Guest Post: Whack-A-Mole

Tyler Durden's picture

From Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors

Since last Thursday, the government bailout rally trade has been on.  Last Thursday, the EU announced a new round of bailouts for themselves.  That sparked a rally, it also sparked lots of talk about S&P 1,400.  Lots of people I spoke to, were talking about the parallels to the end of June where stocks shot up 5% in the last week of trading.  The catalyst for the next move higher was 'obvious' to everyone, the debt ceiling limit would be raised and stocks would be off to the races.  Since then, every time the longs have popped up their heads, the market has found a reason to smack them down.

The European rally barely lasted 24 hours.  On Thursday SOVX gapped 35 bps tighter.  Friday morning, it had moved another 35 tighter, only to close unchanged on the day.  It is now only about 20 bps tighter than where it closed last Wednesday.  In the real world, Italian and Spanish bonds are back under pressure and close to their pre bailout level.  Maybe the bailout would work if the IIF had actually released any real details by now.  Maybe some details on what EFSF would actually do or could really hope to accomplish would also have helped, but the only thing that has come out on the EFSF is that some EU members, and finance ministers, are nervous about creating a piggy bank for the PIIGS.

In spite of some weakness in stocks on Monday and Tuesday, it was clear that investors were still betting on a relief rally from the debt ceiling crisis being resolved.  No one seemed to really believe that it wouldn't be resolved, and actually were happy to see markets weaker as it gave them a buying opportunity.  By Wednesday it was clear that everyone was either long or less short than they would like, but were still reluctant to do much about it because they just knew that Washington would come to the rescue.

Washington will ultimately come to some form of 'compromise' on the debt ceiling.  Just like last year when we kept the Bush tax cuts and created some new payroll tax cuts, the rest of the world will be left scratching their heads wondering how Washington defines compromise.  Will we still get the relief rally? 

That is the question we need to figure out now.  Any hype about whether or not we will get a solution is just hype.  Their will be a solution, but it will do nothing to appease the rating agencies, and more and more, will it do much to appease investors?  The European situation is clearly deteriorating again.  The realization that the headlines sounded good, but the actual benefits were less clear when analyzed closely, and that the plan is not easy to implement, is weighing on Europe.  The economic data, here, and in Europe has been mediocre, so that will make it harder to get a big spike in stocks after any solution.

Bernanke and the Fed have to re-evaluate the grade they gave to QE2.  How we have such a massive revision in Q1 GDP is hard for me to understand.  Seriously, we need to find a way to get better data, but with a 0.4% quarter right in the heart of QE2, it is clear it did nothing to help the real economy. And yes, it is getting old, but I will say it again, the market is not the economy.

I am now cutting all my short.  I had cut some coming into this week, as I was scared of the rally, but kept enough on that I can't complain too much.  I am flat and tempted to go long.  We've had a big move, and government resolution is likely to come, but it feels like that is a crowded trade.  No one seems really afraid, and everyone seems to expect a bounce.  Just because everyone expects it, doesn't make it wrong, but I'm concerned that all the longs will pop out of their holes the second a deal is announced.  They will look around for someone to panic and take them out of their positions on the debt ceiling news.  Then they will look some more, and then realize that no one is caught short or surprised and they will scurry to get out of their positions.  Well, I just convinced myself to go back to putting on a small short.                          

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voshnishki's picture

The collapse has started. 

Biggvs's picture

Yep, I'll wager the "relief rally" will be small and then the pain can really get started. Until the Fed announces QE3, anyway.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I guess I am going to have to say the below all day.  My duty as I see it.



To: Tea Party members of the House:

Do.Not.Give.In.  Remember why we elected you.  Stop the spending, stop the cozy deals.  Stop the robbery of hte American people.  The ONLY way to right the ship (and it WILL be very painful) is to STOP the spending.  You know it, and we know it.


To: Valued Zero Hedge readers and commentators:

Buy.Gold.Now.  Tell you members of Congress: NO!  To a BAD deal.


Ghordius's picture

I know I will be junked to oblivion for this: it would help if the Tea Party would have some coherent strategy and policy.

If there is any, I don't see it. I'd go so far to say that when it comes to foreign policy (don't tell me it's not important with USD 2'000 billions budget for defence related expenses - it's for "foreign matters") the Republicans never had any coherent policy that held longer then two years.

Jena's picture

Herding the Tea Party is like herding cats.  Despite the best efforts of the Democrats and much of the media to categorize them, they aren't all Republicans.  They have no coherent policies or strategies because they have no real organization.  Many of the 'members' (and I use the term loosely) are new to politics, so aside from the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers and other historical documents, they don't know how the political game is played and they don't seem to care.  Whether it's all a good thing or not -- at least this is a discussion that we wouldn't otherwise be having.  

Pegasus Muse's picture

Tea Party members are not easily herded because, unlike their bought-and-paid-for Judas colleagues, they have not sold out to the Gangster Bankster Racketeers for 30 pieces of silver.

baby_BLYTHE's picture


QE 2 ends with the dollar looking to breakthrough to all-time lows, inflation running rampant (6-9% per annum) and 10-year treasury yielding a meger 2.85%.

The American people are getting absolutely slaughtered!

Wish I could attend that primary dealer meeting today and bust open some heads

Iriestx's picture

Wish that Norwegian nutjob had picked this meeting instead of that daycare island.

Ghordius's picture

Hot avatar. ;-)

9% Inflation this year, 7 years of this and all debt is halved. Sounds like a solution.

Makes me so sad that 1) this might be the "plan" and 2) how millions of people will have to suffer...

Take me with you to the meeting, I'll bring my trusty automatic...

slaughterer's picture

Sorry to disappoint you, but the relief rally will probably put the S&P over 1400 in 10 days.     

Stoploss's picture

In case no one is paying attention there is a 12 point spread.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Biflation, bitchez! 

What else can explain economic contraction in the middle of rising costs?

Core PCE was the only data point that came in way above expectation. 

PicassoInActions's picture

I think tuesday there will be a big rally. Till that time i better observe from outside.

Viva BDM ( Benya Da Men) or Ruller of the HP.

buzzsaw99's picture

The stock market is too the economy. Bitchez

newstreet's picture

Shock Doctrine.   How many times will we fall for this?

RobotTrader's picture



Whats up with the XRT or XLY?  Nobody wants to sell retail stocks.  Everyone knows that the U.S. Consumer is unfazed from all this mess.

But the GDX?  Well, that's another story.......

Just a good old fashioned "selling panic" by overleveraged anarchists.

slaughterer's picture

Equities are saying right now:

We have lift off.


HelluvaEngineer's picture

Just the required gap fill.  Odd, seems to mostly happen on down days.

malikai's picture

I've got some long shorts on. You know, the ones that go past the knees. Does this make me ready for the market?

r101958's picture

The data is ok. It is what they do with it after they get it that is not ok.

BaBaBouy's picture

This Recovery Scam is bullshit.


The US media is behind the alleged fantasy recovery.


The BBC had a report on last night from a homeless shelter in the south, full of new homeless FROM THE MIDDLE CLASS!


They were all screaming there has never been any Recovery.


All The While the FAT SACKS, JPM & Wall Streeter MBA's are buying new $500,000 Lambourginis's ...

Ghordius's picture

A serious question from outside the US: what is or was exactly the "middle class"? I'm typing this from a country where 60% of the households rent. Would you count them as "lower class" because of this?

blunderdog's picture

middle-class = working class with great capacity for self-delusion

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

The American Middle Class does not have to worry each day about where they will sleep nor where their next meal comes from.

Plenty of the Middle Class here rents.  My definition is that most Europeans are my definition of the Middle Class.

But, the Middle Class is in danger from America's and Europe's "Less than AAA-rated Governments."

Abitdodgie's picture

Who wants a recovery these are "Happy Days" I have never made as much money and when there is no more to be had off to the philippines and live life to the full , Thankyou Ben,Tim Obummer 

ElvisDog's picture

I agree with one of his comments that this is a time to sit on your hands and wait and see what happens. I think a collapse or a sharp rally are equally likely.

bob_dabolina's picture

Vacuum tubes are smoking

sabra1's picture

time to start a war, like now maybe?

FrankIvy's picture

This is not a support of QE2.

This is a support of logic.

The author claims: " but with a 0.4% quarter right in the heart of QE2, it is clear it did nothing to help the real economy."

There is an unstated assumption in this poor conclusion that there wouldn't have been negative or zero growth without QE2.  In other words, if without QE2 we would have had -5% GDP, then clearly a 0.4% quarter would be considered a great QE2 success (by those in favor of fiat devaluation).

Point is, this is basic logic, and the author can't be taken seriously if he doesn't understand it.

Finally, when we will dispel the myth that a + GDP number, preferably above 3%, is somehow the only indication of a "healthy" economy?  One of the largest problems facing us is the misconception that yoy positive GDP growth should be the goal indefinitely.

oogs66's picture

jobs would be part of the 'real' economy, and qe2 did nothing for those

FrankIvy's picture

You've made the same mistake as the author.

If there are 400k unemployed, that doesn't mean QE2 did nothing.  There may have been 600k without it.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Any news from Boaner? 

Sure looks like a Boaner relief-rally to me. Zzzzzz........

Milton Waddams's picture

'Dumb money', er longs, blew all their cash dressing-up their portfolios at the end of the quarter in an effort to appeal to even 'dumber money', er sophisticated investors.

RobotTrader's picture



Nice reversals in:





Looks like the crisis is over.

Internet Tough Guy's picture

Yes, 7 off the world record high. You should be working on your apology to General Jim, momo. You will fold like a cheap suit when gold hits 1650. You must be puking up blood. LOL.

espirit's picture

Go long NoBuTrader... on PPT volume?

You need a better gig than this.

fuu's picture

00:00:30 attention span.


Is that a $1633.80 print I see? 

BCTwelve's picture

The question really becomes, which, and how much, of these do I short when I play the "Fade RT" trade

lieutenantjohnchard's picture

it's more art than science. for example. last week he was braying that the dow was heading for 15000. dow then went on a five day bender to the downside. a good guide is that the more boastful he becomes the closer you come to the big reversal. but seriously. he changes his tune from post to post. so never take anything the man says as indicative of what he believes. he doesn't trade contrary to his acronym. he is scared to death and owns just a couple of stocks. again, his words, not mine.

lieutenantjohnchard's picture

an even nicer long reversal in your top call (december 2010 post) for 2011: std. from $13.75 to $10.30.

has you pair of pants arrived from gentleman jim sinclair? he hates to see a man wear skirts.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Middle class decimation will continue: the big game will just continune without you if you've been cut out. That's the plan 

BaBaBouy's picture

Funny, NONE of the $Trillions War Spending is on the table...

Caviar Emptor's picture

Why do you think? 

Too many big boyz making way too much money off that gravy train

sbenard's picture

ES rallying off 200-day MA again.


Absolutely surreal!

r101958's picture

Plunge Prevention Team is hard at work. Dow recovers about 90pts in last hour.....on what? Obama speech? Yaaaah....ok. My guess PPT and the market now expects QE3.

johnnynaps's picture

That team is the dream team! Watch the government market close in the green today.

Caviar Emptor's picture

QE3 will save the market, not the economy. 

More middle class decimation

Alasdair's picture

Excellent point.  Few know the difference.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

To: Tea Party members of the House:

Do.Not.Give.In.  Remember why we elected you.  Stop the spending, stop the cozy deals.  Stop the robbery of hte American people.  The ONLY way to right the ship (and it WILL be very painful) is to STOP the spending.  You know and we know it.


To: Valued Zero Hedge readers and commentators:

Buy.Gold.Now.  Tell you members of Congress: NO!  To a BAD deal.

Caviar Emptor's picture

They ain't gonna stop private security firms in Iraq from making billions. And they ain't gonna stop billions going to make sure bankers can still wear Gucci. And they all own stock