Clearly, something’s gone horribly awry. Hard work, perseverance, and ingenuity likely have something to do with the shiny streets. Conversely, sloth, drug abuse, and mental defectives likely have something to do with the blighted streets. But we also have an inkling that 20 years of activist Fed policy has left its marks all over both.
Bad stuff tends to happen in bad markets. This includes volatility spikes. Thus, the presence of this recent 4-day roller coaster is perhaps a clue that our present market landscape is not a healthy one.
Well that de-escalated quickly...
Thanks to BoJ's global "float all boats" NIRP-tard-ness, Chinese stocks avoided the headline of "worst month in 21 years" by rallying above the crucial 2,667 level (for SHCOMP). However, January's 23% pluinge is the worst month since October 2008 and is officially the worst start to a year in the history of Chinese stocks.
“The problem is... we’re still using kids as lead detectors.”
Our balance sheet - the strongest in recent history - represents a significant advantage as we continue to identify high value growth opportunities across the products and geographies we operate in. Maintaining out investment grade rating with the international rating agencies is a vital part of this strategy.
- Noble Group 2014 Annual Report, p. 27
The main reason for oil's torried surge over the past 2 days is that following yesterday's Russia-Opec "oil production cut" headline fiasco, crude traders - who as we previously reported already had a record net short position - scrambled to cover their exposure on the assumption that where there is oily smoke, there will be fire. We can now put to rest any speculation that OPEC will proceed with any supply cuts, whether Russia requests it or not, because as the WSJ reported moments ago, not only will OPEC not support a supply cut but it will also not support an emergency OPEC meeting.
While University of Michigan confidence slipped modestly from December's print, the tumble in expectations (hope) from the preliminary print is perhaps more important as stocks dropped and volatility struck. However, more problematic for an inflation-hoping Federal Reserve is the drop in 12-month inflation expectations. The last time inflation expectations were lower than this was September 2010.. when Bernanke hinted at QE2 at jackson Hole.
After crashing to post-Lehman lows in December, there was some hope for a bounce in January but this is simply idiotic. Chicago PMI soared 30% - the most sicne 1980 - from 42.9 (7 year lows) to 55.6 (1 year highs). This was miraculously driven by double-digit and all-time record gains in new orders and order backlogs.
EURUSD just broke 80 pips lower instantaneously as it seems a somewhat delayed reaction to US GDP data sparked panic buying of USDollars (despite Fed Funds futures pricing in no more rate hikes in 2016). At 1.0855, EURUSD is testing the ket 50-day moving-average and is back below pre-Draghi levels...
Not only is the specter of recession growing more visible, but it is also attached to a truth that cannot be gainsaid. Namely, having stranded itself at the zero bound for an entire business cycle, the Fed is bereft of dry powder.
And so the final quarter of 2015 is in the history books and we can officially accuse the US Bureau of Economic Analysis of "peddling fiction" about the US recovery, because at a growth rate of 0.69%, the annualized rate of economic growth was the lowest since the first quarter of 2015 when it grew an almost identical 0.64% which was blamed on the harsh weather. This time however, there is no easy scapegoat.