Gold Spikes As QEeen Yellen Mentions Fed's Tools (Then Slides As She Warns "QE Can't Go On Forever")Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/14/2013 11:32 -0400
UPDATE: Gold is slipping back as Yellen notes:
*YELLEN SAYS QE `CANNOT CONTINUE FOREVER'
*YELLEN SAYS FED TAKES RISKS OF QE `VERY SERIOUSLY'
Yesterday was equity markets turn to get all exuberant over Yellen's promises. Today, it is the reality that she will do whatever it takes and her mention of data-dependence and ongoing use of Fed tools that is sending gold (and silver) higher.
Japan growth cut in half, Europe growth cut by more than half, but none of that matters: today it will be all about the coronation of QEeen Yellen, who testifies before the Senate Banking Committee at 10am. Not even Japanese finance minister Aso's return to outright currency intervention warnings (in addition to the BOJ's QE monetary base dilution), when he said that Japan must always be ready to send signal to markets to curb excessive and one sided FX moves and it is important that Japan has intervention as FX policy option, which sent the USDJPY back up to 100 for the first time since September 11 made much of an impact on futures trading which after surging early in the session following the release of Yellen's prepared remarks, have now "tapered" virtually all gains. Certainly, the follow up from Europe doing the same and also warning it too may engage in QE, has been lost. Which is odd considering the entire developed world is now on the verge of engaging in the most furious open monetization of virtually everything in history.
It would appear that much of the rally yesterday (and early overnight) was driven by hope (and confirmed relief) that Fed chair nominee Yellen is not about to take on a substantially less-dovish tone in today’s testimony in an effort to garner the support of the more hawkish elements of the Senate Banking Committee. There was a great deal of confirmation bias in the market's move and interpretation but, as BofAML notes below, this may be misplaced. The more important part of today’s testimony is yet to come in the Q&A session - where we will hear likely more unscripted thoughts from the QEeen at her Senate confirmation this morning.
Despite the great shale revolution, US exports posted a $0.4 billion decline to $188.9 billion in October driven by decreases in industrial supplies and materials ($1.3 billion), other goods ($0.2 billion), consumer goods ($0.2 billion), and capital goods ($0.1 billion). This was offset by a $2.7 billion increase in imports to $230.7 billion broken down by increases in industrial supplies and materials ($0.9 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($0.9 billion); capital goods ($0.8 billion); and consumer goods ($0.6 billion). End result: a September trade balance of $41.8 billion, which was higher than the highest forecast of $41.6 billion among 72 economists queried by Bloomberg, and the highest deficit print in 4 months.
Following the end of the plague of system glitches last week, the Labor Department admits that 5 states estimated levels this week. The initial jobless claims print remains near 4 month-highs (adjusted to for the prior glitch unreality). At 339k vs 330k expected, this is the 6th straight week of disappointment for the 'critical real-time indicator of the economy's health' that some have called this noisy data series. Last week's 'encouraging' print was revised higher from 336 to 341k, we can't wait to see how the 5 estimates affect next week's revision.
Curious where the "hedge fund hotel" is currently located, for both most loved and hated asset classes? The following table shows both the penthouse and the basement of the most recent groupthink, which not surprisingly, indicates that hedge funds, which have simply become highly-levered momentum and beta chasers, are most bullish on the Nasdaq, and offsetting this, are most bearish on 10 Year notes. Of course, since the bulk of the very highly levered marginal cash (for those who haven't seen it, Balyasny's leverage chart is a stunning eye opener) is already deployed, all that remains now is the profit-taking, and as such anyone who wishes to take advantage of the inevitable and recurring hedge fund hotel collapse would be advised to put on a short Nasdaq, long 10Y pair on and await the unraveling.
It's deja vu time for Wal-Mart. Spot the trend:
- Q1: Wal-Mart Misses Revenue, Guides Below Expectations: Weather Among Factors Blamed
- Q2: Wal-Mart Misses, Guides Below Expectations; Blames Weak Consumer Spending, Payroll Tax, FX And Lack Of Inflation
Spot it yet? Good. Sure enough, in Q3 continuing the trend, moments ago Wal-Mart just missed revenues, and you got it: lowered guidance.
- Yellen to defend Fed's ultra-easy monetary policy (Reuters)
- Japan growth slows on global weakness (WSJ)
- Eurozone third-quarter growth falters (FT)
- Fed Debates Its Low-Rate Peg (Hilsenrath)
- Yellen: Economy Still Needs Fed Aid (WSJ)
- ‘Obamacare’ launch fiasco rouses sceptics (FT)
- DoubleLine's Gundlach says U.S. equities 'only game in town' (Reuters)
- Indian Inflation Exceeding Estimates Adds Rate-Rise Pressure (BBG)
- HUD Said to Fail in Bid to Sell $450 Million of Mortgages (BBG)
- Boeing machinists reject labor deal on 777X by 67 percent (Reuters)
Following his inconvenient truthiness yesterday, Andrew Huszar appeared on Bloomberg TV today (having dismissed the comic-book-written discussion he faced in CNBC's Fast Money yesterday). As usual Bloomberg gave him more time to speak, listened, and challenged some of what he said, but we were struck by the man-who-ran-the-Fed's-mortgage-book's points that "we are eerily similar to 2008." Simply out, he implores, "the structure of our economy has not changed," and his apology (on behalf of the Fed), is because the Fed "helped squander an opportunity to see change in America." The fact of the matter, this was folly, "The Fed does not have the ttols to help the economy."
Following the second quarter 0.3% rise in Eurozone GDP, which ended a multi year European recession (and who can possibly forget all those "strong" PMI numbers that helped launch a thousand clickbait slideshows), the proclamations for an imminent European golden age came hot and heavy. This was before the imploding European inflation print was announced and certainly before the ECB had no choice but to cut rates and even hint at QE, shattering all hopes of European growth. And just over an hour ago, the latest validation that just as we expected Europe is on the verge of a triple dip recession, came out of Eurostat (which may or may not get back to the issue of Spanish data integrity eventually), which reported that just like in Japan, the sequential growth rate in Europe is once again not only stalling but was dangerously close to once again contracting in the third quarter when it printed by the smallest possible positive quantum of 0.1%.
Hunting season is off to a good start this week, and I’m not just talking about deer hunting. It seems that former Fed officials declared open season on their ex-colleagues. First, Andrew Huszar, who once ran the Fed’s mortgage buying operation, let loose in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. Huszar apologized to all Americans for his role in the toxic QE programs. And then today, the WSJ struck again, this time with an op-ed by former FOMC Governor Kevin Warsh. Warsh is a former Morgan Stanley investment banker whose 2006 to 2011 stint on the FOMC spanned the end of the housing boom and the first few years of “unconventional” policy measures. After such a solid grounding in the ways of the Fed and Wall Street, he recently morphed into a critic of the status quo. His criticisms are welcome and we believe accurate, but they’re also oh so carefully expressed. They’re written with the polite wording and between-the-lines meanings that you might expect from such an establishment figure. He seems to be holding back. So, what does he really want to say?
Of all the screwed up, misallocated parts of the U.S. economy, the housing market continues to be one of the biggest potential train wrecks. While the extent of the insanity in residential real estate should be clear following the peak insanity yesterday, there are other potential problems just on the horizon. One of these was written about over the weekend in the LA Times. In a nutshell, the next several years will start to see principal payments added to interest only payments on a large amount of second mortgages taken out during the boom years. The estimate is that $30 billion in home equity lines will reset next year, $53 billion in 2015, and then ultimately soaring to $111 billion in 2018 - a looming “wave of disaster” because large numbers of borrowers will be unable to handle the higher payments. This will force banks to either foreclose, refinance the borrower or modify their loans.
Earlier today we reported that the Japanese cries of "more QE" have not only started but are getting progressively louder, when after a massive initial surge in the first half of the year following an epic currency dilution, the Nikkei's performance since May has largely been one big dud, which is putting not only the psychological "wealth effect" at risk, but also is tearing Abenomics apart, since perhaps the only key variable for the Prime Minister's plan of "growth" is the constant increase in the stock market, much the same as in the US. But while the market has gone nowhere fast, it is the economy that is truly starting to crack at the seams, as was confirmed hours ago when Japan reported that in the third quarter its economy grew an annualized 1.9%, following a quarter when the GDP grew at more than double that pace or 4.3%, which in turn succeeded a quarter with 3.8% growth. What's worse, in nominal terms, the actual third quarter growth was a paltry 0.4%: the lowest in all of 2013 while actual nominal consumption plunged to the lowest level since just after the start of Abenomics.
Tomorrow's Q&A is cancelled. Bad Idea. Back to the drawing board.
— J.P. Morgan (@jpmorgan) November 14, 2013
Following the FAA's warning that over 7,500 unmanned drones will be in US Airspace in the next five years, we thought news of yet another domestic drone down was noteworthy. Just a couple fo months ago we reported the crash (and self-destruction) of 2 drones in Florida, and now officials at the 174th Attack Wing suspended all Reaper drone flights in Central New York Tuesday after one of the unmanned aircraft crashed into Lake Ontario about 12 miles from the eastern shore during a routine training flight. As WNYF TV reports, the drone - one of four based at Fort Drum - was operated remotely from near Syracuse. Officials are investigating the crash but added, in some hope of reassurance, "the mission was going as advertised, up to the point where we did lose control of the airplane."