China

China
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A Bottom, But Not THE Bottom





With prices and valuations elevated, and earnings deteriorating, the backdrop for a continued "ripping bull-market" is at risk. The problem for the "perma-bulls" is that the deflationary backwash, combined with already weak economic fundamentals, continues to erode the ability for earnings to meet elevated future expectations. It is likely earnings will continue to disappoint in the quarters ahead and put further downward pressure on asset prices to close the current gap between "financial fantasy" and "economic realities."

 
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Margin Calls Mount On Loans Against Stock Portfolios Used To Buy Homes, Boats, "Pretty Much Everything"





 

"In a securities-based loan, the customer pledges all or part of a portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and/or other securities as collateral. But unlike traditional margin loans, in which the client uses the credit to buy more securities, the borrowing is for other purchases such as real estate, a boat or education..." The result was "dangerously high margin balances,' - the products became “the vehicle of choice for investors looking to get cash for anything.” Mr. Sica and others say the products were aggressively marketed to investors by banks and brokerages.

 

 
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Art Collectors Pawn Masterpieces To Meet Market Rout Margin Calls





“Ten years ago no one in the art market paid close attention to these corrections in the stock market. Now clients respond immediately."

 
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Who Will Be The Bagholders This Time Around?





Anyone betting China's GDP is really expanding at 7% and the U.S. economy will grow by 3.7% next quarter is angling to be a bagholder. Once global assets roll over for good, it's important to recall that somebody owns these assets all the way down. These owners are called bagholders, as in "left holding the bag." Those running the rigged casino have to select the bagholders in advance, lest some fat-cat cronies inadvertently get stuck with losses.

 
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Chinese Man Jumps From 17th Floor In First Stock Market Casualty





It appears the collapse of China's stock market has officially taken its first victim. While we have heard from desperate farmers who lost everything after realizing that making money in stocks is not easier than farmwork, RT reports that a 57-year-old man has allegedly committed suicide in Shenyang, the largest city in Liaoning Province, by jumping off the 17th floor of a building with a black briefcase "full of stock-related materials," local press reported.

 
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No Weakness Here : 7 Year Auction Stops Through, Highest Bid To Cover Since November





If the last two auctions, the 2 and 5 Year, were both wildly disappointing and confirmed what we had said that foreign central banks are no longer a strong demand presence in the short-end, today's 7 Year was a welcome surprise to anyone who is holding on to Treasury longs. Moments ago the 7 Year When Issued was trading at 1.939%, so when the 1.930% high yield print hit the tape, longs everywhere collectively exhaled in approval observing the 0.9 bps stop through.  The internals were likewise strong, with the Bid to Cover of 2.526 highest since November's 2.635, as Indirects kept their take down flat, absorbing 50.84% of the auction as Directs took down 14.15%, the highest since January, leaving 35.00% to the Dealers.

 
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VIX Backwardation Continues - It's Not Over Yet





While oil prices are surging (global economic meltdown averted), stocks are back in the green on the week (crisis averted), and bonds are collapsing (not because of China selling according to the mainstream because "everything is awesome" again), we point traders' attention to the continued inversion in the VIX term structure. While well off the peak crisis levels, we have a long way to go to "normalized" levels of risk...

 
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For Albert Edwards This Is The One Definitive Measure That "We Are Now In A Bear Market"





Over the years, Socgen's Albert Edwards has repeatedly expressed his skepticism of both the economy and the market (the longest US equity "bull market" since 1945) both propped up by generous central banks injecting liquidity by the tens of trillions (at this point nobody really knows the number now that the 'black box' that is China has entered the global "plunge protection" game) and yet never did he have as "conclusive" a call as he does today. As the following note reveals, when looking at one particular indicator, Edwards is now convinced: 'we are now in a bear market."

 
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An Unprecedented Shift in The Oil-Dollar Correlation Regime





WTI Crude just surged from $38.50 to over $41 and at the same time the USD Index has been surging. In fact, the correlation regime between these two seemingly negatively correlated assets has entirely shifted since last week's FOMC Statement.

 
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Pending Home Sales Miss, NAR Says Stock Plunge Is Good For Housing Affordability





The biggest surprise in today's NAR release came from the following Larry Yun statement: "Uncertainty in the equity markets — even if the Fed raises short-term rates in September — could stabilize long-term mortgage rates and preserve affordability for buyers." So with China, Larry Summer and the IMF now calling for a rate hike, the NAR - of all entities - is suddenly quite happy to see the recent market rout continue, which would keep rates lower and promote "affordability." Guess nobody tell Larry that China has now started dumping bonds.

 
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China Exclaims "We Were Wronged" - Demands Fed Delay Rate Hike, Reiterates Blame For Market Rout





"China's exchange rate reform had nothing to do with the global stock market volatility, it was mainly due to the upcoming U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy move," Yao said. "We were wronged."

 
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If You Doubted The Central Bankers' Brave New World, You Were Right





Ben Bernanke and his cohort central bankers built a Brave New World (SOMA, SOMA, SOMA!) where central bank money printing would boost stock prices and the wealth created would trickle down to workers and cause a booming economy. If you doubted that, you are now seeing proof that maybe this world was a little bit of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland along with the Aldous Huxley.

 
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Tiffany Stock Tumbles After Revenue And Profit Drops, EPS Slide 16%; Forecast Cut; Strong Dollar Blamed





Even the rich are starting to feel the pinch, at least according to the favorite jeweler of the upwardly mobile middle-to-upper class (especially in China and Japan), Tiffany & Co., which earlier today reported Q2 EPS of $0.86, below the $0.91 expected, with GAAP EPS of $0.81 some 16% below the $0.96 record last year. Like other retailers, TIF was quick to blame the surging dollar (which isn't going anywhere if the Fed indeed proceeds with a rate hike),  blaming it for lowering the value of the Tiffany’s sales overseas, where the company gets most of its revenue. Currency fluctuations also have kept tourists from making purchases at U.S. stores, dealing a second blow to revenue.

 
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Frontrunning: August 27





  • Virginia TV journalists killed by suspect with 'powder keg' of anger (Reuters)
  • Policeman shot to death and three women stabbed, one fatally, in Louisiana (Reuters)
  • China Intervened Today to Shore Up Stocks Ahead of Military Parade (Reuters)
  • Margin Calls Bite Investors, Banks (WSJ)
  • "Computer glitch" is preventing dozens of mutual funds, ETFs from promptly pricing their securities (WSJ)
  • Oil prices rise more than 4 percent as equities rally (Reuters)
  • Oil Industry Needs Half a Trillion Dollars to Endure Price Slump (BBG)
 
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Aggressive Chinese Intervention Prevents Another Rout, Sends Stocks Soaring 5% In Last Trading Hour; US Futures Jump





After a 5 day tumbling streak, which saw Chinese stock plunge well over 20% and 17% in just the first three days of this week, overnight the Shanghai Composite was hanging by a thread (and threat) until the last hour of trading. In fact, this is what the SHCOMP looked like until the very end: Up 2.6%, up 1.2%, up 2.8%, up 0.6%, up 2%... down 0.2%. And then the cavalry came in: "Heavyweight stocks like banks and insurance companies helped pull up the index, and it’s possibly China Securities Finance entering the market again to shore up stocks," Central China Sec. strategist Zhang Gang told Bloomberg by phone. Net result: the Composite, having been red just shortly before the close, soared higher by 156 points or 5.4%, showing the US stock market just how it's down.

 
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