Trading volumes today are running at the lowest pace since 2006, crude oil prices ae testing back towards fresh 5 year lows, and Treasury yields are all lower... so it should come as absolutely no surprise that the S&P 500, Dow Industrials, and Russell 2000 have all hit fresh intraday record highs today.
"A world drowning in debt, weighed down with deflation,
Was saved once again by more asset inflation.
And I heard her exclaim, as she cranked up her press,
Wish your kids Merry Christmas, they'll inherit this mess!"
The five remaining equity bears on Earth are all saying the same thing: "We'll get 'em in 2015." To which I ask: why? What's going to change?
Blind faith in policymakers remains a bad trade that’s still widely held. Pressure builds everywhere we look. Not as a consequence of the Fed’s ineptitude (which is a constant in the equation, not a variable), but through the blind faith markets continuing to place bets on the very low probability outcome – that everything will turn out well this time around. And so the pressure keeps rising. Managers are under pressure to perform and missing more targets, levering up on hope. Without further delay we present our slightly unconventional annual list. Instead of the usual what you should do, we prefer the more helpful (for us at least) what we probably wouldn’t do. Five fresh new contenders for what could become some very bad trades in the coming year.
With 4 seconds to the close of yesterday's epic trading session, someone executed over $200 million and 1,147 trades in SPY - the S&P 500 ETF - in one-second, lifting the price to a S&P level of 2,130. This massive-loss-making "fat-finger" - resulting in millions of losses - would normally be followed by "probes" from the exchange into "erroneous trades" and then rapidly accompanied by the exchanges busting all the losing trades. But not this time! In all other cases of fat-finger'd and busted trades, we have learned who the counterparty was - even Goldman Sachs was exposed after regulators DK'ed its busted trades several years ago. So, the question is - why hasn't the other side of yesterday's berserk "fat-finger" buying spree in SPY spoken out in anger that its massive money losing trade will not be DKed?
Frenzied Chinese Stock Buyers Soak Up So Much Liquidity, Central Bank Forced To Intervene, Prevent SeizureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/18/2014 22:18 -0500
China's seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of interbank funding availability in the banking system, surged 139 basis points, to a 10-month high of 5.28% in Shanghai, the biggest since Jan. 20. The reason for the sudden cash crunch, according to Bloomberg, is that subscriptions for the biggest new share sales of the year lock up funds. Twelve initial public offerings from today through Dec. 25 will draw orders of as much as 3 trillion yuan ($483 billion), Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co. estimated. In other words, the scramble to allocate capital into China's surest way of making money, IPOs, has led to a drying out of general liquidity in the entire market. This in turn forced the PBOC to intervene and inject short-term money loans to commercial lenders in order to prevent the kind of interbank liquidity lock up that emerged in China in June 2013 in the aftermath of the first Taper Tantrum (and which before all is said and done, will likely take place again) and which sent global capital markets around the globe reeling before China resumed its massive liquidity injections which are at the heart of China's debt-fuelled bubble in the first place.
4 seconds before the close, one super-bullish algorithm exuberantly bought a massive $200 million worth of the S&P 500 ETF up to a 2,130 level on the index in one second... and no - it was not a fat finger!! It was 1,147 trades! Now who do we know that is an 'expert' in ETF trading?
President Obama "Normalizes" Relations With Cuba, Opens Diplomatic Channels; USAID Chief Resigns - Live FeedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/17/2014 11:50 -0500
“It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba,” White House says in statement. So sanctions don't work?
Rajiv Shah, the administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, oversaw secret US programs aimed at regime change in Cuba, abruptly resigned on Wednesday after US and Cuba announced plans to normalize relations and exchange prisoners.
The Sellside Reacts: "17% Rate Hike Not Enough" According To Citi, JPM; Goldman Positive: "Removes CBR Uncertainty"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/15/2014 23:00 -0500
A few short hours ago Russia shocked everyone with an unprecedented rate hike sending the nation's various interest rates some 650 bps higher. Well, according to the initial sellside responses from Citi and JPMorgan, as shocking as the move was, it is not nearly enough. Goldman is more positive, suggesting this move removes key uncertainty about CBR's willingness to stabilize RUB volatility.
Those who voted for the omnibus to avoid a shutdown fail to grasp that the consequences of blindly expanding government are far worse than the consequences of a temporary government shutdown. A short or even long-term government shutdown is a small price to pay to avoid an economic calamity caused by Congress’ failure to reduce spending and debt.
As hard as it is to believe - given the strength of the "Russia-is-doomed" meme - Crude oil prices for Russia (in Rubles) are unchanged since February... This is important as all costs are Ruble denominated while revenues are USD denominated, leaving Russian oil companies’ margins insulated despite the dollar decline in price. In addition, the Russian government is easing the export taxes which further improve the profitability of Russian oil. So as US Shale Oil sector is destroyed by its USD costs, it appears Putin's core energy industry is somewhat insulated... and America's late-80s "defeat The Soviet Union" playbook is failing.
For anyone trying to trade today, this post is moot. For everyone else, when less than 1K ES contracts take out not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 levels of order book depth, then one better pray that Waddell and Reed does not sneeze, and certainly not sell (or, gasp, short) anything in size or else...