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Go Figure, The Poorest Place In Europe Is Run By Communists





Ah Moldova... the poorest country in Europe, which just so happens to have had a Communist party majority in its parliament since 1998. These two points are not unrelated.

 
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VIX Tops 17 Sparks "Santa-Rally" Negating Sell-Off





This is not USDJPY-driven. VIX has diverged (as has HY Credit) for the last 3 days but the push higher in the 'fear index' in the last few minutes (with no obvious catalyst) has dragged the S&P lower - erasing (once again) the Santa-Rally gains...

 
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What Wall Of Worry? 2014 Was The Least 'Bearish' For Investors Ever





Investors have never - ever - been less bearish about the stock market than they are in 2014...

 
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Saudi King Abdullah Hospitalization Sends Stocks Tumbling But It's Oil That Is Suddenly Paying Attention





Earlier today, Saudi Arabia's stock market fell sharply with the Tadawul All Share Index plunging following a Saudi state TV report that King Abdullah had been admitted to hospital for tests. As shown in the chart report, the index tumbled as much as 6% lower in the minutes after the Saudi Press Agency report which quoted a brief royal court statement. But while the ill king of the King, aged 90, is hardly news to the discounting stock market, a few more nuanced interpertation of not just what happens if and when the King passes away but what Saudi succession looks like, is much more relevant for oil - especially now that Saudi Arabia has unilaterally decided to tear apart OPEC in its push to put US shale producers out of business.

 
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Gold & Silver Slammed Back Below FOMC Levels





Monday - Purge. Tuesday - Surge. Wednesday Purge. Although on light volume, gold and silver prices are tumbling this morning, now trading back below the pre-Dec 17th FOMC levels (making sure that status quo-huggers can point to them being down year-to-date as proof all is well in the world)...

 
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2015 Housing Trends: Will The Echo Bubble Continue Expanding?





Will the Echo Bubble continue expanding in 2015? Let's answer with another set of questions: is a housing market that is dependent on marginal buyers who would never qualify to buy a house with prudent risk management a sustainable market? Is a housing market that is dependent on hot money from overseas buying houses for cash a sustainable market? Is a housing market that is dependent on investors buying homes to rent a sustainable market? Considering the reality that only the top 5% have benefited from the policies of the past six years, it's difficult to see how the answer is "yes."
 
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Uber's Guide To Tonight's Peak "Surge" Pricing





 
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Existing Home Sales Revised Lower (Again), Midwest Slumps For 6th Month In A Row





While existing home sales rose 0.8% (beating the 0.5% expectation) MoM in November, once again previous data was revised lower. On an unadjusted basis however, YoY home sales rose at only 1.7% - missing expectations of 2.6% growth. The Midwest region saw existing home sales drop again - for the 6th month in a row, down over 5% in that period.

 
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Chicago PMI MIsses, Drops To 5-Month Lows





Only 1 of MNI's Chicago Business Barometer components rose in December as the headline index tumbled from October's multi-year highs at 66.2 to today's December print of 58.3 - lowest in 5 months and missing expectations for the 2nd month in a row. While new orders, prices paid, and production all fell, employment (the sole improvment) rose.

 
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"Non-Political" Draghi Demands Full Federalization Of Europe, Centralized Stock Market





With GREXIT once again knocking on the Euro's door, Mario Draghi has come out swinging (or jawboning). As Reuters reports, the non-political, non-meddling, completely independent central bank chief explains, structural reforms were needed to "ensure that each country is better off permanently belonging to the euro area," adding that Euro zone countries must "complete" their monetary union by integrating economic policies further and working towards a capital markets union. Brussels Uber Alles... (or else "the threat of an exit (from the euro) whose consequences would ultimately hit all members").

 
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50-Year NYSE Veteran Art Cashin Unleashes New Year's Poem - From ISIS To The Ice Bucket Challenge





Hot on the heels of his Xmas Poem, 50-year NYSE veteran Art Cashin, UBS Director of Floor Operations, has unveiled his New Year's Poem summarizing the year behind and looking at the year ahead. From ISIS to The Ice Bucket Challenge and from Joan Rivers' death to Kim Jung Un's life, Cashin covers it all...

 
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The Rigging Triangle Exposed: The JPMorgan-British Petroleum-Bank Of England Cartel Full Frontal





To all those wondering if everything is rigged, we have a very simple answer: Yes.

 
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Crude Carnage Resumes: WTI $52 Handle - New Cycle Lows, Here's Why





Just 3 short days ago, energy stocks were surging and oil was - according to the mainstream media - "stabilizing." Today, we plumb new cycle lows, with WTI back below $53 as every rally is to be sold for now... While no one can resist the temptation to call the bottom in oil, the recoupling of oil-dependent energy stocks from oil appears to the no-brainer trade of January... Here are 3 potential reasons for today's drop.

 
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Initial Jobless Claims Rise 17k, End 2014 At Same Level As In July





It appears the glorious trend of decling initial jobless claims has run its course. For the last 5 months, initial claims have oscillated around the crucial-to-the-narrative 300k level - breaking the constant downtrend of the last 4-5 years. Today's 298k print, up 17k from last week, is the same level seen in the 3rd week of July. This is the highest 6mo. rise in initial claims since the middle of the Polar Vortex.

 
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Frontrunning: December 31





  • Behind the Scenes at Sony as Hacking Crisis Unfolded (WSJ)
  • Oil Set for Biggest Slump Since 2008 as OPEC Battles U.S. Shale (BBG)
  • Praet Warning of Oil Effects Signals Higher Chance of ECB QE (BBG)
  • U.S. Opening Door to More Oil Exports Seen Foiling OPEC Strategy (BBG)
  • Venezuela confirms recession, inflation hits 63.6 percent in Nov (Reuters)
  • U.S. to station 150 armored vehicles in Europe (Reuters)
  • China Stocks Rise to Finish Off Big Year (WSJ)
  • RBS Suspends Bonuses of 18 Traders Amid FX Rigging Fine (BBG)
 
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