one place to the next so you can just keep eating and never have to get up while you change the scenery.

Dr. Engali's picture

I've taken to a counter cultural movement lately.... Eating at home. It's really quite quaint.

cougar_w's picture

Sounds like a great application for one of those moving sidewalk things, except with chairs on it. You sit on the chair and the sidewalk moves from one eatery to another. At the end you step/roll off and get the bill.

NipponMarketBlog's picture



Amazingly, the Japanese government is going to resume the sale of inflation-linked bonds later this year.

Could they come up with a worse idea, in the mindst of trying to monetize the government's debt through the BoJ's QE program?



Ghordius's picture

I'm not so sure. the trick they are trying is to boost inflation expectations

a good rally of inflation linked bonds vs non-inflation linked ones could "help" in this

NipponMarketBlog's picture



That may be the short term goal, but in the long term there is absolutely no way they can ever pay pack their debt, which means they either have to default or try to monetize it. The latter being the least difficult for any government, which means that this is the option they will eventually have to go for.



Ghordius's picture

paying back sovereing debt is something that has been done very rarely, in history. a terrific mountain of debt has a certain solidity, and many have lasted for generations

the real break-or-make point is how much of the tax income is paid for servicing the debt, and yes, you are right: Japan is soon approaching dangerous levels

yet: who convinces Mrs Watanabe to flee? she can be a quite stubborn lady. and even the Masters of the Universe The Lords of the Hedgefunds haven't found yet a way to concoct a bear raid on Japan - they'd need some inside help, as in all bank robberies

NipponMarketBlog's picture



Curently, 25% of central government revenue goes on interest servicing of the debt, but if rates rise to roughly 5% it will be 100% of tax revenues that are required just to pay interest of the debt mountain. Obviously, the rates will never get to that level in an orderly fashion, because the bond market will call the government's bluff well before that.



With regards to Mrs Watanabe - she doesn't actually own very many JGB's outright. They are held on her behalf by her pensions schemes - most prominently the GPIF - so the number of actors involved in determining whether to head for the exit in the bond market is actually very small.



kito's picture

I tried that expectation thing with my wife.....she wanted me to do the lawn....so I went out and bought a nice mower....you know...with the expectation that the lawn would be nicely manicured....well.....the expectation thing worked.....until she realized the lawn wasn't getting done......funny thing about expectations....

Fuh Querada's picture

Expected is a re-affirmation of the previous contradiction of the denial of the intention to reconsider whether to deny or confirm the expectation of non-tapering.

BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Sad state of affairs when your post is easier to understand than anything a central banker ever says.

Fuh Querada's picture

According to Jim Ricktards, famed author of Currency Wars, Hilsenprat is "a fine reporter"

BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Is it anti-semetic to hate Ben Bernanke's guts.

greatbeard's picture

It's always a good day to bash gold, apparently.

firstdivision's picture

Today is a classic setup for a "sell the news".   Ramp the shit out of the markets so the S&T desks can peddle their expired milk to mom & pop, then come Wed at 2pm, mom & pop die from e.coli

ThunderingTurd's picture

Rally will fade by mid morning. Earnings are coming and the currency moves over the last quarter were virtually impossible to hedge. Couple that with declining revs and you get worse than expected results.

Xanthias's picture

ZH article a while back (can't find) about ramps preceding FOMC meetings and Potter's theory that this is what has sustained the market.  Any move today or tomorrow dubious, temporary.

bdub2's picture

There's no getting past that we're here, after 85 bill/mo, and after trillions...This is it? For the Fed to stay the course, now, is tapering, because they really need a hell of a lot moar just to keep the wheels on. Status quo ain't gonna do it. 

JamesBond's picture

"decision to taper or not to taper..."


There's no bigger tape worm eating away at the economy than Ben.

Fuck You Bernanke!

Debugas's picture

the rumour is the Fed will not tighten this time yet

falak pema's picture

the world is now run by joint CB Government collusion to the detriment of the oligarchy controlled "free markets".

This is a given norm for CB actions in the wake of the 2007-2010 crisis. We are now back to the FDR days model with a vengeance. The Fed zirp/QE have set the stage of universal CB easy money plays to swamp the TBTF banks, all structurally damaged, with liquidity that solves short term debt servicing of their huge strucutural malinvestment writeoffs. 

In the hope that controlled monetary debasement plus increased taxation, bail-ins and banker regulation via bank tax, reigning in of oligarchy tax havens, and debt restructuring to now include shadow banking mavericks, will calm the storms of runaway private speculation and alleviate government burnout by subsequent buyout of private debt thru socialisation of losses on public ledger. The entightelment imbalance is the OTHER iceberg threatening the state ship of each first world nation.

What the FED does  tomorrow is now crucial to world CB balance in a bridled and surrogate market at the mercy of more monetatry CB profligacy or austerity. 


A reminder of how the CB plays of today have evolved in the long term : this is the pointer to future CB controls.


Quinvarius's picture

Taper means more direct printing behind the scenes.  The Base money supply has begun exploding upwards at 3x the rate of the increase in the Fed balance sheet.  That is a new phenomena.   So they are already adding money at a much faster rate than what they claim.

Taper = printing press and lies.  Anyhow, they need to give the Gov a trillion a year.  So most likely they will continue to just buy government debt while they print secret money and lie about it. 

You are crazy not have gold.  Crazy.  And I mean the real stuff in your own hands.

robertocarlos's picture

Stop paying taxes.

Rathmullan's picture

The rational bet is to expect dovish fed speak aimed at pushing the markets ever higher. God knows that's been the track record over the past 3 years.

Today's action is all from those investors who got in bed with the fed. A little chlamydia at this point is a small price to pay should the fed ever decide to act responsibly.  

orangegeek's picture

S&P500 hourly showed upside at the close on Friday.




Upside could be short lived.