After staging another dramatic slump early in the year, which was once again blamed on snow to offset what was supposed to have been an "unambiguously good" for US spending gas price slump, retail sales finally picked up in May, laying out hope that the June print and onward, would be "good enough" to suggest that the US economy is recovering, some 6 years after the "recession ended" mind you, and is on track for a Fed rate hike.
Today's market battle will be between those (central banks) "hoping" that a Greek deal over the weekend is finally imminent (which on one hand looks possible after a major backpeddling by Tsipras - who may never have wanted to win the Greferendum in the first place - yesterday in Brussels and today during his speech in the Euro Parliament, but on the other will be a nearly impossible sell to Greece as any deal terms will be far harsher than the deal offered by the Troika 2 weeks ago and will have no debt reduction), and those who finally noticed that the Chinese central planners have effectively lost control.
When it comes to Greece, and Europe in general, "hope" continues to remain the driving strategy. As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow summarizes this morning, "if you were looking for a word to describe the general feeling of equity markets today, you might well pick hopeful. U.S. equity futures opened higher and have been up all day. European bourses opened cautiously higher as they await word, any word, from the European finance ministers or more importantly, Chancellor Merkel. Equity markets will continue to be very reactive to European headlines, but so far, no news has been taken as a reason for hope." Which incidentally, has been the general investment case for the past 6 years: "hope" that central banks know what they are doing.
If it was Greece's intention to crush the Chinese stock market instead of Europe's, well - it succeeded. Because despite the PBOC and politburo throwing everything but QE at the stock market, China stocks closed down sharply on Thursday after another wild trading day as investors shrugged off regulators' intensified efforts to put a floor under the sliding market, by cutting trading fees and easing margin rules, which has now crashed 25% in about two weeks wiping out $2.5 trillion of the peak $10 trillion in Chinese stock market cap as of June 14. This ultimately resulted with the Shanghai Composite closing under 4000 for the first time since April.
With the Fed's June FOMC statement in just over 7 hours and a Yellen press conference to follow shortly, one in which nobody expects the Fed will announces its first rate-hiking cycle in nine years despite repeated clues by Yellen that not only is there froth in the market but that the Fed has no dry powder to contain the next crisis when it emerges (even though a rate hike will catalyze the next crisis), traders have chosen to ignore the chatter from Greece which is getting worse by the hour, and unlike recent days, have bought risk overnight based on one simple technical: of the five press conferences in ten Fed meetings held by Yellen as Chairman, the S&P finished higher 80% of the time.
Futures Flat With Greece In Spotlight; UBS Reveals Rigging Settlement; Inventory Surge Grows Japan GDPSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/20/2015 07:00 -0400
The only remarkable macroeconomic news overnight was out of Japan where we got the Q1 GDP print of 2.4% coming in well above consensus of 1.6%, and higher than the 1.1% in Q4. Did it not snow in Japan this winter? Does Japan already used double, and maybe triple, "seasonally-adjusted" data? We don't know, but we do know that both Japan and Europe have grown far faster than the US in the first quarter.
It all started again in Asia, although not in China where the berserker mania bid for stocks has returned and the SHCOMP is now up nearly 5% in the past two days following the PBOC's latest easing, but in Japan where once again the massively illiquid JGB market, of which the BOJ owns roughly a third as of this moment, is going through yet another shock period (if not quite VaR yet) with last night's 10 Year JGB auction seeing the lowest Bid to Cover since 2009. This was the beginning, and promptly thereafter bond yields around the globe spiked once more, with 10-year Treasury yields climbing to a five-month high, as the global rout in debt markets deepened. The biggest casualty so far is the Bund, which having retraced some of the flash crash losses from two weeks ago is once again in panic selling mode, and while not having taken out the recent 0.8% flash crash wides, traded just shy of 0.75% this morning.
Futures Jittery As Attention Returns To Greece; China Stocks Rebound On Latest Central Bank InterventionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/11/2015 06:48 -0400
With the big macro data out of the way, attention today and for the rest of the week will focus on the aftermath of the latest Chinese rate cut - its third in the past 6 months - which managed to boost the Shanghai Composite up by 3% overnight but not nearly enough to make up for losses in the past week; any resumption of the 6+ sigma volatility in the German Bund, which already has been jittery with the yield sliding to 0.52% only to spike to 0.62% shortly thereafter before retracing some of the losses; and finally Greece, which in a normal world would have concluded its negotiations during today's Eurogroup meeting and unlocked up to €7 billion in funds for the coming months. Instead, Greece may not only not make its €770 million IMF payment tomorrow but according to ever louder rumors, is contemplating a parallel currency on its way out of the Eurozone.
This is how DB summarizes what has been the primary feature of capital markets this week - the huge move in European bond yields: "On April 17th, 10-year Bunds traded below 0.05% intra-day. Two and a half weeks later and yesterday saw bunds close around 1000% higher than those yield lows at 0.516% after rising +6.2bps on the day." Right out of the European open today, the government bond selloff accelerated with the 10Y Bund reaching as wide as 0.595% with the periphery following closely behind when at 9:30am CET sharp, just as the selloff seemed to be getting out of control, it reversed and out of nowhere and a furious buying wave pushed the Bund and most peripheral bonds unchanged or tighter on the day! Strange, to say the least. Also, illiquid.
Latest Central Bank Sticksave Halts Futures Slide, Sends E-Mini Soaring After ECB Said "Looking To Buy Bonds"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/21/2014 06:41 -0400
To summarize: the S&P 500 is now almost 100 points higher from last Tuesday as the global central bank plunge protection team of first Williams and Bullard hinting at QE4, then ECB's Coeure "ECB buying to start in a few days", then China's latest $30 billion "targeted stimulus", then the Japanese GPIF hinting at a 25% stock rebalancing in the pension fund, and finally again the ECB, this time "buying of corporate bonds on secondary markets", rolls on and manages to send stocks into overdrive. Even as absolutely nothing has been fixed, as Europe is still tumbling into a triple-drip recession, as Emerging Markets are being slammed by a global growth slowdown and the US corporate earnings picture is as bleak as it gets. Because "fundamentals."
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Growing concerns about the weakness of breadth in the stock 'market' where, as we noted here, 47% of Nasdaq Composite stocks are down at least 20% from their highs with the average stock in the index in a bear market (down 24%), continue to be ignored by a market that cares nothing for fundamentals. NewEdge's Brad Wisack adds another "it doesn't matter until it matters" chart to the list of worrisome indicators today by noting that "we haven't seen this before..."
Poor algos: after they got no love on Monday from the overnight USDJPY selling team which took the all important pair back to the 200 DMA, today, inexplicably (it is a Tuesday after all, and if one can't frontrun a rigged market surging higher on Turbo Tuesday may as well throw in the towel on free money and learn about fundamental analysis) the same overnight USDJPY selling team has pushed the key carry pair to below the 200 DMA, and has dragged US equity futures lower with it for the second day in a row.
Another right of perfectly round number supports: while the Shanghai Composite once again dipped below 2000 overnight to as low as 1991 only to close modestly higher, and the Nikkei followed suit, also sliding below the psychological support level of 14,000 to an intraday low of 13,964 only to close just above 14,000 if in the red, it was the USDJPY that has suffered the most technical pain when shortly after 2:30 am eastern time, the USDJPY dropped by nearly 40 pips, hours after the BOJ indicated that not only is it happy with where in the QE process it stands, but hinted there may well be no more QE, and certainly nothing imminent . In the process, the USDJPY fully smashed the 200 DMA, with the next key parallel support being the 200DMA in the EURJPY at 138.08 (which was at 138.34 last). When that too gives way, it is a straight line to double digits in the USDJPY, and the countdown to the end of the Abe regime begins in earnest.