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Europe Ends Winning Week By Giving Half Of It Back

CNBC is convinced - this is just profit-taking, and think about where we have come from? We prefer to base our positioning on expectations of the future as opposed to extrapolations of the past. If only we could ignore the last two days, Europe would look awesome! Every asset class is indeed up for the week: stocks, EURUSD, sovereign bonds, and corporate and financial credit. However, the last 36 hours or so has seen almost half of the week's gain s chaffed away by them pesky profit-takers (apparently). EURUSD is 100pips off Wednesday's highs; Bloomberg's BE500 (broad equity index) is around 2% off Thursday's highs; IG and Financial credit spreads are around 5-10% riskier from Wednesday's tights; Spain's equity market is 3.5% lower than its peak on Wednesday and Italy down 2.5% from its mid-week highs. Sovereigns have remained relatively resilient - giving back only a few bps of their gains this week (Spain/Italy -40bps on the week). But apart from all that - Europe's doing great apparently. Spot the odd chart out (and which do you trust?)

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The French Great Socialist Revolution Will Be Homework-Free, And Very, Very Cold

Whereas some may have welcomed the latest development in the Great French Socialist Revolution chronicles, primarily those 8-16 year olds who would directly benefit from president Francois Hollande's attempt to capture the vote of those still ineligible to actually vote, by promising to do away with homework (because it encourages "inequality" as homework apparently "favors the wealthy"), everyone else saw right through it for the sad attempt at populism it was. Luckily, the impact of this idiotic policy, if it were to actually pass, would not be visible for at least a decade at which point French society would be so dumb (not to mention poor) that few would actually care. However, another proposal being currently contemplated in France may have far more immediate terminal consequences to the life expectancies of those personally experiencing the reincarnation of wholesale of socialism. Because as Bloomberg notes, "Heating a French home could soon require an income tax consultation or even a visit to the doctor under legislation to force conservation in the nation’s $46 billion household energy market." Congratulations Europe: in your ongoing crusade of wealth redistribution (when all this could have been averted if you, and the US, had simply allowed the banks who control your society to collapse), you are about to make heating one's home a privilege for the despised Bourgeoisie, an act which must be monetarily punished, and socially ostracized.

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AAPL Loses 100DMA (Again) As Trade Size Explodes

Presented with little comment - aside to note the explosion in average trade size today as AAPL plunges back below its 100DMA - BTFD or small doors, large crowds?

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Pass The Salt; Pass The Government

How many European nations does it take to screw in a light bulb? Twenty-seven. One from Brussels to identify that the object in question is, in fact, a light bulb. Someone from Northern Europe to hold the bulb. A group from Southern Europe to turn the guy holding the bulb around and around until the thing is screwed in. A person from Germany or France to flick the switch and then the rest of the group, after tea, strudel and champagne to stand in front of the microphones and laud the effort. The end-result from the latest EU Summit is clear: More fluff, more stuff and more "pass the risotto if you please" as no one in America or Europe wants to own up to the very serious problems facing both continents
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Spain's Regional Bailout Fund: A Drop In A Bucket Of Insolvency

UPDATE: Ironic timing:- Spanish region Asturias will seek EU261.7m from central govt’s rescue fund for regions

It will come as no surprise to many that the initial size estimates of Spain's regional bailout fund are now being questioned. The government is now 'analyzing' whether the EUR18bn 'temporary' bailout fund needs to be increased. In a word - Yes! As this chart from Bloomberg Briefs shows, the size of the 'help' is pittance compared to the debt-loads of Catalonia alone (which recently sought secession). As Bloomberg's Niraj Shah notes, Spanish regional elections in the Basque country and Galicia take place on Sunday, followed by a ballot in Catalonia on Nov. 25. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy may prefer to seek a bailout after the elections as a series of defeats for his People’s Party could exacerbate investor concerns about the government’s ability to control spending and revenue and bring down the deficit. Perhaps our 'context' update on Spain's situation last night was rather prescient after all?

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Bill Gross Warns "Very Likely' Central Banks Will Cause 1987-Like Crash

What takes other Political Journalism majors (and CTRL-C/V minors) pages and pages of verbose essays full of acronyms and meaningless gibberish to refute, Bill Gross asserts in less than 140 characters.

Needless to say, he is absolutely correct.

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Here's What The Machines Are Doing With GOOG Today

We indicated yesterday, as GOOG re-opened, that the day's Volume-Weighted-Average-Price (VWAP) would be a critical level in the next day or two. The earnings SNAFU heard around the world and the sheer mania and herding going into earnings meant only one thing - the big boys will want out in a hurry (big crowds and small doors). And so the onslaught of talking heads appeared to play down this 'aberration', to talk up the future, and explain why everyone should BTFD. The machines, however, told a different story. From the moment we reopened, GOOG was tickled higher by market-maker algos desperate to allow their institutional order-flow out at anything like a VWAP level (the level that their bonuses are judged on and commissions paid from). Sure enough, by the open of the day-session today, we had reached yesterday's closing VWAP and a flood of large block size sell orders hit the market. Watching VWAP today will be key - that's what the machines will be doing as they revert every dip to dump at this mystical level.

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Art Cashin On Today's Other Anniversary

Yesterday, we presented Art Cashin's unique perspective on the US equity market's darkest day 25 years ago. However, as Art notes, there was another event 555 years ago that offers some insight into the current state of the world. On this day in 1457, the government banned that most sacred of pastimes - golf. Most notably, Cashin reflects on the eventual backfire from this government intervention - as always seems to be the case.

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The New Normal Trendlines

Although we showed these earlier, we believe the charts showing the trendlines in the two most critical components of US household purchasing power deserve to be shown again, without much if any commentary necessary. Just because.

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Q3 Earnings Season To Date: Revenue Beats: 41%; Misses 59%

While as Bloomberg reports the EPS beat to miss ratio so far is 68%:32%, the scariest statistic of the day goes to Deutsche Bank who said that "The beat-to-miss ratio... is running 41%:59% for revenue." This means nearly 50% more misses than beats in the earnings season so far. DB continues: "Recall that Q2 was also one where we saw better EPS beat but weaker revenue performance so it seems that companies have been eking out earnings by squeezing costs and wages."  Now as every entry level analysts, Treasurer and CFO knows, there are 1001 ways to boost ESP cut corporate overhead (and those exclude accounting gimmicks, ahem all banks and GE), chief among them of course is laying people off and replacing them with part-timers and temps (something that has been going on in the US for 3 years now as we first showed in 2010), there is precisely zero way to hide the fact that there is simply less demand for products and services at the very top level in a world in which 2% growth, formerly known as stall speed, is the New Killing it, and in which real disposable income just turned negative once again, not to mention the endless collapse in average hourly earnings.

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Why The Market Ignored GOOG's Plunge (If Only Briefly)

GOOG’s ill timed oops in the early afternoon dumped the S&P 500 approximately 12 handles from what been shaping up previously as a fourth straight “checkmark” session.  The technology behemoth provided another example of a non-financial firm’s missing earnings expectations by a country mile.  Despite the shocking nature of the disappointment, the TICK never registered a print worse than –925 in the immediate wake of the surprise headline, a highly unusual phenomenon given the aggressiveness of the downward move.  This suggests large institutions stayed with their VWAP buy programs out of confusion or necessity.  We can envision only two scenarios for such adherence to purchasing in the face of clear extremely negative news on, what was at the time, the third biggest stock in America...

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EU Leaders Agree On Bank Supervisor

EU leaders committed to establishing a euro-area bank supervisor by year-end, leaving the door open for supplying direct aid to Spanish banks. The EU must now agree on the structure that makes the ECB (European Central Bank) the main supervisor by January 1st.  This new system was created to break the link between banks and governments at the root of the zone’s financial crisis and will roll out in the next year and expect to cover all 6,000 eurozone banks by January 2014. “Our goal is banking supervision that’s worthy of the name, because we want to create something that’s better than what we currently have,” Merkel told reporters. Germany and France argued contentiously about the timing.  Berlin has insisted the supervisor be effective before the ESM can begin cash injections into Spanish banks, those transactions are not foreseeable to occur until the latter half of the year, around the time of Germany’s national elections. Angela Merkel said it would take more than a few months before the supervisor was fully effective and direct bank recapitalisation could be considered. However, the agreement appeared to upset German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's efforts to delay and limit the scope of European banking supervision. Germany has been averse to see its politically sensitive Savings and Cooperative banks come under outside supervision. It rejects any joint deposit guarantee under which wealthier countries might have to underwrite banks in poorer states.

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Daily US Opening News And Market Re-Cap: October 19

Yet again Germany was forced to compromise and agree on what can only be viewed as a partial agreement on EU banking supervision. Under the agreed timetable, a legal framework for the new ECB-based supervisor would be finalised by the end of this year and then it would take six to 12 months to get the supervisor up and running. Still, German Chancellor Merkel insisted that direct recapitalisation of banks by the ESM will only be available once fully fledged supervision is in place and ruled out retroactive bank recapitalisation. This, together with the fact that Spain is yet to ask for monetary assistance prompted market participants to book profits. In particular, selling pressure was most evident across the financial sector, where Italian and Spanish banks underperforming for much of the session. As a result, EUR/USD traded lower, with large option expiries today and on Monday between 1.3000 and 1.3050 preventing the pair from posting large losses. Going forward, the second half of the session sees the release of the latest Existing Home Sales from the US and Canadian CPI.

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Frontrunning: October 19

  • Debt Fuels a Dividend Boom - Firms Collect Payouts, and Investors Get Yield; 'Reminiscent of the Bubble Era' (WSJ)
  • Black Monday Echoes With Computers Failing to Restore Confidence (BBG)
  • Poll: Obama Leads in Wisconsin, Iowa (WSJ)
  • Gold Imports by India Seen Climbing First Time in Six Quarters (BBG)
  • Europe pushes ahead towards ECB bank supervision (Reuters)
  • ... And fails: Summit fails to agree timetable for aid to failing lenders (FT)
  • Toyota Prius Dominates California as State’s No. 1 Model (BBG)
  • Italy raises €18bn in huge bond sale (FT)
  • Diplomacy inbox fills up as U.N. awaits U.S. presidential vote (Reuters)
  • Goldman braced for more revelations (FT)
  • China power brokers agree preferred leadership team (Reuters)
  • EU, Japan Warn Against New US Swaps Rules (WSJ)
  • Why VaR is the most meaningless contraption ever: Morgan Stanley shows the ‘flaky’ side of model (FT)
  • Made in France Trumps Consumer Choice in Hollande Jobs Quest (BBG)
  • North Korea threatens South over propaganda balloons (Reuters)
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If Elections Were Held In Greece Today

... Europe would be worried to quite worried:

  • Anti-bailout Syria: 30.5%
  • New Democracy: 27% - Currently ruling
  • Golden Dawn (nationalists): 14%
  • Pasok and Democratic Left: 5%

In other words, the anti-bailout party and the neo-nazis would have a near majority in parliament.

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