In the absence of any key economic developments in the Asian trading session, Asian stocks traded mostly under the influence of the late, pre-opex US ramp momentum courtesy of another day of ugly economic data in the US (bad econ news is good news for liquidity addicts), closing solidly in the green across the board, led by China (+1.6%) and Japan (+1.1%) thanks in no small part to the latest tumble in the Yen carry trade, which mirrored a bout of USD overnight weakness. And since a major part of the risk on move yesterday was due to Ewald Nowotny's comments welcoming more QE, news from Eurostat that Eurozone CPI in September dropped -0.1% confirming Europe's deflation continues, should only be greeted with even more buying as it suggests further easing by the ECB is inevitable.
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As we have warned numerous times - and any trader old enough to have actually lived through a credit cycle can attest to - there is only so much releveraging shareholder-friendly exuberance firms can do before the company's balance sheet becomes questionable. That inflection point has come for US equities. The deterioration of balance-sheet health is "increasingly alarming" and will only worsen if earnings growth continues to stall amid a global economic slowdown, according to Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan's Eric Beinstein warns "the benefit of lower yields for corporate issuers is fading." The weakness is widespread as BlackRock fears "you’ll continue to see some land mines out there."
“The trend in our projected net resources has continued to be negative," warns Treasury Secretary Lew forcing the administration to move up the deadline for the end of extraordinary measures from Nov 5th to Nov 3rd.
The yawning gap between job cuts (surging most since 2009) and initial jobless claims (hovering near 42 year lows) continues to grow as initial jobless claims collapse 7k this week to 255k - the lowest since 1973. Bear in mind, Goldman's explanation that jobless claims are useless in this part of the business cycle..."this does not signal a booming labor market."
Goldman Suffers Terrible Quarter After FICC, Prop Trading Revenues Plunge; Banker Comp At Five Year LowsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/15/2015 07:02 -0500
Once again, Jefferies' one-month early glimpse at Wall Street trading revenues proved to be spot on. After the boutique mid-market banks reported a total collapse in fixed income trading revenues (which ended up negative following massive charge offs), everyone was looking at the biggest hedge fund among the TBTF banks - Goldman Sachs - to see just how bad the trading environment really is. The answer came moments ago, and the answer is bad. Very bad.
Aside from Chinese monetary data, it was a relatively quiet session in which traders were focusing on every move in the suddenly tumbling USD, and parsing every phrase by central bankers around the globe, as well as the previously noted piece by Fed mouthpiece Jon Hilsenrath which effectively ended the debate whether there will be rate hikes in 2015. Adding to the overnight froth were ECB speakers first Ewald Nowotny and then Spain's Restoy, who said that euro-area core inflation "clearly" below goal, remarks which were immediately assumed to signal increasing pressure to boost stimulus, and which promptly translated into even more weakness in EUR and equity strength, pushing US futures up about 15 points from yesterday's close.
In the world's most populous communist country where jobs used to be guaranteed - by definition - to anyone, in any walk of life, it has suddenly become next to impossible to progress up the career ladder, something which will result in great social angst and instability in the coming years. According to China Daily, competition for white-collar jobs became fiercer in the third quarter, with more than 35 job seekers contending for the same position on average. This is a jump from 26 and 29 in the first and second quarters this year, a Chinese human resources website said on Tuesday.
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If the aim of The Fed's communication strategy was to convince the market that rates will not rise for a very long time... then they have been successful. Just as Goldman Sachs forecast, a US rate-hike is now extremely unlikely before March 2016 and falling fast. In fact, all of the major regions are seeing the market's implied number of months until a rate-hike rising rapidly.
Back in August, we brought you the story of 1MDB, the Malaysian development bank turned-Najib slush fund with deep ties to Goldman. About a month later, the FBI announced an investigation into the fund after Malaysia arrested a former official who was trying to fly to New York to urge US authorities to look into the whole debacle. Now, as WSJ reports, the FBI and DOJ are looking into Goldman's role.
- Democratic rivals back Clinton on emails, but little else in scrappy debate (Reuters)
- Hillary Clinton Shows Relentless Efficiency in First Democratic Debate (WSJ)
- U.S. Examines Goldman Sachs Role in 1MDB Transactions (WSJ)
- JPMorgan Says Trading Pain Isn't Over After Third-Quarter Slump (BBG)
- Islamic State battles insurgents near Aleppo as army prepares assault (Reuters)
- Oil Slide Means `Almost Everything' for Sale as Deals Accelerate (BBG)
While yesterday's JPM results missed from the top to the bottom, coupled with a surprising and aggressive deleveraging of the bank's balance sheet which has shrunk by over $150 billion in 2015 mostly on the back of a decline in deposits, Bank of America reported numbers which were largely the opposite when it printed a modest beat on both the top line with $20.9 billion in revenues (adjusted sales of $20.6Bn vs Exp. $20.5Bn), down $500 million from a year ago, and the bottom line: generating $0.35 in adjusted earnings in the quarter, 2 cents better than the $0.33 consensus estimate.
We noted previously that last week's face-ripping rally was the biggest short-squeeze sicne 2011, but, as SocGen notes, this "savage reversal" - as the biggest losers rebounded - was the worst price momentum whiplash since 2009. Bear market rallies are typically characterised by sharp reversals and elevated levels of volatility, and as SocGen warns there are several things which point to this being a technical bounce (rather than longer-term supportive value-seeking).
While the US bond market, if not equities, is enjoying the day off on a day in which there is no economic data just more Fed speakers including the Fed's Evans who on Friday uttered what may be the dumbest thing a central planner has ever said, the week's macro docket starts in earnest on Tuesday when China releases much anticipated September trade data. Here are the key events for the rest of the week.