Paging Alanis Morisette: BP just pulled the ironic rug from right under the feet of the US and UK - the company is now expected to pay $10 billion less in taxes as a result of oil spill costs and associated expenses. As the FT reports, "BP is forecast to pay about $10bn (£6.7bn) less tax over the next four years as it meets the costs of its huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, hitting the revenues of Britain and the US that receive hundreds of millions of dollars from the company each year. The shortfall, representing a drop of more than a quarter in BP’s tax payments, is a particular concern for the British government attempting to cut the country’s budget deficit." It turns out the bulk of the tens of billions in associated costs will be tax deductible, in essence impairing primarily the government of the US and the UK at the marginal tax rate. And yes, both governments are in dire need of tax revenues, although the UK much more so, as the US apparently can print $30 billion on a day like today at a rate of just over 1%. It appears the endgame will be a truly poetic gesture with an extended middle finger by BP's treasurer. Of course once the UK realizes it is about to see billions see in taxes, the response will be yet another series of Obama bashing headlines, just like when it was made public that Scotland's widows are among the biggest losers in the stock price collapse.
Oil prices sold off on Monday as traders looked for bullish factors upon which to base a continuation of last week’s advance – in vain. The DJIA was lackluster through Monday’s trading session, and investors were in a wait-and-see mode as the earnings “season” (for the second quarter) got under way. Alcoa, the first to release its quarterly figures, did not give the market anything to react to until very late in the day. It announced a profit, in contrast to the weak deand and poor prices of a year ago. Its earnings beat expectations by a penny on reportedly strong revenues. The DJIA ended the session up 18.24 to 10,216.27. Oil prices did not have much positive guidance from equities and finished in negative territory. - Cameron Hanover
We had recommended getting structurally long Gold at 1,085, but atfer the recent pull back we tempered our enthusiasm a bit. While the market reacted after reaching the initial downside target at 1,187, we felt 1,215/1,225 would be a strong intermediary resistance. We have reached 1,215 (1,214.7...) on the highs of the last move up and are now in the process of shaping an inverted H&S. Until it is triggered I would not get long again as the risk looking at the wave pattern on the daily chart is to complete a wave IV which could take us down to 1,110 or even as low as 1,044. - Nic Lenoir
The storm in a teacup that has been Apple's little fiasco with the antenna issue on the new iPhone is becoming sufficiently threatening that more people are starting to pay attention. After Apple flatly denied empirical evidence that the phone's antenna system was corrupt, and insinuated that it was really just a software glitch which could be fixed with a simple software upgrade, today's news that Consumer Reports has confirmed that a hardware flaw is creating a reception problem, and as a
result, saying it has decided not to recommend the
phone, is a huge slap in the face for Steve Jobs and the iFad team, which have now been publicly outed as liars. Obviously the issue is not about the antenna - Apple's fans, like all good lab animals, will habituate to holding the phone with tweezers, chopsticks and a heat glove if it means they get to look cool in public. However the public response by Apple to being outed that even the greatest fad creating company in the world could create a new product failure, has been a royal gaffe. Has Jobs lost enough credibility to it being material to the stock? Probably not, although fans of fads are known to turn from docile lambs to vicious hyenas once a tipping point is reached, and it suddenly becomes cooler to actually hate Apple. Today's development may have just tipped the scales just a little in the wrong direction.
For those who doubt the validity of the market rally, the chart below should justify their concern. The entire rally, commencing with the test of 1,000 in ES a week ago, through today has occurred on irrelevant volume. Compare the accumulation volume in the downward channel from 1,120 through July 5, and then compare to the volume on the upswing which has cut more than half the drop's losses. And somehow the shorts get scared to cover all positions in this manipulated no-volume rally.
For those computers that buy and sell stocks on a little more than just headline news, they may be interested to note just how Alcoa really feels about its business prospects. While the CEO of a company will always tout its prospects no matter what, after all just like CNBC, and bankers, they are only paid if growth continues, for a true glimpse of how the company is evaluating the future always look at its capex line: nothing else will provide as much information about a firm's view on organic growth IRR opportunities. And a firm that is retrenching, and thus conserving cash, is skeptical about the future, to say the least. Which is why one look at the Alcoa CapEx chart of the past 4 years shows nothing good: Q2 2010's CapEx number of $213 million was the second lowest number in many years, only higher than the $208 million in Capex spent during December 2009. In addition to CapEx, the chart below also shows Cash from operations. We will leave it up to the reader to decide if a business with $5 billion in quarterly revenue, and a market cap of $11 billion is justified in generating just $300 million in Cash from Operations.
RANsquawk Market Wrap Up - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 12/07/10
AA reports $0.13 EPS versus expectations of $0.11. A month ago EPS expectations for AA were $0.16 per Bloomberg. Q2 revenue was $5.19 billion on consensus of $5.02 billion. A month ago this number was $5.140 billion. The company projects an increase from 10 to 12% in global aluminum consumption on "improved end-market demand." Such as vacant cities in China and rolling over in auto SAARs
Today's wtf moment of the day is brought to you by the SEC and god. In a stunning development, we uncover that the SEC actually has had a Chief Information Officer for the past two years (yes, we loled). In an even more stunning development, the SEC has disclosed that this CIO is leaving the organization, and has decided to join the metaphorical Goldman Sachs by doing god's work on earth... but not at 200 West, and is instead joining the church as a deacon. "The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Charles Boucher has decided to leave the agency after serving as its Chief Information Officer (CIO) since 2008. His plans include not-for-profit work and completion of studies in preparation for ordination as a Deacon in his church next spring." This is merely confirmation that Mr. Boucher must have been rather compromised when Chief Information Officering: he should know, as most other far dumber SEC henchman have figured out, that Goldmanliness is Godliness. Had he gone to Goldman, he would have already been promoted to Pope, in exchange for a few indulgences on behalf of the Abacus and Timberwolf sins, and have DMA access to High Frequency Communications directly to the One.
Earlier today we demonstrated the first instance of AUDJPY decoupling. Well, sure enough the spread closed within minutes of our observation. Luckily the market is so broken now, that it is allowing all participants another freebie in the form of another major decoupling as stocks once again spike on absolutely nothing, except a few misplaced 1 and 0's here and there. If you missed the earlier decoupling, here is your opportunity to jump in on a trade that has successfully recoupled on 18 out of 18 past observations. For those who already made money on it earlier, double down time is here. Please enjoy spanking those busted robots.
Bloomberg recently reported on the increased correlation between the CRY commodity index and the S&P, claiming that increased correlation decreases the incentive for investors to be in commodities and that continued high correlation will lead to outflows from commodity funds. But one thing we noticed is that the charts look completely different depending on how far apart the data points are spaced. Below we provide charts with data points taken monthly, quarterly, and annually.
Following up on our earlier observations on the Spiegel article about Germany change in posture vis-a-vis the European Stability Fund, here are some additional summary thoughts from Thermidor.
The jostling between the executive and the legislative branch continues. After a court of appeals denied Ken Salazar and the Obama administration their request to overturn the previous repeal of the offshore drilling ban, AP now reports that Obama is about to issue a "new revised" moratorium on deepwater drilling. In other words, when courts refuse to deal with being strongarmed, the government will just pummel them with new decrees until they relent. We suggest Obama just escalates the issue to the SCOTUS and get his prearranged favorable ruling already.
$35 Billion 3 Year Bond Auction Closes At 1.055% High Yield, 3.20 Bid To Cover, Highest PD Takedown Since May 2009Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/12/2010 13:25 -0400
The US government is another $35 billion in the debt sink hole. The cost of this marginal addition to our existing debt load ($10 trillion? $100 trillion? who cares) was just 1.055%, which was gobbled up briskly at a 3.20 Bid To Cover. The bulk of the buying came from Primary Dealers who took down the highest portion of the auction, or 45.1%, since May of 2009, when PDs were responsible for 56.6% of the takedown. Indirect bidders, coming in at 40.6%, was the lowest indirect take down since January, when they were responsible for just 38%. The balance of 14.3% was left to the Direct Bidders. The Bid To Cover at 3.20 came in well above the LTM average of 3.03%.
Retail Sales Plunge In Italy On Surging Unemployment And Lack Of Confidence: Example Of What US Looks Like Absent StimulusSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/12/2010 12:36 -0400
The traditional hot bed of haute couture and fashion retail is experiencing an unprecedented plunge in end demand as Italy, absent trillions in fiscal and monetary stimulus boosts, has become a prime example of what US retail would look like absent the generosity of the government and the Fed. According to this Bloomberg TV report, "sales are worse than last year and business is getting worse and worse. The situation is not good." Summer sales revenues are expected to be down 5% across the board. Another factor blamed for poor sales: the weak performance by the Italian football team, and the resultant glut of jerseys. And when Prada and Gucci are seen offering extra discounts just to get shoppers into the stores, the whole concept of ultrapremium retail goes out of the window, putting the "aspirational shopper" paradigm on hold.