Over the last few weeks, the markets have seen wild vacillations as stocks plunged and then surged on a massive short-squeeze in the most beaten up sectors of energy and small-mid capitalization companies. While "Ebola" fears filled mainstream headlines the other driver behind the sell-off, and then marked recovery, was a variety of rhetoric surrounding the last vestiges of the current quantitative easing program by the Fed. “You will know that the financial markets have reached peak instability and volatility when Britney Spears rings the opening bell.”
"Ebola seems like a lame excuse, frankly, but it’s a widespread one. Assuming that everyone in the market has above-average intelligence we don’t think they’ll trade Ebola headlines" - CRT's David Ader
When markets broke on Wednesday, XIV soared, stocks followed and the volumeless levitation was praised by all as evidence that the world was once again fixed. Yesterday we also saw NYSE Euronext 'break' into the European melt-up close, and later that day, as Ebola headlines hit, the market once again broke numerous times with various exchanges declaring self-help against one another as stocks tumbled on heavy volume. If you are wondering how it is that "the great stock markets in the world" can break so often (and be so ignored by financial media), Nanex exposes the act... as massive quote spamming yesterday sent OPRA to full capacity (broke the efficient flow of data in markets) 13 times...
DRAGHI CALLS FOR STIMULUS: CNBC
DRAGHI SAYS JOINT EFFORT NEEDED TO AVOID RECESSION: CNBC
DRAGHI SAYS INFLATION TO REMAIN LOW IN THE NEAR TERM
And just like that, the Ebola panic is back front and center, because after one week of the west African pandemic gradually disappearing from front page coverage and dropping out of sight and out of mind, suddenly Ebola has struck at global ground zero. While the consequences are unpredictable at this point, and a "follow through" infection will only set the fear level back to orange, we applaud whichever central bank has been buying futures (and the USDJPY) because they clearly are betting that despite the first ever case of Ebola in New York, that this will not result in a surge in Ebola scare stories, which as we showed a few days ago, may well have been the primary catalyst for the market freakout in the past month.
NYC Doctor Confirmed Positive For Ebola; Contact With Girlfriend (Quarantine) & 3 Others; "Unlikely" Contagious On SubwaySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/23/2014 22:52 -0500
*PATIENT IN NYC TESTS POSITIVE FOR EBOLA, NEW YORK TIMES SAYS, EBOLA PATIENT GIRLFRIEND QUARANTINED: CNN
*TREASURIES ADVANCE, S&P 500, NASDAQ 100 FUTURES EXTEND DECLINES ON EBOLA REPORT
Cuomo: "There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed..." *HAVE IDENTIFIED 4 PEOPLE IN CONTACT WITH EBOLA PATIENT, PATIENT WENT ON 3-MILE JOG, BOWLING, SUBWAY
Dr Craig Spencer, 33, who returned to the U.S. ten days ago from Guinea, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital in midtown Manhattan on Thursday and is being cared for in isolation. The doctor flew to Africa on September 18 to treat patients in Guinea with non-profit organization, Medecins San Frontieres (MSF). On October 16, he checked in at a hotel in Brussels, Belgium, presumably on his return journey from Guinea to the U.S.
"I believe that the Last Great Bubble is bursting — faith in central banks to solve all problems."
Buyback-manipulated earnings produced the low-volume opening face-ripper everyone wanted and stocks took off, recovering yesterday's late losses and not looking back.Trannies were the big winners, led by a resurgence in Airlines (as Ebola in US is fixed) and, despite drastically lower than average volume, stocks kept lifting after EU close on a bed of AUDJPY and USDJPY... until 1450ET (when NYC Ebola headlines hit). Airlines were hit hard, S&P futures dumped back to VWAP, VIX was whacked back above 17, and the exuberant day transformed into merely a great day for stocks. Weakness in Treasuries and the HY bond ETF (despite notable compression in HY spreads) had the smell of a lot of HY issuance being hedged and unhedged but TSYs ended the day up 6-7bps (off their highs post-NYC-Ebola headlines). The USD rose for the 3rd day in a row taking gold lower. Copper (China) and Oil (Saudi) rose on the day (oil unch on the week).
What do an old German bank note, a current $100 bill, and an apple all have in common? The answer, according to ConvergEx's Nick Colas, is that these simple objects can tell us much about the current investment scene, ranging from Europe’s economic challenges to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s attempts to reduce unemployment. Colas takes an “object-ive” approach to analyzing the current investment landscape by describing 10 common items and how they shape our perceptions of reality. The other objects on our list: a hazmat suit, a house in Orlando, a barrel of oil, a Rolex watch, a butterfly, a heating radiator in Berlin, and a smartphone.
Futures Bounce On Stronger Europe Headline PMIs Despite Markit's Warning Of "Darker Picture" In "Anaemic" InternalsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/23/2014 05:59 -0500
Perhaps the most interesting question from late yesterday is just how did the Chinese PMI rebound from 50.4 to 50.2, when the bulk of its most important forward-looking components, New Orders, Output, New Export Orders, posted a material deterioration? When asked, not even Markit could provide an explanation that seemed remotely reasonable so we can only assume the headline was goalseeked purely for the kneejerk reaction benefit of various algos that only focus on the headline and nothing else. Luckily, we didn't have much time to ponder this quandary as a few hours later we got the latest batch of Eurozone PMI numbers.
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 05:41 -0500
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."
Barack Obama and the head of the CDC need to quit saying that we know exactly how Ebola spreads. Because the truth is that there is much about this virus that we simply do not know. For example, a top Ebola scientist that is working in the heart of the outbreak in Liberia says that this version of Ebola looks like it could be "a very different bug" from past versions. Other leading scientists are echoing his concerns.
And the overnight futures ramp started off so promising.
The level of micro-management by the Fed appears to have reached a new shockingly high plateau. Recently prices have been driven more by liquidity, fear, greed, and Fed policy, than by valuation. It is time that the Fed stops being a source of interference and confusion. There are also two less obvious or less discussed economic reasons why the Obama administration may be urgently focusing more on the Ebola crises.
It never gets old... if this sell-off was triggered by a realization that the consumer is truly depressed (retail sales) and the Fed is almost done, then the face-ripping rally (notably on weak volume) of the last 24+ hours is the ugly truth that the 'market' is always and everyday a function of central-bank bullshit. Since Bullard's "QE4" comment (strengthened by random headlines on Yellen's "economic confidence" and ECB Coeure's "QE any minute" comment), the Dow is up 400 points, S&P up 70, and Trannies up 3.5%. Small Caps are now up 3.5% on the week and 30Y Treasury yields only -2.5bps on the week.